I’ve been here before, wanting to better myself, to lose weight, to get rid of my debt. And with all the changes I’m making in my life at the moment, having felt I was heading towards rock bottom, I have a good feeling that the changes I’m making right now, might just work. I’ve been focusing on food (health and diet) and money a lot recently (like I mentioned in my Afro Hair and Beauty Live post, I was dying to buy stuff, a lot of stuff) and I realised there are so many parallels between the process of getting your health and finances right.
It’s taking the same meticulous mindset to count those calories as it does to count those pennies. And that’s not to say I’ve found the perfect formula but I’m at the beginning of a really positive change.
I’ve found that writing down or recording what you have to spend/ eat makes you more aware and accountable for what’s being consumed and spent. It’s so easy to go for a walk past a shop, pop in for a bottle of milk and end up with a full basket. And that’s what I’m like when it comes to food too. Especially if it’s sweet. And chocolate-y. And don’t get me started on Digestive biscuits.
That’s why I love apps like MyFitnessPal (MFP) for recording exercise (linked to the step counter on my phone) and calorie counting and Monzo to keep track all of my expenses (link to their main website, link to my golden ticket to get free money when you sign up!).
MFP allows you to scan barcodes to get detailed nutritional info and there is hardly any food I’ve ever scanned or searched that it didn’t have it in its database. Very handy indeed. Monzo is a banking app that also comes with a debit card. It does everything a normal bank account does and more. There are adjustable budgets for individual categories like food, entertainment, finances etc. But it also allows you to see how much money you have now and whether you’re spending too much too fast. It can also notify you of every purchase you make if you want and allows you to attach photos of receipts which is great. I always do little spends here and there and then when I look on my account I can’t remember what the hell it was. Now I can record, remember and justify every purchase.
Now other food and money budgeting tools are available I’m sure but these are definitely working for me.
I’m a bit of a nerd when it comes to spreadsheets and recording stuff. My problem is that I lack long term consistency. But I’ve finished month 3 using MFP regularly and my first full calendar month using Monzo. I’ve lost a bit of weight and been making more of an effort to get up and moving. I didn’t go over my monthly budget by a single penny and I can’t tell you the last time I wasn’t borrowing money at the end of the month to get by. I call that a success. Plus with my money, I’ve got a separate spreadsheet that has my finances for the next 11 years all mapped out (completely over the top but also easy because you know, cut and paste) and ready to be adjusted for all the life stuff that may pop up. I’m doing this!
I’ve never felt this organised about budgeting before, I don’t remember feeling this positive for a long time. Which may or may not be saying something because I tend to be on the more negative side naturally. But as much as I might fight it or fail at it, I like order. And I am so excited to order my world a bit more the way I want. And to be rich and skinny beyond my wildest dreams!
The goal, the reason for this is to order my finances – to get rid of my debt and start making meaningful payments towards my mortgage. And also, just start living a little and not worrying about money anymore. Although I do think about it more than I did before, just I’m thinking of how I can stretch it further. And with my food, it’s more about health. It’s about eating less or if I eat the “wrong” thing, making better choices with the calories I have left and making sure that I’m getting a decent amount of steps in everyday. Eat less, move more. I don’t know how many times I’ve said that before! And I will keep saying it.
One thing I’ve learnt and now truly understand is everything in moderation. All these things are cliches for a reason. We over complicate things. So much but whatever you do to better your life and your situation, keep it simple kids.
Now the only thing I need to sort out budgeting better is TIME!
Let’s keep budgeting together!
xx Lee xx
How do you budget food, money, time, anything?
Please note – I am not sponsored nor have I been gifted anything by the companies mentioned. I just really like their services but strongly suggest you find whatever one works for you!