Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Have Your Cake and Eat it Too!

Or in my case, a doughnut.

Turns out that budgeting calories is very similar, if not, just like budgeting money. I can already hear some of you saying “duh,” but this is new to me, because I’ve never budgeted my calories before. It’s been over two weeks now and Oh. My. I’m loving this!

I wanted a doughnut. I ate a doughnut. And it tasted like sweet victory!

If I were on a diet, I would’ve wanted a doughnut, but I would’ve told myself, “no, I can’t, because I need to lose weight.” Then I would’ve wanted it 100 times more. My willpower may have held on for a week or so, but I would’ve broken down sooner than later, because all I’ve thought about for a week is that one stupid doughnut. When I finally got to eat the doughnut, it would make me feel weak and guilty. I would continue on, just long enough to reach my short-term weight goal and then I’d revert back to my old habits. Eventually the weight would come back. Cycle continues. 

Diets don’t work. Yes, I know, this isn’t news. I suppose I had always considered counting calories just another form of dieting...but after doing it, I realize it's just a method to educate myself so that I can make informed decisions. Which of course, is exactly how I already feel about budgeting my money. 

                RELATED: Budget for the Life You Want

So, back to the wonderful calorie budgeting present. My doughnut was 300 calories. I could totally work that into my calorie budget. I had so many options:
  1. Doughnut replaces my breakfast.
  2. Doughnut is an afternoon snack, so I have to cut a little from lunch and dinner.
  3. Option 2, but I cut a little less from my other meals and exercise a bit more/harder.
Based on timing and circumstances, I went with option 3 and I enjoyed that doughnut completely guilt-free. OMG! Writing that sentence feels amazing! That's an accomplishment! 

Disclaimer: I get a doughnut craving about once every couple of months…My options would be very different if this was a daily or weekly craving, because I know doughnuts aren’t good for me, even if they fit into my calorie budget. That’s a whole other blog.

Options are everything! The truth is in the numbers.

When you need to save money for something fabulous, determine how much you need, cut a little here, cut a little there, earn a little extra, and voilĂ , you’re enjoying your tropical vacation worry and guilt-free.

But first you need to know your numbers. Get our ideal life budgeting tool for free when you subscribe to our newsletter. It’s all free and we promise not to spam you.

-Leah Schonlank

Finance Gym offers personal finance coaching in professionally facilitated peer-advisory groups. 
Reach your financial goals. Get motivated. Get support. Get results. 

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