As any dieter who's cut carbs, alcohol and red meat out of her diet knows, it'll go really well...for two weeks. Then one night you'll end up sitting at the table wondering how you managed to consume five muffins, two burgers and four glasses of wine over an 11-hour span. The same is true with money. You can't cut back in every area of your life at the same time; it's just too hard. At some point, you'll find yourself on the other side of a shopping binge.
The Solution: Try Sethi's two-pronged saving strategy. Here's how it works: Looking at your bank and credit card statements, categorize everything you've spent money on in the last month. Then, pick your two biggest discretionary expenses, for example, eating out and buying beauty products. Make a promise to yourself to reduce just those two by 25 to 30 percent over the next few months. Eventually, your new budget will feel normal, and you can move on to cutting another set of expenses without getting overwhelmed.
Next: 6 money lies we tell ourselves