Why Saving Money Is Like Losing Weight

Homegrown lettuce

In the past couple of years, a sedentary job and a little over-eating has meant I’ve been putting a little bit of weight on, and it’s come to the point now where I feel that I really need to do something about it.

Whilst I’ve been developing a plan to combat the extra pounds I’m carrying, it has struck me how much losing weight is like saving money:

  • Motivation – both saving money and weight loss require a lot of motivation – for example, cutting out the unnecessary spending, or getting up off your backside and doing some exercise, are not always that easy. Without some sort of motivation, it’s probably pointless even starting.
  • Goals – to help with motivation, it’s a good idea to have a goal or goals. With dieting, this could be so that you look good on your wedding photos. For saving money, it could be so that you can afford that wedding dress in the first place. In either case, make your goals sensible, or they could have the opposite effect and become demotivating.
  • Advice – with both you’ll find that a lot of people have advice for you on how it’s best to acheive your goals. Try to choose a method that suits you – something that you’re most likely to follow, rather than the latest fad or fashion.
  • Take it slow & steady – this is probably more relevant to dieting but I guess it could be the same with saving money. It’s generally better for you, and you’re more likely to keep the weight off if you lose the pounds slowly. Similarly, if you save money slowly and make it part of your everyday life then you’re more likely to succeed.
  • Identify your problems – are you eating too much, or not getting enough exercise, or are you not earning enough, or spending above your means? If you don’t know the problem, then it’s difficult to fix it.
  • Track your progress – with both, it’s important to note where you’re starting from, in terms of weight or debt, and track your progress carefully, to see what is working or where you can make improvements to your regime (there’s a multitude of tools available to use to help you in both cases with this).
  • Discipline – once you know what works and you’ve got yourself into a routine, discipline will keep you on the right track into the future, rather than just doing it for a few months here and there, and letting old problems resurface.

Of course, all that looks great on paper, but when it comes to actually doing it, it’s a different matter. I’ll be revisiting this post over the next couple of months to make sure I’m taking my own advice. Would you add anything else to the list? If so, leave them in the comments.

Creative Commons License photo credit: dichohecho

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