As published by the American Society of Administrative Professionals at http://www.asaporg.com (member only site)
Money and food, food and money—how do the two go together you might ask? I was recently reminded that the two are very closely linked when I started getting concerned about fitting comfortably into my wedding dress! I ventured forth with a sense of renewed purpose to work out more and eat healthier, and in the process, was surprised at how much I discovered about improving your relationship to your money by better understanding your relationship to food.
My healthy pre-wedding focus reminded me once again how challenging it can be to push through the “getting started” part of a developing a new habit or skill. Then, once you push through the hard part, you can really build some great momentum around eating better and/or managing your money.
Here are my Top 7 Tips and Tricks for eating better and owning your money:
1. Psyche yourself up – When I focused on eating better, I called it a nutrition plan, as “diet” felt very limiting and I got hungry just thinking about it. I think I have a Belief System (yes I have “B.S.” too) that diets do not really work. So instead of using a “budget,” create a “savings and spending plan”—and then it works. (Need a financial plan for yourself? Start with our CD program or coaching support to help get you started. These plans work wonders!)
2. Plan ahead – I kept food around that I knew I liked and was good for me. Otherwise, I’d feel the urge to eat out, spend more money on take-out (rather than cooking for myself), and eat food out of my plan. I planned out my grocery shopping and meals for the week and then shopped accordingly. This one is actually a cross-over tip. If you do what I did, you will both eat better and spend better right away!
3. Find your inspiration – I constantly came back to my inspiration for starting my nutrition plan in the first place. When it got tough to eat one more salad, I’d vividly imagine myself…on the beach, sun setting, saying “I do,” beaming in joy, and feeling great in my dress. As inspiration is the foundational step of the I.D.E.A. system that I teach in my trainings; it grounds all that I do and actually grounds all of your choices with money, whether you realize it or not. What’s your inspiration?
4. Focus on quality and on spicing it up – I concentrated on eating smaller amounts of high-flavored quality food which often meant lower food bills and more satisfaction from eating. Try not to get so caught up in the fact that something is “on sale” if you don’t really need it or it’s not healthy. Also, while sometimes healthy food may start to feel somewhat basic and a little repetitive, one great spice or seasoning can really amp up the taste. I use this approach with my clients all the time as it relates to their clothing—invest in quality basics and change it up with accent pieces such as necklaces, shoes, or scarves.
5. Get creative and improvise – By around week 3, I was tired of my nutrition plan so I took some time to get creative in order to cook an inventive meal. With money, you can do the same by researching no-cost or low-cost activities in your area so you have fun and still stick to your inspired savings and spending plan.
6. Ask for help – While my fiancé joined me on my healthy journey as support, I took advantage of other support from my friends and a whole-health nurse practitioner as well. Help is all around—you just have to ask for it! Oftentimes when it comes to money, you may think that financial independence means you that have to do it alone, but that is not the case. If you don’t have resources that can help with your finances, contact us for a complimentary Discovery Session to help get you started.
7. Simplify and be grateful – As I focused on eating more healthy foods, I remembered to “keep it simple” while appreciating my food and enjoying the eating process more than I ever had before. Many times in your busy life, you may forget to appreciate the most simple and basic of things, and just by simplifying your food or your finances and being grateful for what you do have (vs. concentrating on what you may not have), you can attract more abundance into your life.
With the summer season full of barbecues and bathing suits fast-approaching, and a continued interest in also feeding your bank account, appreciating this food and money association can be a real money-maker!