18 Jun 2021 • 3mins • Yolt

Money diets: Intuitive budgeting and trusting yourself with Dr Duane Mellor

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Redefining ‘diet’ logic with Dr Duane Mellor


Like a diet, setting yourself a budget should be sustainable for the long-term. That means, even after you reach your initial goal, you’re able to keep the budget going without too much effort.

Professional dietitian Dr Duane Mellor (British Dietetic Association) has some great tips to help you budget intuitively.

Intuitive budgeting for beginners

Become the master of your money diet in four simple steps:

Step 1: Understand your motivations

If you’re starting a ‘money diet’, chances are you have a specific goal in mind. That’s great – but that goal can’t be all that’s keeping you going.

To make your money diet successful long-term, you need to recognise the smaller, everyday benefits. These little things are what will keep you motivated and stop you feeling overwhelmed by that end goal.

Yolt tip: Yolt can help you recognise these benefits by capturing your budget progress in colourful graphs and charts on your Savings Tab.

Step 2: Leave the past behind you

One of the reasons people have negative feelings toward diets is because they’ve had a bad past experience. Well, it’s time to leave all that behind you. Because this time it isn’t going to be a ‘diet’, it’s going to be a lifestyle.

No cutting corners, no quick-fix solutions. Intuitive dieting is all about being reactive to the situation you’re in, while staying true to your motivations. This can take time, sure. But with Yolt, you won’t be in it alone.

Yolt tip: Turn on notifications to let Yolt send you helpful nudges and motivational messages to help keep the positivity flowing.

Step 3: Trust yourself

If you’ve struggled with money diets in the past, it can be all too easy to write yourself off with thoughts like: “I’m no good with money”, “I just have no self-control”. But these thoughts aren’t true. With the right plan and the right support, anyone can budget successfully. A simple shift in thinking from short to long-term, might be all you need to start building that trust. Plan for small, manageable changes that won’t feel like a huge upheaval, and remember – there’s no right way to diet. So, if something isn’t working, change it.

Yolt tip: Make budgeting fun with The Money Jar Challenge. We’ll ask you to save £8 a week, giving you an extra £416 by the end of the year.

Step 4: Remember, you’re only human

Don’t let guilt get in the way of smashing your goals. No-one is perfect all the time. There will be days when breaking your budget is necessary, whether for an unexpected purchase or because you just need a little pick-me-up. And that’s okay.

Becoming so focused on a money diet that you feel the need to punish yourself when you slip off track isn’t healthy. Be kind to yourself and remember this is a journey, not a race.

Did you miss the first article in this series? Learn more about the restriction, reward, punishment cycle in our first money diets feature.

Catch up with all our money experts on the Unthink Money Hub.