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The Financial Diet

A Total Beginner’s Guide to Getting Good with Money

By Chelsea Fagan and Lauren Ver Hage
13-minute read
Audio available
The Financial Diet: A Total Beginner’s Guide to Getting Good with Money by Chelsea Fagan and Lauren Ver Hage

The Financial Diet (2018) is a beginner’s guide to being better with money. Whether you want to bring your spending habits under control, pay off your student debts or just figure out how to start saving money for the future, these blinks will give you the tools to do so.

  • Millennials who want to get a grip on their finances
  • Women who want to secure their financial independence
  • Anyone who wants to live a better life while spending less money

Chelsea Fagan is the creator of the popular website and YouTube channel The Financial Diet. She has also written for the Atlantic, Cosmopolitan and VICE, and is the author of another book, I’m Only Here for the WiFi.

Lauren Ver Hage is Chief Design Officer for The Financial Diet, both the website and the book.

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The Financial Diet

A Total Beginner’s Guide to Getting Good with Money

By Chelsea Fagan and Lauren Ver Hage
  • Read in 13 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 8 key ideas
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The Financial Diet: A Total Beginner’s Guide to Getting Good with Money by Chelsea Fagan and Lauren Ver Hage
Synopsis

The Financial Diet (2018) is a beginner’s guide to being better with money. Whether you want to bring your spending habits under control, pay off your student debts or just figure out how to start saving money for the future, these blinks will give you the tools to do so.

Key idea 1 of 8

Avoid these four “don’t you dares” to start improving your relationship with money.

If you’re lost at sea when it comes to money, maybe it’s best to start your financial diet nice and slow.

There are four “don’t you dare” rules that we can all remember and follow; if you do so, you’ll have taken a big step toward steadying your finances.

First, don’t you dare spend money on credit if you can’t pay it off within a month. Sure, credit cards have their benefits – they can help build a credit score and get you air miles. But if you have one, treat it like a debit card. The day you spend money you can’t pay back in a month is the day you sabotage your financial health, because that’s when the interest starts to accrue.

Second, don’t you dare fall into the CEO lifestyle. When the author first became CEO of her own enterprise, it changed her thinking. Suddenly she would think, “I deserve this $150 facial, because a CEO’s gotta look good, right?”

We all convince ourselves that we need certain things to live the lifestyle we want, whether that means an iced latte every day, or a taxi home instead of the subway. The reality is that we don’t need these things, so we should get over them. Spend according to the budget you have, not for the lifestyle you think you should be living.

Third, don’t you dare go a week without checking your bank balance at least twice. Just like a reluctant dieter avoids looking at the caloric content of the cake they are devouring, lots of people in poor financial situations just can’t bring themselves to look at their account balance. You can’t get on a financial diet until you confront the reality of your income and spending, however gruesome it might look the first time you check.

And finally, don’t you dare imagine that savings will just magically appear. When you are young, it’s easy to think of your current self and your future self as two completely different people, and pass the responsibility for saving on to “future me.”

Many people think that merely staying out of debt is enough and they can worry about savings in the future. But the fact of the matter is, there is only one you – and you need to start saving, even if it’s just a little, right now.

Follow these rules and you’ll already be avoiding a lot of common mistakes. But to really get to grips with your financial diet, you need to learn how to budget.

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