Healthy Budget: Mindset

Posted on June 11, 2015 by Mary Patterson

We are almost halfway through June and we are on track to break our numbers from last month; however, we are planning ahead. We know we have company coming in at the end of the month. That means dining out, indulging in a couple more cocktails and feeding more folks. Typically, I would use it as an excuse and throw all budgeting aside. This month, I say bring the challenge on! We are going to have good food, good drinks and good fun and still stay on budget!

My MINDSET has 100% changed.

This is what has to happen first.  What does this mean? You may be thinking, I have a good mindset or really Mary, what are you even talking about!? Anytime, you approach a challenge or set a goal, you have to make up your mind that you will. If you look at the goal and challenge as too difficult or impossible, it will stay that way. Yet, if you look at it in a new way and ask yourself, how can I and what do I need to do to accomplish this, you will rock it!

The Healthy Shopping Budget Mindset for me personally really took a life of its own. At the very same time, we set out on this journey, I also was leading a Sugar Challenge group. As with all food challenges I lead, I also participate. Despite my good diet, sugar is always a challenge for me and I allow it to slip in here and there. When it sneaks in, it is not cheap either. My quick grab and splurges of my little $7 bag of chocolate covered walnuts adds up! In addition to facing my sugar habit head on, I also faced my wastefulness head on.

If I can take two words to describe my mindset:
SELFISHNESS and WASTEFULNESS.

Two questions relating to food that help keep my mindset:
Do I/we NEED that? OR Do I/we just WANT that?

Selfish and Wasteful
The words selfish and wasteful really take each impulse moment right to the point for me. If we can overgeneralize the American society for a moment when it comes to material things, I think we have become ridiculously wasteful and selfish. It is never enough. Relate this to food. We are clearly not starving. We have an obesity epidemic that is out of control. Our children are overfed and undernourished. How can we rationalize continuing on this path? We have to learn to be happy with what we have and focus on feeding our bodies with life and nutrition. I often hear, well I work hard, I deserve this. I deserve to dine out. I deserve a drink at the end of the day. I deserve to not worry about the amount I am spending on food. Maybe you do. I am not writing about this to judge, place judgement or have anyone else place judgement. I am challenging myself, my family and those who wish to think about things a little differently. That extra treat or extra helping doesn't make me feel any better. My body doesn't need it. My mind doesn't need it. It does not provide any more quality to my life. On this Healthy Shopping Budget Journey, I am really challenging myself and my family (and you if you are up for it) to take a step away from selfishness and to stop being so wasteful.

Need or Want?
Despite this selfish and wasteful challenge in my healthy budget mindset, we all still have moments. This is when I ask myself, need or want? It is OK to want and splurge sometimes, but how often do we do this. The other night while out with friends, I went for another glass of wine. Halfway through the glass of wine, it was time to leave and I found myself chugging the rest down (ironically, not to be wasteful). But before I ordered that second glass, I did have a little debate in my mind and I remember thinking, I dont need another glass. I enjoyed the first one. I should just have water. But instead, I went with my want impulse. Turns out, my husband felt the same way about his second drink. We can easily say that was $12 wasted. It is only $12 you say. But it all adds up. Multiply that by 4 and then by 12. $576 per year just from one wasteful impulse per week and I have noticed most of us have more than just one per week. I am also all about balancing a little extra fun into the lifestyle and the first huge glass of wine certainly wasn't a need, it was a want, an indulgence.  In the end, It is just about balancing those indulgences a little better.

There it is. Along with a strong solid goal and vision for the future, that is the flip switch that worked in my brain. Will it work for you? What do you think will work for you?

 

Posted in Budget, Finance, Mary Patterson, nutrition


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