Diet or food plan? Budget or spending plan?

February 25, 2010

I don’t know how many of you have been on a diet… but my guess a few of you have. Does the word diet turn you off….make you think of all the foods and sweet treats you’ll be missing out on?

I know it did me and now when I’m trying to lose weight (like right at this moment) I never talk about being on a diet. It just triggers something negative in my brain and makes me think ……deprivation.

It’s very similar for a lot of people who are working through issues with money.

When my friends used to ask me if I had a budget, or worse, tell me that I should be on one, it would just make something crawl up my spine!  My brain would immediately hear deprivation and I would almost panic. It would almost make me want to go out and spend……like a child doing the opposite of what was asked.

Now I am a woman of at least average intellect, and I could write a budget for myself, no problems. What I couldn’t do was stick to it.

I now understand that, at least partially, that was because I didn’t understand what was behind my need to spend to the limit of my credit. I now have a whole lot of insight and instead of shopping (the impulses will still come up), I understand that I need something emotionally rather than materially and attend to those needs. I learned this from my Financial RecoverySM counselling and my work with the MoneyAutobiography®.

With these programmes I now teach people to work with spending plans not budgets. The difference is that you plan your spending, rather than planning to budget/restrict. It may be semantics but for those of us with an issue with overspending or a shopping addiction, it works. It places the choice in our hands, and allows us to make decisions about our spending and if need-be adjust our spending as we go through the month.

It’s powerful.

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