One Easy Way to Improve Your Finances in 2017

When it comes to financial planning, I’m a big fan of making painless changes.

Making the change is the easy part. What’s difficult is identifying the thing to change in the first place.

Many people go on the financial equivalent of a crash diet when they first start getting serious about saving money. They try to go from saving nothing to $1,500 per month, cutting everything from cable to their car to time with friends. It’s like going from 2,000 calories a day to 1,000. It takes a lot of willpower to maintain that.

There’s an easier way. Instead of cutting everything, pick one or two things that don’t really matter that much and eliminate them.

That thing for me was going out for lunch. I was wasting $10 per day (plus my time) to go to a restaurant each day. I didn’t really enjoy it that much either, since I usually went alone.

So I made a simple change. I make sure to prepare enough food the night before so I have leftovers. And then I eat at my desk.

Balance is important, so I didn’t eliminate going out completely. If somebody wants to go for lunch, I’ll happily put my leftovers away for a day. And if I do eat alone at my desk, I’ll often reward myself with wrapping up work a little early.

Essentially I’m trying to trick myself to like leftovers. And it’s working.

One small change easily saved me $200 per month, maybe even more. I’m sure there are very similar changes to be made in your life.