December 2, 2010, 6:00 am

5 Ways Personal Finance and Fitness Connect

by: MD    Category: Miscellaneous
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I know that it’s very common to compare physical fitness to fiscal fitness, but I just can’t help myself. With the New Year around the corner, I can’t help but wonder how many people will think about personal fitness (from improving diet to starting a new training regimen). Money management is always a popular topic. Personal fitness seems to be an extremely popular topic around the New Year. Simply put, fitness and money management are a major part of all of our lives. This is why I wanted to outline 5 ways that personal fitness is just like fiscal fitness:

1. The fundamentals are REAL simple.

Think about it. If you want to lose weight you simply need to burn more calories than you take in for an extended period of time. To build wealth, you need to save more than you spend for an extended period of time. Both are extremely simple. Yet literally none of us are able to master these basics. We all know that spending money on junk is bad. We all know that eating a bag of Doritos is bad. Yet we can’t help ourselves. The fundamentals are simple to understand, but difficult to put into practice.

2. Consuming could ruin everything.

Remember when your mom told you that, “it’s not how much you earn that counts, it’s how much you save that matters.” It’s true. You could earn $90,000 next year. You could also choose to run 9 miles a week, starting next week. Imagine what results both could lead to. Imagine how much the quality of your life would improve in both areas. You could build a solid savings account and you could lose some weight/build your stamina. Alright now imagine ruining it all. How can you ruin it all? By consuming.

Those miles you ran will be useless once you eat a bag of chips or order a large pizza. Your emergency fund/savings account can go to waste with one weekend shopping trip. Essentially over-consuming can kill your hard work. It’s interesting how much damage consuming can do when it comes to both fitness and money. Don’t let your hard work go to waste by getting carried away.

3. Very few succeed.

How many people are debt free? How many people are confident with their bodies? It seems like we all have the ability to become good, but not great at money management and weight loss. Why is this? I’m really not sure myself. Maybe we have too many distractions. Maybe we don’t have the willpower. Maybe it just gets too challenging at times. I do know that it’s difficult to be very successful at both personal finance and money management.

4. Keeping track sucks.

I’ve been working out in some manner for the past 5 years. Let me tell you, I’ve never gone more than a few weeks of keeping track. I hate keeping track of my calories. I especially hate tracking every rep of every set of every workout. It just ruins the workout for me. I can never track my calories. I love my pizza too much. Keeping track is just not fun.

When it comes to personal finance, I find that keeping track also really sucks. Do any of you truly keep track of all of the money that you spend? I can go strong for a period of time but I always get fed up. I don’t want to feel bad about every cup of coffee that I buy. I also don’t want to feel guilty for every time that I have a little snack. The way I see it is that as long as I’m conscious with my spending/eating, while working to better myself, that’s all I can really ask for. Keeping track of everything will just suck the fun out of both fitness and money.

5. Breaking the rules is amazing!

Let’s not be all boring here. Breaking the rules is always fun. Whether you splurge out of nowhere to buy yourself that new iPhone 4 or you bust out a 6-pack with chicken wings on a Thursday night. Rewarding yourself can feel amazing. It’s the little treats that we look forward to when it comes to money or fitness. How do you treat yourself in both areas?

Have you ever compared your finances to your fitness?

(photo credit: punkjr)

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Good points…. and both are hard to do around the holidays!

My “fitness” has been a yo-yo kind of thing since being an adult and not a child playing around and running everywhere. I really hope 2011 will be a year that comes with more balance in this matter. Comparing to my finances, I think the second one is a little more stable in the past years. Maybe it would be time to make it go higher! BTW, I too hate keeping track and fitness and finances very much connect on this point!

Interesting thoughts! Self control is almost always the issue, and these two areas are almost exactly related–do we give up short term enjoyment for longer term “health?”

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Indeed, the more complicated methods can backfire. Pushups, squats, pullups as well as semi-primal food can already get you into pretty good shape. Do you really need a huge excel spreadsheet tracking every calorie and 5 exercises per body part? No way. It generates money for the personal trainers, but it’s really not necessary! 🙂

by: The Financial Blogger | December 2nd, 2010 (1:23 pm)

this is why you need both a personal trainer and a financial advisor ;-0

DIY rarely succeed in both over the long run unless they are really motivated and knowledgeable 😉

I don’t think you have to be so knowledgable — a basic knowledge of how compound growth works, fees, etc… but where I agree with you is that there is a lot of misinformation out there, and sometimes a knowledgeable advisor can help you out. The trick is in finding a good one. 😉

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I think I function better when I’m in shape and focused on my financial numbers!

I got the debt free part beat, but I need to develop a new lifestyle that revolves around fitness!

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by: The Financial Blogger | December 6th, 2010 (11:12 am)

@Money Reasons,
Thank you for the mention!

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