Why Saving Money Is A Lot Like Losing Weight

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These 3 comparisons between saving money & losing weight give you the secret to maintain a healthy lifestyle - physically, AND financially! #loseweight #savemoney #newhabits #slowandsteady #lifechange

In a day in age where we have access to all sorts of health food, exercise equipment, and free workout videos on YouTube, it’s a wonder more than one-third of Americans are overweight.

Just eat less and exercise more — they cry — but if you’ve ever attempted a feat like that, it can be really difficult for someone who is told 20 different ways to do just that.

  • Should I eat low fat and less calories, or follow a real food plan that encourages fat and eliminates processed foods?
  • Should I start a walking regimen, or work on toning muscles to burn fat?
  • Should I try Slim-fast, or Nutri-system, or Weight Watchers, or some other program that I see all the time on TV?

The options are pretty overwhelming, and any one of those habits takes time to implement…time that you probably don’t have a whole lot of to give.

Saving money is the exact same way. Die-hard couponers say the first step in decreasing an “overweight” grocery bill is to get out the scissors.  Others say credit cards are bad and to cut them up immediately – use cash only! While some think they are OK to use as long as you pay them off every month to take advantage of rewards.

With so many voices telling us what we should and should not do, eventually, we just stop trying. The 5 minute high that comes from eating a big bowl of chocolate ice cream or buying a new pair of shoes is just too tempting to resist, and we start the endless cycle of hating who we’ve become, yet again.

While I haven’t found the perfect solution to a thin waist and a fat wallet, there are a few ways you can pick yourself back up and try again – this time with a little more determination and a big change in your mindset.

1. Tell Yourself No

Self-talk may sound a little silly, but it can do wonders for life change, both in money matters and in your health. Tell yourself what goals you want to accomplish in the next few weeks or months, then write each one of them down on a list you will see everyday. Mine is hanging right on the front of my fridge so I won’t forget what I’m striving towards!

Post-it notes are also one of my favorite reminder tools. Use them on candy if you are trying to cut down on sweets, or place them on your credit card, and consistently ask yourself if this purchase is worth the guilt you’ll feel afterwards, or if it helps you reach one of your future financial goals.

Then work on creating a foolproof process to help you get there.

2. Start Small

Whenever I feel completely overwhelmed, it’s often because I’m trying to change too much, all at once. Instead of putting my focus on doing one thing well, I picked 5-6 different things to do half-heartedly.

When starting a new healthy living routine, it’s easy to focus on eating right and exercising all at the same time, but choosing to work on just one aspect is much more doable. Once 30 minutes of exercise each morning becomes a habit, then introduce more fruits and veggies into your diet, or say no to an extra dessert.

When it comes to money, it’s really easy to overwhelm yourself by tackling debt, start an emergency fund, buy a new car, and still have enough saved for a Summer vacation. Go back through your list and decide what is important for you to do first. It may be that you actually need to start with a budget, to get your money under control, then add additional goals on top of that.

It’s the baby steps that will lead you to a new and improved lifestyle, and one you can be proud of.

3. Switch Up Your Routine

One of the main reasons I fail so often at change, is because I get bored doing the same thing all the time. Exercise used to be my nemesis, because I just could not imagine walking a treadmill everyday, or doing the same Jillian Michaels workout 5 days a week. It drives me crazy!

While I’m all for developing a consistent routine, I’m also a big advocate of changing it up so you have variety within that routine. For example, I still exercise every morning, but alternate outdoor walks with M5 Fitness, a membership site that gives you access to a whole range of videos for less than a month at the gym.

If you start to get bored with saving, resist the urge to spend by trying something completely new.

Learn about couponing, or try making a pantry staple or cleaning solution from scratch. Purge your closet and host a swap, or sell books you’ll never read again on Amazon. One of the reasons I love talking about saving money and living frugally, is because there are so many ways in which to do those things!

I know how easy it is to give up when trying to implement a big change, but I also know you can do this.

Look at yourself in the mirror, and give yourself that pep talk. Tell yourself that today is going to be different and you are going to say NO to the things that weigh you down, and YES to positive changes. – both in your physical, and your financial health!

Because it’s not about being the best right away, but more about the daily progress we make towards our goals. It’s the only way you’ll challenge yourself to become the person you really want to be…and really succeed.

What’s your secret to lifelong change?

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  1. I totally agree! I’ve always seen the two as very similar. No matter what method you use, (coupons, cash only, habit tracking, etc as well as low carb, low fat, weightwatchers etc. ) it all comes down to calories in vs calories out and dollars in vs dollars out. Too many calories in means weight gain, and too many dollars out means debt.

  2. So true! I don’t think I’ve ever thought of it this way. I especially like what you said about switching up your routine to stay motivated- I find that I get burnt out on both counts- exercising and being frugal- and there’s times I REALLY just want to order the pizza (bad for both areas!) instead of making dinner… but I think I’m going to employ your idea and look for new ways to save money (and be a good steward of my body) when I feel like calling it quits.

    1. I saw a quote somewhere recently that said if you don’t want to start over, than stop giving up. That really encouraged me to keep trying, especially on those days when, like you, all I can think about is ordering a pizza! 🙂 Thanks so much for your comment, Abigail!

  3. We’re hoping to see some of that happen naturally this month while we do a no spend challenge. I’m going to pay attention to portions more, not necessarily “diet”, and see if that along with no eating out and not spending keeps more money in the bank and less fat on the hips!

    Of course, when one area of your life is out of whack, others areas tend to fall flat as well.

    1. That’s a great idea – portions are super important yet it’s easy to let them get out of control. And I love what you said about one area of your life affecting another. So true!

  4. I’ve always thought the two are pretty similar myself…and even thought about writing a blog post about it once a upon a time (in the drafts folder I bet;-). The end result of living healthier, can also be saving a whole lotta medical expenses later on too!

  5. I spend money to save money! It’s funny, this was on my list to write about on my own blog… when I get around to it.

    I’ve noticed that when something is cheap I buy more than I need, waste it and in the long run spend more on the same product. I do this in everything – from clothes, to car gas (I can leave the car running – it didn’t cost me as much to fill up) to furniture.

    Recently, I’ve tested this on something seemingly trivial. I normally get the cheap dish soap. Yes, dish soap. Normally, I get an inexpensive brand that isn’t terrible, but also isn’t good for the planet, my hands or my senses. So instead of getting another bottle of some run of the mill dish soap, I purchased the double the price Basil dish soap by Mrs. Meyers.

    And I stopped wasting it. And I enjoyed doing the dishes more because it smells amazing. And so far I have had my Mrs. Meyers longer than I’d have had my Dawn because I realize the cost and I’m making the decision to not waste – at nearly $5 a bottle I can’t afford to! It is better for me. It is better for the environment, and yup – it’s better for my wallet.

    Same goes for so much more. I’m making the effort in my life that instead of buying crap, I’m spending a little more on what I’m going to have for a lot longer.

    1. Ah yes, the famous list of blog posts – I’m not sure I’ll ever get to even half of them! I totally agree with you about cheaper not always being better, especially in terms of quality. I recently bought a Mrs. Meyers cleaner as well, and I actually don’t mind cleaning anymore. It smells so good!

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