Tuesday, May 5, 2009

WORKS FOR ME: FINANCIAL DIET

"We Are That Family" is hosting a special frugal edition of Works-for-me-Wednesday this week.

At first I didn't think I could contribute because I've been spending to much time goofing off lately to write a post I've been rather busy lately, but they said we could submit an old post so I am going to do that today.



When the waistbands of our clothes start to feel a little tight we have a few choices: we can go up one size in our clothes in order to be more comfortable, we can be miserable and in pain as our waist expands but our waistband doesn't, we can buy clothes with elastic waistbands, we can ignore it and hope it will go away, we can choose to examine our eating habits and exercise habits and make some adjustments if we wish to stay in the current size clothing that we are wearing.


The numbers on the scale going up, the waistband being to tight or having to let your belt out a bit are sure signs that you may have put on a few unwanted pounds.


A similar thing can happen to our finances. Suddenly the number of bills start going up. We have to let our financial belt out a notch. We have packed on a few unwanted debts.


We can do several different things. We can go up one size, and be comfortable with the "new" size of our debt. We can choose to accept the new status of things and just continue spending as we always have. The danger with that is debt is likely to keep on growing as we are "comfortable" with it. Plus, we're not actively trying to reduce our debt.


We can be miserable and in pain as our debts continue to grow but our salary doesn't. We can feel overwhelmed, helpless and out of control as our financial belt continues to expand.


We can get yet another credit card in order to enable us to keep on spending. But, like an elastic waistband, it doesn't hide the problem. It only makes you more comfortable but only for a time. You still have to pay for it in the end.


We can ignore our debt and hope it will go away. To my knowledge, that has never worked for anyone.


I have read that one way of maintaining a weight-loss is to weigh yourself a few times a week. As long as your weight gain is between 3-5 pounds it's supposed to be o.k. (some books actually limit it to 1 1/2 - 3 pounds). But after a five pound gain it is suggested that you might want to get more strict with your eating habits and cut back, while keeping up (or stepping up) your exercise habits if you don't want to gain the weight back.


I imagine the idea here is that it is alot easier to lose five pounds than 15 pounds, or 50 pounds. It's alot easier to lose less than more.


It's alot easier to pay off a little debt than alot of debt. It's alot easier to pay off $5.00 than $50.00, or $500.00. Or $5,000.00.


This just leads me to some thoughts. How much is to much? When do you begin to tighten your financial belt? When do you begin to say "enough is enough" and it's time to go on a financial diet?


My husband and I are blessed to have no credit card debt anymore. I am not bragging. We have had our share, believe me. But we have tried very hard to not get back into debt once they were paid off. But we do have a home mortgage that needs to be paid off.


We do have a roof that needs replacing. We have some bathroom repairs that need to be made. We'd like to put some more money in savings. We have one son in college and another one who will be there in a couple of more years.


I feel my debt waistband getting a little tighter as I think of things that need doing around here. And these next several months we are going to be tightening our financial belts and prayerfully going on a "diet" in order to be able to address these needs. Anybody else feeling the need to take a new look at their finances? Anybody else feeling the need for a "diet?"


If you want to see part two of this "diet," the Plan, please go here.


Also please go here for lots of great frugal ideas for Works-for-Me-Wednesday!

11 comments:

  1. I like the comparison of weight gain to debt gain! I have been trying to be more frugal, boy is is tough!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Time goofing off no doubt. LOL
    I remember this post. Great one.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I remember this post! I think this was when I first started to follow your blog!

    Great wisdom here!

    ReplyDelete
  4. This really speaks to the heart of what my hubby and I are doing! We are tired of debt and so much of our money going to things that are worldly!! We are feeling the growing pains and so we are "dieting" for sure!! We are hoping to pay off ALL of our debt, house included in 3 years. Dave Ramsey has a great guide in how to do so!!!

    Thanks for the post!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I like that connection... thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Oh I love your comparison as well....brings it to a new visual and actually makes it seem more attainable, rather than discouraging.

    you ROCK!

    ps. Going on Day Three on The Shred....I think I can raise my arm high enough to the cupboard to grab the nachos tonight, though....awwww come on! LOST is on! LOL

    ReplyDelete
  7. We too are debt free with the exception of our house and one tiny CC with a blanace of I thin $132 .Cars are paid for. We will NEVER own a brand new car, much less take on a car payment. We live on a ridiculously low income and I can testify to the ins and outs of frugality...thank you for the post. Spritually speaking...living debt free is well.."freeing"

    ReplyDelete
  8. We have been on and off a financial diet for quite a while now. We are almost to the point where we can once again! be simply living a frugal life style instead of being on a diet! It will be such a relief!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Learning to get better at this as well as lose weight..what? Both debt and diet...Ugggg...

    ReplyDelete
  10. Great comparison. I have a much easier time with food than I do money though...I'm not sure why.

    ReplyDelete
  11. We've been tightening our financial belt, too. Good thing as we've had some extra things come up lately - new glasses and now ortho for daughter.

    ReplyDelete

So glad you stopped by today! Please feel free to subscribe to my blog and/or follow me on facebook. The links are at the bottom of each post.

Thank you for leaving a comment. I love hearing from you! Please keep it nice and sweet and family friendly so I don't have to delete!

Please don't leave a link to your blog (or anyone else's) in your comment. Due to google's new comment spam policy, any comments with links will have to be deleted to protect both you and me!