Written by Shalini Dharna
Who hasn’t started a diet? Take pizza for example; as a pizza lover, you could commit to no carbs, no sugars, no saturated fats, and/or no MSG… and somehow, as soon as you start your diet, O.M.G there are pizza commercials everywhere! Day 1 isn’t always so bad; a few cravings maybe, but overall you think to yourself, “you’ve got this!” And then it happens: by Day 4 you’re hiding in your closet eating a large pizza to yourself. You thought you were strong, you thought you were doing well — how does this happen? Why does this happen?
The truth is, as soon as you restrict yourself, your mind automatically wants what it can’t have.
Budgeting is the same thing. You come up with your budget and every expense has an allocation. You take time to put guidelines in place to stay on track. And as soon as your budget is set, O.M.G there are sales everywhere! BOGO, 80% off… one shopping spree later, there goes your budget for the month.
The common criteria for both dieting and budgeting is the idea of restriction. As soon as you think you’re restricted, subconsciously you see things that appeal to that restriction EVERYWHERE.
So what’s the cure? The key to getting healthy is the same as having better finances – making small changes that are sustainable.
Once you can control your impulses to purchase something at every sale just because it’s on sale, or once you can identify if you really need something new vs. just thinking it’s beautiful or perfect for you, you’ll be led less by impulses and more by thinking about whether this is something you should spend money on.
- Start with expenses you cannot avoid – your fixed expenses.
- Then with the money you have left over, think about what you’d rather have: do you want to save for that vacation/car/downpayment, or do you want to have yet another gadget taking up space in your drawers?
- Once you’ve prioritized your money, you’ll be less likely to impulse shop and therefore have a healthier budget.
- The impulse won’t go away overnight though. Like with dieting, find a picture of what you hope to achieve (that vacation or car) and keep it somewhere you can see to keep you motivated.
- The same concept applies to spending money for your business. There are a lot of great ideas out there that you may feel you have to get in on. But as a business owner, you need to first determine the priorities of your business. Once you identify this, any great idea that doesn’t fall in line with your business goal should not be considered a priority, and therefore you do not need to spend money on it.
Shalini Dharna is an Elite Mompreneur® Member based out of Mississauga, Ontario. Her company Dharna CPA is your one-stop shop for all your accounting, finance and tax needs!
featured image courtesy of shutterstock.com