Self-Control / Motivation

Hi all, 

I am currently on a binge of YNAB Youtube videos and podcasts - and I decided to do a Spending Freeze for July. My main rule, is no spending on non-necessities, other than allowing a tiny bit of flexibility for things like a friend's birthday, and a date night - because right now, those are things I need for my sanity and socialization. 

But I am struggling - oh boy are the pizza cravings real.

Just wondering if anyone has any advice or tips on how they control themselves - for those times when the temptation is getting strong. Just looking at my budget and consciously prioritizing goals, is helpful - but I think something more would be beneficial! 

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  • That's tough. Are pizza cravings your main temptation? 

    For food, I try to remind myself that food is essentially fuel. If I'd like to eat something specific, I break it down into macros in my mind: for instance, a takeout sandwich is usually animal protein on some bready carbs, and a tiny bit of greens. I'll rummage in my fridge and make something with a similar makeup, like a fried egg on buttered toast with sprouts or tomato sprinkled on top.

    If I have time, I'll find the recipe for that dish on NYTimes cooking website or a food blog and make the same thing for myself at home.

    I used to get distracted at the grocery store, so beforehand I'd write my grocery list out, write down each item's estimated cost next to it, and write the estimated total at the bottom. So even if I changed my mind at the store, I could still try to keep to my total spend goal.

    For online shopping, I have a rule where I never buy an item on the same day I think of it. Few things in life are so urgent that you would need to. I do all the research and browsing to get it out of my system, then close the browser window. Sometimes I'll email the URL to myself. 90% of the time I forget about it within a few days.

    Hope that helps!

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    • Purple Panther dining out is absolutely what gets me! Not necessarily pizza,  but mostly carb-y foods. 

      I was thinking it was because it was a way to get out of the house, and I don’t typically buy bread/pasta at the grocery store - so it was a way to get me outside and have some carbs! But I also know it’s a complete luxury, that I don’t need to spend nearly as much money on. 

      one of the things I started to do before grocery shopping is writing a list, and pricing it out using their online shopping feature! I think creating a more diversified menu in advance might help a bit, living alone I tend to cook one thing for dinner and then eat it on repeat. 

      thanks for your suggestions! 

    • Turquoise Snow I see what you mean. I've had to learn to take walks or ride my bike just to get out of the house these days; otherwise I get a little irritable.

      Maybe it'd be good to treat yourself to some nice carby grocery store purchases now and then. If it helps scratch the itch. Either way a spending freeze is a great way to learn new habits. Good luck!

  • For me, what has helped with "cravings" (both food and non-food) is to schedule a day for it and look forward to it.  For example, pizza on payday Friday.  (Or whatever your end of the week is.  Or whatever day you need a planned happy break.)  Yes, I'm still eating pizza once a week, but it's like budgeting - planned and limited to within my budget and/or meal plan, and at that point guilt-free.   Enjoying the anticipation keeps me going through the days I'm NOT eating pizza.

    • Laurie R I think maybe some more work on meal planning, and generally adding variety to dinner will help! I was just getting a slice of pizza when ever I did my laundry - the pizza place was next door - but since COVID, it hasn’t been working out that way. So creating a new routine - like your suggestion of having a planned happiness moment, is worth a try :) 

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