Getting out of debt, and then building wealth, and weight loss really have a lot in common. Most people weigh more than they want. They also have a lot less money and a lot more debt than they want. It isn’t that they don’t want to have a healthy weight or have financial security. The problem is that their lifestyle doesn’t match their goals.
People know what causes them to be overweight. They eat out too much. They eat too much when they eat out. They have that large soda with dinner instead of a glass of water. They eat desert when they aren’t hungry. They don’t exercise as much as they should. And yes, some have a harder time than others due to their metabolism.
To maintain a healthy weight requires a lifestyle in which you take in only as many calories as you need and get exercise. Your meals need to be the right size. You can’t be getting a lot of extra calories at happy hour or at potlucks regularly. You can’t be stopping for 1500 calorie coffee drinks twice a week.
People also know how to build wealth. At the very least, you spend less than you make and put some into savings. You put money into your 401K (at least 10%, 15% would be better) and you spread it across 4-5 mutual funds. You know that the kids are going to want to go to college, so you drop $2000 per year per child into an educational IRA or a 529 (just put $340 per child away each month like any other of your bills). If you are able, put a bit more for college in a separate savings account because you know college will be expensive. Maybe even create mutual fund accounts that you will give to your kids when they leave the home to help them get started with an emergency fund (check with your accountant to get the tax planning right).
If you’re a bit more motivated, you put some money into an individual IRA. If you’re really motivated, each time your savings account reaches about $15,000, you send $5000 off to a mutual fund, or even start buying a few individual stocks of solid growth companies that have shown they can make money and have lots of room to expand.
With weight loss, many people go on diets, maybe lose some weight, but then it all comes back again within a year or two. The trouble is they stop exercising and go back to their old eating habits. There is always an excuse. To keep weight off and live at a healthy weight you need to have the lifestyle that will maintain that weight. You can’t just go on a crash diet and expect to keep the weight off.
Likewise, you can’t stick $50 in a savings account one month but then pull out the credit cards each time there is an excuse. You can’t take out more and more debts each year and then expect to work overtime for a few months and have enough money to last you through 30 years of retirement. You need to plan and budget your expenses so you can see where the money goes and make sure you are doing the things you need to do to reach your goals, You need to live below your income each month, not just during the fall or spring. You need to be putting money away religiously since it is a lot easier to grow wealth when you have interest on your side instead of against you.
For keeping a healthy weight or a healthy fiscal life, you need to change the way you live.
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Disclaimer: This blog is not meant to give financial planning or tax advice. It gives general information on investment strategy, picking stocks, and generally managing money to build wealth. It is not a solicitation to buy or sell stocks or any security. Financial planning advice should be sought from a certified financial planner, which the author is not. Tax advice should be sought from a CPA. All investments involve risk and the reader as urged to consider risks carefully and seek the advice of experts if needed before investing.