You may have already heard of the Small Plate Movement started by Dr. Brian Wansink at Cornell University to help promote healthier eating habits.
The focal point of the movement is to get people eating on smaller plate sizes. Traditional plate sizes have only gotten bigger over the years (almost 2″ more than what your grandma probably had). Wansink and his team propose eating on a plate 9-10″ to reduce calorie intake and over-eating. And they say just by doing this small act alone, a person can lose a significant amount of weight.
Makes sense right?
Ways to portion-size our finances
Which led me to considering: what if we applied the small plate principle to our personal finances?
Here's a few ways we can apply this principle – especially for those who are struggling to make changes in your financial world.
- Trim your bank accounts. Here's one thing that has really made the difference in our spending: once we get paid, I shrink our bank account. When you don't have that big plate to eat off with all that food – you eat less. And, when that bank account isn't stuffed full of funds, you'll likely spend less. Toss a percentage of your income to savings. The best option is to put ‘er into an account you don't have immediate access to.
- Shrink your wallet. When I have cash in the pockets or wallet, I tend to spend it pretty quickly. Even having numerous credit cards gives me more inclination to spend. So, I typically carry very little, to no cash and only two credit cards for emergencies or large purchases (where I might be able to rack up some quick cash rewards).
- Home size. One of the ways we consume too much in our finances is to buy too much house. And this has not been easy to avoid when you've had lenders and mortgage brokers willing to max you out. With housing being the bulk of most our expenses, making sure you don't eat too much, is vitally important to maintaining a healthy financial future. And with a smaller home – you don't need as much stuff to fill it.
- Cut the crap. The more stuff I have – the more I tend to spend. One of my goals since starting a more thrifty way of living is to “cut the crap” out of life. Minimalism is truly the way to go. Less stuff = less headaches and money out the window.
Certainly these aren't the only ways to portion-size our finances. Can you add any other to the mix?