How Budgeting is like Maintaining a Healthy Weight

When I started writing this blog, I didn’t think to myself, “What if I combine the two most unpopular topics I can think of into one piece – budgeting and weight loss?” But that’s pretty much how it turned out!

 

Your Budget and Your Weight

 

Yes, you read that right. We’re going to talk about your money and your war with the bathroom scale all in the same blog.

 

Why do we hate these topics so much when getting them right is so good for us? I mean, isn’t it a magical moment when we’ve eaten well, engaged in some sort of physical activity, and still have some money in the bank all in the same day?

 

Still, generally these are things we don’t like to think about as much as we should. And why? I have a few ideas:

 

  1. It’s imposing limitations on things we think make us happy.
  2. It requires sacrifice.
  3. It means favoring future rewards over instant gratification.

 

I’m sure we could create an even longer list of all the reasons that we despise budgeting and weight management, but that wouldn’t be productive. So, let’s get down to the facts. And the truth is this:

 

Budgeting, like maintaining a healthy weight,

is really good for you, now and in the future.

 

First, let’s tackle your budget

 

Budgeting is a tool, and it is one of the most powerful arrows in your quiver. It’s extremely basic: it’s understanding what comes in and what goes out. That’s all. We can make it a whole lot more complicated and sophisticated, but we don’t have to in order to see results.

The bottom line is that budgeting is all about making choices. Each day, you are faced with big money questions and small money questions.

 

  • Small choice: make your coffee at home or swing by the coffee shop?
  • Bigger choice: go on the vacation that costs $4,000 or do a stay-cation that costs much less?

 

The daily choices we make on an ongoing basis translate into the budgeting decisions that impact our future in a big way. Small decisions = big outcomes over time.

 

Okay. But what does that have to do with weight?

 

The same is true with weight. We each have a number of calories that we can consume on a daily basis to maintain our weight. With some simple calculations, you can get quite specific to your personal situation. Think of those calories as “spendable.” Each time you eat something, you’re spending calories. Each time you make a food choice, you’re either spending the calories or banking them.

 

Small choice: adding a tablespoon of sugar to your coffee or foregoing it.

Big choice: joining one of many popular food movements (I Quit Sugar, Whole30, Atkins, etc.)

 

Over time, the spending or saving of calories makes a meaningful impact on your health, just as spending or saving money makes an impact on financial health.

 

Here are two simple concepts

 

Through my work with clients, I’ve learned a few strategies for success when it comes to budgeting. Here are two of my favorites:

 

  1. Save first. People have a tendency to spend what is available to them. Take out the portion of your income that should be saved first, through 401(k) contributions, IRA savings, or transfers to emergency savings accounts. Do it when you’re paid by a paycheck deduction or immediately after the money hits your bank account.
  2. Save automatically. Don’t rely on yourself to make the decision each month to save money. There’s a chance it won’t happen and we can’t afford that. Schedule your savings weekly or monthly so it happens without you lifting a finger.

 

Now, imagine that day in the future when you’re living a lifestyle made possible by the budgeting you did years earlier. You’re sitting in a home that you can afford and thinking about all those small decisions that have led to a better life overall.  You stand up from your chair, pick up your car keys…

 

…and head to the gym.

 

Hey. You’re a work in progress.

 

 

Andrea Blackwelder Financial Planner

Andrea Blackwelder is a Certified Financial Planner ™ Practitioner and the co-founder of Wisdom Wealth Strategies, a fee-based financial planning and investment advisory practice. Andrea looks at your complex financial planning puzzle and assists you with the best options and financial strategies that align with your financial needs. To contact Andrea, email andrea.blackwelder@wisdomws.com.

Share This