Google is making a conscious effort to change the eating habits of their employees. Did they put all their employees on a diet? That would not be very Google like, would it? They made small changes that are paying off big! Change is difficult, but worthwhile. If you think I am only talking about diet, you never read my articles before. Find out how the Google diet can help your finances!
Hard(er) to Find
Google made six (6) small changes with food at their offices and they saw positive results. The first was making the M&Ms harder to find. They did not hide them, but changed from a clear glass jar to an opaque one. If you don’t see it you won’t want it as much. An automatic savings deduction from your paycheck is similar. If you don’t have it, you won’t spend it. Saving for retirement is made easier, if automatic.
Choose the Good Stuff
In their cafeteria, you will find salads first because they say people will load up on whatever food they see first. To encourage better choices, they put the salads first. How can you use this thinking for personal finance? Take a look at the good choices first. Pay down your debt before you start spending your money. Just like salads, it is better for you in the long run.
We are Visual
Using small plates for food choices assists you in self selection of less food. If you use large plates, you tend to load up. Small plates will naturally reduce your portions. There are restaurants who understand this concept too well. This can be a metaphor for spending less. I believe in buying quality items because they last longer and in the long run are cheaper.
Labels Give Permission
In their cafeteria, they would label the safe or healthy choices using colors that gave you permission to eat and other colors to avoid or take less. In personal finance, there are red flags or signs that indicate danger and we need to pay attention to them. For example, the old axiom of spending less than you earn is a clear warning to avoid problems, but we still ignore it. A budget will provide a structure to avoid dangerous behavior and keep you on the right track.
Google made their deserts smaller. It was intended to reduce calories and make you think twice about taking seconds. How do you control your spending? I stay away from the malls, but I do buy some products online. I use shopping bots to find the lowest prices. Since I am buying online, I am delaying gratification. It takes a few days to ship the products to me. I have to think about or plan my purchases much more which makes me more frugal and effective.
Water, Water, Water
Before you get to the sugary drinks, you have to pass the water cooler. When you finally get to the kitchen, the water is set at eye level and the sugary drinks are on a lower shelf. Positioning is great marketing. In supermarkets, they understand this principle far better than the consumers. That is why they sell more of the profitable products which are not necessarily good for you.
If you want to change your bad habits, you have to make a conscious effort and it will take twenty-one (21) consecutive days to form a habit or break a habit. Develop good personal financial habits, ones that will help you achieve success and your goals. Also, think about what you are modeling for the next generation in your home that watches everything you do. Be a good role model for your children.
I really think it is wonderful Google is helping their employees to be healthy. Small changes can make huge differences in your life. Depending on the particular change, they saw a 9% decrease in calories to as much as 47% increase in water intake. If you just achieve as little as 10% decrease in spending or increase savings to 10%, would be wonderful. Small changes in diet and personal finance will pay off big. Use the Google diet to tune up you personal finances.
Photo by: Robert Scoble
Totally Money Blog Carnival at My Personal Finance Journey
Carnival of Financial Planning at Boomer and Echo
Carnival of Financial Camaraderie at My University Money
Carnival of Money Pros at My Journey to Millions
Yakezie Carnival at Faithful With A Few
Carnival of Retirement at Broke Professionals