I know, I’m an accountant from Yorkshire, so going on a money diet could be interpreted as reverting to type. But honestly that’s not what it’s about. So what is a money diet?
A money diet is when you re-examine all of your expenses and cut out the un-necessary costs. Over time we all add small (and large) direct debits to our bank accounts, create spending habits and spend money on things we don’t really need.
At home, my family have had a big clear out recently and I was shocked at how much stuff we got rid of that we had not worn out and didn’t need. Going on the money diet is the same sort of thing – you work out what you should keep and what you should get rid of.
On the money diet you assess how much money you need to live on so you control your finances better; this will inform you how much money you might need in retirement and more generally how you can build up your assets. Controlling your finances is a key element to controlling your life.
The main driver for me is not actually the desire to control my finances or to save but to reduce my environmental footprint. Buying less stuff and travelling less is surely the fastest way to do this. In addition I think it is very easy to buy things because they are the latest, the newest, the shiniest; I want to see if I can resist this temptation and ‘use up the old ones first’. I’d also want to resist the marketing messages constantly given to us, and see what I want to buy for me rather that what I’m told to buy on the TV.
For those of you who know me, don’t worry I’m not going to live in a hippy commune just yet. Taking a step back from consumerism and becoming a human ‘being’ rather than a human ‘doing’ is an interesting and relaxing exercise.
Please let me know if you would like to discuss anything I’ve raised.