What working out has taught me about my financesPosted: January 3, 2012
So I really like to work out—not only does it help me lose weight but it keeps me sane too! Okay maybe not sane….but close enough. Anyways, when I do my work out there are several things that I always keep in mind so I am able to continue my working out tomorrow without any injuries. And the other day as I was working out, I also happened to be thinking about my finances (mainly due to the fact that I just happened to have finished updating my budget and goal sheets). Turns out there are a few things that just seem to resonate with working out and with budgeting (at least to me).
1) You may have rougher days but don’t let it make you stop. Maybe one day at the gym I end up not doing as well as I think I should. I can’t just let it get me down. What I do need to do is see what could be affecting my workout. Have I been eating right (I am not on a diet as per se but I’ve been eating a lot less junk as I actually tend to feel worse now), have I been sleeping? Did I drink enough water? All of these questions need to be asked (and a few more). So how does this apply to my finances? Well for starters, I used to be a very emotional spender. And I was always great at following a budget until I “blew it”. And I might have only gone over by a dollar or two, but that was the end of the world for me. I’d spend so much more after finding this out. I try very hard not to do that anymore. Yes, there are times when I go over budget or I don’t get to save as much as I want but it doesn’t mean that I should just stop budgeting. It means I need to reassess things. Do I need to budget more for gas and less for (fill in blank)? Or quite simply, I need to cut myself a break. Yes everyone has bad days but it doesn’t mean that I should simply stop doing things to make myself better (working out or budgeting).
2) Set mini goals to get you to a long-term goal. Yes I might want to run a marathon but it doesn’t mean that I can get up out of bed on the first day I start working out and just go run one. Well I could, but I wouldn’t recommend it. I need to start out small and work toward my end goal. For instance, maybe I want to get to running a mile under 10 minutes or running 5 days a week or blank miles a day. I need to work on these first and then build up to my larger goal. The same goes with my debt repayment. I would love to be debt free tomorrow but it won’t happen. If I just left that as my one goal, I’d probably give up and be done with it. Instead, I use mini goals to get me to my major goal.
3) It’s good to be accountable with someone. I go to the gym every work day (or just about) with someone from work. I can’t tell myself that I’m too tired, that I don’t feel like it or any other number of excuses that I could make if I was going by myself. And trust me, I’ve made them all. There have been two good things to come out of me paying for part of a family membership: a) I feel as if I have to go as I’m paying for it and b) the other person is going with me. When I am planning my budget, it is not just my budget. It’s ours. I need to make sure it gets done every month (bi monthly actually) and I need to make sure that it is getting used. After all, if I go to the effort of making it, I want it to get used.
4) You don’t feel better about it all the time. Yes, I like to work out but sometimes I really could take it or leave it. But I find that in the long run it is easier on me when I do it 5+ times a week than if I don’t. When I take “time off”, it is almost harder to get started again. I defiantly don’t feel like it or I’m too sore after one day back to want to go again. It’s the same with my budget. Granted I don’t get too sore, but if I don’t do it faithfully, I tend to fall into my old habits of not keeping track or finding myself scrambling at the end of the pay period to make things work.
So there you have it. The top 4 things that working out has taught me about my finances. What are your thoughts on this subject? Am I just plain weird?