Debt Diet Part 4: Respect your money

The way you treat your money and your budget, experts say, can play a big role in being fiscally sound. Especially when you're on a "Debt Diet" and trying to not exceed your financial calories this weekend.

Where you balance your checkbook and keep your cash can help you stick to your Debt Diet and help ensure you don't ring in the new year with a financial hangover.

Here are a few ways to make sure you're making the most of your money. And able to stick to your "Diet" this weekend.

Where are you the most powerful?

Locate the financial "power spots" or wealth areas in your home. These are wherever you spend the most time paying the bills, talking about finances or even where you usually stand when you order take-out.

Identifying these will help you understand how you make financial decisions. For instance, if you pay bills online while watching TV, you might not be tracking just how much you're spending on credit card interest (maybe even on last year's holiday gifts) every month.

Use the color of money

Once you've found your wealth spots, make them more "money friendly." Accent your wealth areas with the colors green and purple. Green symbolizes vitality and growth, and purple is the color of wealth. You can place a bowl of green and purple grapes in the wealth area of your kitchen, to symbolize abundance filling your home. Or toss a green or purple pillow onto the end of the sofa that's in a "money corner."

But remember, if you use real grapes make sure that from time to time you refill the bowl with fresh ones and that the bowl is always more than half full!

Let your money know you value it

Pay attention to how you handle money, and handle it as though you value it. Keep paper money neatly sorted in your wallet or money clip, not stuffed in wads at the bottom of your purse or crumpled in the pocket of your coat.

Pay attention to your money

If you neglect your money, it will neglect you. Balance your checkbook regularly and pay your bills on time. Put your checkbook in an attractive cover (choose green, purple, red, blue, or black) and keep it in a power area of your home when it's not being used.

If you're headed to the malls, take some tonight to developing a respectful relationship with your money. Your Debt Diet will thank you!

Gina Roberts-Grey is a freelance writer specializing in health, celebrity and consumer issues.
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