Learning To Save Money Is Like Learning To Lose Weight

If you’ve never lost control of your budget or your weight, you can’t truly appreciate how great it feels to take command of either, enact a pragmatic strategy and see results. If you become skilled at managing one aspect, it can lead to success in another.

Well Heeled Blog explains the connection she found in these key aspects of well-being:

* Monitoring numbers and doing something about them. Whether your problem area is calorie intake from snacking or minimal, regular expenditures, controlling money or weight are both all about gathering the courage to take stock of where you stand regularly and making changes to set those numbers in line.

* Realizing that there are two sides to the equations. No matter how much you make, awful spending habits will make you poor, just as a lack of eating discipline can undermine any workout regimen.

* You will fail if you make yourself hate life. Being too restrictive about your habits will backfire and do more harm than good. If you need certain food indulgences brighten your life, you’ll need to keep them around to stick to your diet. And you’ll need to keep spending money on small things that make you happy to keep you motivated at focusing on the big financial picture.

What Losing Weight Taught Me About Saving Money [Well Heeled Blog]


Edit Your Comment

  1. Blueskylaw says:

    Does gravity and the bending of light around dense objects have anything to do with this?

    • Cat says:

      I have been experimenting with this theory. I speculate that as my weight increases, my mass will bend light to such a degree that I will become invisible.

      I have some indication that it is working. I have noticed that the most attractive women no longer see me.

  2. maxamus2 says:

    What continually blows my mind is, so many people have no clue how much money they spend, whether it be daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, etc…

    If you asked them how much they make a month and how much they spend they are clueless.

    Then all they do is complain when they have big credit card debt.

    • zerogspacecow says:

      I understand that, because I was the same way until, like, a few weeks ago. :)

      Whether I’ll stick to my current budget tracking or not is yet to be seen, but I’m pretty happy with my results so far. My main motivation was my fiancee and I joining our finances, so I wanted to keep track of our budgets and such to make sure the money was getting moved around properly.

      To me, the problem is that it’s nearly impossible to track what you spend AFTER the fact. Bank statements give you so little information, all you get is a dollar amount and a jumble of letters for a store name. To be successful, you really need to record what you’re spending AS YOU SPEND IT.

      I’ve also noticed setting yourself a average daily budget for something like food helps a lot, because mentally you’re competing with yourself to see how low you can get your average.

  3. pop top says:

    But fat people deserve to be fat for being lazy, just like poor people deserve to be poor for the same reason!

    • Tacojelly says:

      I hope you’re being sarcastic.

    • hmburgers says:

      I assume you’re being sarcastic, but it actually brings up a point which is what some people will diet and exercise much more than average and still be overweight. Some people will do everything they can to save money, but still be poor.

      In this case it’s not an issue of being fat or being poor, it’s an issue of learning to make the right decisions when it comes to consumption and distribution of available dollars/calories–you might still be fat, or still poor… but hopefully less so than it you simply did nothing.

  4. Tacojelly says:

    I agree people should be more responsible about their money, but I think more of this comes from so many people working for unfair wages.

    Even living a frugal life can be a headache if you’re only pulling down around 1000.00 a month.

    While I don’t recommend this to everybody, I spent enough to create a reasonable standard of living and simply maintained that as I got better and better jobs.

    Like Adam Corolla says, “instead of trying to save 50 cents, figure out how to make a dollar.”

    • hmburgers says:

      Like Adam Corolla says, “instead of trying to save 50 cents, figure out how to make a dollar.”

      Or, figure out how to save 50 cents /and/ make a dollar.

      Typical American solution to a problem–don’t learn how to be conservative, learn how to get more resources.

  5. dush says:

    I’m on the indulgences diet.

  6. nocar says:

    Must see video from Consumerist in 2007, the secret to financial success:
    Click for video.

  7. Step Away from the Mall says:

    It really does boil down to balance and discipline, doesn’t it? If you save a little at a time it adds up and becomes a habit. But if you try and do some extreme spending freeze and don’t change the daily habits you end up with chubby finances eventually… it’s just a matter of time…

  8. zerogspacecow says:

    Success also tends to lead to success for both as well.

    If your goal is to lose weight, and you manage to lose 20lbs, then you’re going to work hard to make sure you continue that progress, and extra hard to make sure you don’t gain it back. Otherwise all of that work was for nothing.

    The same goes for saving money. If you don’t have a dime in the bank, then it’s pretty easy to blow your paycheck. Because, who cares? It’s not like you have any savings to add to anyway. But, if you’ve managed to put away some money, then you’re going to want to have a harder time spending money, because you want to continue that progress towards building savings. You’ll also go much further out of your way to avoid spending too much, and having to dip into your savings.

    In both cases it’s the mentality of: I worked damn hard for the progress I’ve made so far, I’m sure as hell not going to let it go to waste!

  9. suez says:

    If I didn’t have to keep spending most of my “spare” cash on uncovered dental and medical bills, I could save more. Maybe if I just stopped trying to fix these issues, I’d be unable to eat properly and thus lose more weight. Win-win!!

  10. eturowski says:

    Is this why poor people tend to be fat?

  11. Queep misses WarOtter :( says:

    For me, my goal of saving money directly led to me losing weight. In order to save money on food (especially eating out), I decided to eat less for dinner and save the leftovers for lunch for another day. It was purely a financial decision, but then when I weighed myself at a later point, I noticed I had dropped 5 pounds.

  12. Cicadymn says:

    I hate everything when I wake up at 6 AM on my workout days. I curse everything. I damn existence.

    Then by the time I’m done with my workout I’m extra happy and feeling really good. It’s weird.

  13. jerry101 says: