An article by BudgetQueen
I may stir up a little controversy here. You can be physically fit and not financially fit and vice versa. But if you have mastered one, you have all of the skills to master the other. Bear with me here…
Getting out of debt is like losing weight. There is no magic cure. To lose weight it takes a desire to be healthy, a commitment to eat healthier and work out, and the patience to see it through. Almost anyone can get healthier with the above combination. Just like weight loss, almost anyone can get stronger financially with a desire to be out of debt, a commitment to making smarter choices, and the patience to see it through.
I have gotten rid of thousands of dollars of debt. I have also lost more than 20% of my body weight a time or two. By doing both I have noticed a pattern that will work for both debt and health. If you are going to do one, why not do both together?
You are no longer going to work like a horse without changing how you think and feel about things. Otherwise you will be exactly where you are now a year from now.
Stage One for getting fit/getting out of debt
Stage one starts with appreciation. Only when you appreciate what you do have — can you be healthy and wealthy.
Write down 20 things that contribute to your already existing wealth.
Examples: Do you have a roof over your head? Did you have enough food this month? Do you have a family and/or pets that you love? Do you have a job or a degree? A car? Do you have enough clothing to wear for the rest of the week? Do you have investments? Do you have cash in the bank? Do you have investments like a money market account? Do you have motivation and drive to get financially savvy?
Now, write down 20 things that you already do to contribute to your health.
Examples: Do you eat relatively healthy? Have you done any exercise within the past few days (housework counts)? Have you visited your doctor and/or dentist in the past year? Have your recently cut an unhealthy food out of your diet? Do you eat 8-12 fruits and vegetables a week? Do you take a vitamin? Do you have motivation and drive to get physically fit?
…just 20 things are all you need. If you can write down more, that is excellent!
Stage Two for getting fit/getting out of debt
You have to be committed. It is going to take time and patience. In a year’s time on average, you will shed about $100 a week of debt or 1 pound a week. Therefore with this calculation if you have 52 pounds to lose, it will take a year. If you have $5,200 of debt it will be about a year to get rid of it. Of course these are my averages and depending on your situation, it may take more time and it may take less. But you need to stick it out that long.
But think of how you will feel at the end of the year: happier, healthier and financially savvy.
Stage Three for getting fit/getting out of debt
Getting started is the hardest part. You were going to start jogging but it snowed. You were going to get out of debt but an emergency came up.
Instead of having excuses, you have to have a back-up plan. Snow doesn’t hold this committed healthy person back! This healthy person will shed a couple bucks to go to the local recreation center to work out instead!
Did a financial emergency come up? No more fancy dancy clothes, shampoo and make-up – this committed person is going generic.
Stage Four for getting fit/getting out of debt
Remember that once you get started, it gets easier. Loading up on caffeine the first week is OK to get you out to exercise. As you work out more, you have more energy to work out more and the java jolt will become less and less important. Start off eating healthier – even if is the same amount of calories. The more fruit and veggies you eat, the less you eat in the long run because it fills you up with fiber.
If you break down during the week and have a piece of cake at Uncle Charlie’s retirement party, just be sure to exercise more that day.
As you learn to live on less financially you will realize that you didn’t need all of the crap you had before. You live on less. You make smarter choices.
Why not give it a shot right now? What have you got to lose (except hopefully debt and weight)?
Stay on the lookout for: Physical Fitness and Financial Fitness Go Hand and Hand: Part Two!