|Fruit is good. Photo: Marco Lazzaroni|
When you think about it, how you eat and budget requires knowledge, discipline and a similar mind-set. Both areas involve putting off instant gratification for a larger purpose or reward.
Setting goals, planning and making choices are not just facts of life, they are the subjects of countlesss books and discussions, especially in the media. Every week a new expert explains how to eat or budget better. Here are a few recent rules:
The Skinny Rules by Bob Harper - A new book which teaches you to lose weight and keep it off. Here's how:
1. Drink a large glass of water before breakfast and every meal. – Try to drink 8-12 glasses of water per day. I can't see a French woman doing this. Croissant and coffee - oui. Splish, spash - non.
2. Eat protein with every meal.
3. Eat apples and berries everyday. – They boost your antioxidants, and no one gets fat by eating fruit.
4. Go vegetarian one day a week. – No animal protein whatsoever.
5. No food 3 hours before bed. – Personally, I have a light snack at night because I fear if I go to bed hungry, I will toss and turn. But, BH claims a body sleeps better on an empty stomach. Noooo, I don't believe it.
6. Eat one splurge meal each week. According to the book, if you do what you need to do 80% of the time, you can play 20% of the time.
Rules (also known as tips) for saving money on goods everybody buys:
2. Wine: Buy wines from Spain, Greece and South America. They cost less, but are as tasty as those from France and Italy.
3. Technology: Don't buy the newest version out. Apple, Canon, Boston Acoustics and other well-known manufacturers sell refurbished and last year's models at substantial savings. Go to company websites for deals.
Rules to save on buying insurance:
The rule of thumb: Figure out what you need to maintain your present and immediate-future lifestyle. And, don't buy insurance for unlikely catastrophes, or when it is cheaper to save the money to repair, replace or pay for the thing/service outright. According to this week's experts:
4. Auto – It is illegal to go without.
5. Medical for travel
6. Life – If you are the sole, or a substantial support of your family.
7. Umbrella – Protects your assets from lawsuits. An extra layer of insurance that pays for medical, court and other expenses after basic car and home insurance stops.
Insurance you do not need:
1. Pet – There are too many restrictions in the policy to benefit.
3. Extended warranties for electronics – Usually the limited warranty is sufficient.
4. Home warranty – Covers major appliances. Often has deductibles, service charges and proof of non-neglect clause. Not worth the cost.
Is your head spinning? (Oh, life!Michael Stipe sang it.) The yin and yang. Dividing the pie. Having enough. Maintaining. Being Secure. Taking Risks. Deciding which risks to take. Not knowing the future. Sometimes it seems simple, and at other times, it's complicated.
And if you don't make decisions, life will decide for you. So what can you do? Live and learn. Be savvy, and do the best you can. Every few years, reassess.