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Have you ever considered the connection between your money and fitness level? Well, I decided to start this blog and called it Run The Money for the specific reason that I believe they are connected. If you’re reading my posts, you are a person who wants to run their money and not let their money run them. You want to be fiscally fit as well as physically fit. I firmly believe that financial and physical health go hand in hand.
The relationship can certainly be in varying degrees from person to person. However, the same mindset that comes with financial discipline can be attributed to a regimen of exercise and eating healthy.
So, with that said, I want to use two fundamental aspects of both financial health and physical health to illustrate this concept. For financial health, we will use the basis of your financial life: the budget. For physical health, we will use running because it's one of the simplest and cheapest ways to work out.
How does running relate to budgeting? I'm glad you asked. Let's explore the relationship now.
We will start here. I eluded to it in the opening paragraph. You need discipline in all areas of your life if you want to maintain a high degree of financial and physical health.
Consider our example of budgeting and running. Staying on budget and saving money requires a similar mindset and disciplined lifestyle to keeping a running schedule. The monetary sacrifice of budgeting and saving like the physical sacrifice of running will improve your overall mindset and self-satisfaction.
If you’re a competitive person, this could be fun for you. You can compete with yourself as you learn to be a better budgeter. As you increase your mileage and ability to breath better while running longer, you could challenge yourself with your budget each week. How can you cut an extra $5 or $10 from your food bill let’s say? You’re challenging your mind as you challenge your body.
If you told all of your friends that you signed up for a 5K and ended up not running it, how would you feel? Probably pretty deflated. Running and having that social accountability from your peers is crucial to sticking with it. The same is true for your budget. Have somebody hold you accountable. It could be your spouse as you make the budget together, a good friend, a colleague, or a mentor. The point is you need to make living on a budget something you’re accustomed to. Make it lifestyle like being a runner becomes a lifestyle. I’m a runner and I’m a budgeter.
More than likely, you have a running app on your phone like MapMyRun or Nike Plus. This lets you track your miles and time. Hopefully, you’re seeing improvement.
The same holds true again with budgeting. As you become accustomed to your budgeted living each week and month, it gets easier. You learn to do without. And that is incredibly motivating because doing without means you’re holding onto more. It’s very inspiring – and you’re the one doing it! As Dave Ramsey says, “If you will live like no one else, later you can live like no one else.”
Unfortunately, even though we’re disciplined and make progress, we will fail. We might regress in our running and have an off week. With our budget, we may have an unexpected expense and we don’t have a complete emergency fund set up yet. Let me tell you – it’s OK. Things happen. The point is – how do you respond? Do you lie down and take it? Or do keep pushing forward? That’s what matters. Henry Ford once said, “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” Let that be you.
Initially, you were likely skeptical of the financial and physical health relationship. You may have thought it was a bit of a reach. But, I hope my illustration on fundamental aspects of both topics helps to seriously question where you are right now.
I know it's hard to change. It's difficult to go from eating junk food and sitting on the couch to putting real food into your body and running a few times a week. Budgeting and being responsible with your money is a real challenge if you spent most of your life spending carelessly and maxing out your credit cards.
I get it because I have been where you are. Let me tell you something. You can make a change and pay off that debt. Getting off the couch and running 2 or more days a week is not only a possibility, it's completely attainable.
As with anything in life, you just need to take that first step.
So, how are you doing? How are your financial and physical health these days? What can you improve on? Let us know below.