You are what you eat, financially speaking.

I have issues.
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Issues with dessert(s). (Nutella)

When I am asked about my diet, something strange happens. I think back on what I ate that week and I always remember eating healthy than I actually did.

Yeah, I ate an apple last week, not bad.

Last week I made a huge mistake.

I started a food journal.

I started writing down everything I ate each day. It only took one day for me to realize that my diet is terrible.

Something happens when we are faced with the truth. Something great.

When we see the truth, we have been given a gift. We can now react and adjust based on reality, not our make-believe memory.

Writing down what I ate for just one day inspired me to action. It only took one day and I am already eating much better.

Something magical happens when we write down and review our own choices. Perhaps subconsciously we make a stronger connection between our choices and the results.

One thing is for sure, when we write it down, it becomes more real.

Same goes for money.

Do you remember what you ate five weeks ago today?

We can’t possibly keep track of what each dollar was spent on each month in our mind. Almost everyone who reviews their bank statement from the previous month is surprised by what they see.

I can’t believe I spent so much on (this or that). I don’t even like (this or that) all that much!

Suddenly the results that make up your reality make more sense. Knowledge is power.

Suddenly I feel the urge to start an exercise journal. But why would I want to torture myself like that?!

What are you eating? (Financially speaking.)


P.S. Use this Google Doc to track your spending habits. Let me know how it goes.

P.P.S. Yes, you have to literally write it down. Just thinking about it isn’t enough for the magic to happen.

  • jefferson @seedebtrun

    Tracking your spending is a lot like tracking your food intake and you are right on.. both can reveal some nasty secrets lurking in the shadows. But they are an important step to figuring out exactly where your problem areas lie.

    • Derek C. Olsen

      “But they are an important step to figuring out exactly where your problem areas lie.”

      Exactly. You have to know what the problem is and where it is located first, before you can go about taking the appropriate action to fix it. Put another way, you have to know that the car is getting low on gas before you know that the answer is going to the gas station.

  • Kim Hall

    I can remember how shocked we were when we finally pulled our ostrich heads of the holes in the ground. We couldn’t believe how much of our money was being spent so incredibly foolishly.

    Yes, just face it and write it all down. Hiding your head in the sand doesn’t make it better, it makes it worse. :-(

    • Derek C. Olsen

      “it makes it worse.”

      Yes, yes it does. You are right on.

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