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Whittle Your Waist, Fatten Your Wallet

5 Goal-Setting Tips for Fitness and Finances

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Are you a genius at budgeting your finances but fall apart when it comes to setting aside time to work out (or vice versa)? Don't worry: Staying physically fit and managing a personal bank account actually have very distinct similarities. They're so similar, in fact, that you can easily use your skills from one area to boost your results in the other. Here are some simple tips to help you manage both your wallet and your waistline!
 
1. Financial Fit Tip: Plan for the big stuff. When you go on vacation, you don't just wake up one morning and decide to shell out thousands of dollars for last-minute flights and hotels, and you don't leave your co-workers unprepared for your absence. You plan. Planning your big expenditures ahead of time will save you serious dough. Whether it's a car, a vacation, or a home remodeling project, sock away money each month in an account set aside for that specific splurge. A couple hundred dollars set aside over the course of a year has much less impact than a couple of thousand does at the last minute.
 
Apply it to Physical Fitness: Just like you wouldn't go on a vacation at the last minute, you wouldn't wake up one morning and decide to run a marathon, either. If you're new to the exercise arena, take it slow when it comes to working out, and work up to greater challenges. You're more likely to avoid injuries and burnout if you ease into exercise. If distance running is your goal, find an online training plan that will help you build up gradually to your desired race length. If you want to do 20 push-ups or lose 100 pounds, start with five and go from there.
 
2. Financial Fit Tip: Make small changes for a big difference. A $3 coffee here, a $5 lottery tickets there--it's easy to brush off small expenses as purchases that don't really make a difference to your bottom line. But that $3 coffee several times a week comes close to $40 a month, which is enough to cover a full tank of gas for many drivers. See where your money goes on smaller purchases and decide which expenses you can nix that have little emotional impact--but big financial gains.
 
Apply it to Physical Fitness: Many people feel that working out isn't worth their time if they can't get to a gym for a solid hour. But it's time to rethink that mentality! According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, exercising for 10 minutes at a time still counts toward your weekly goal of 150 minutes of activity. So take that short walk to the post office, or climb the stairs at work instead of taking the elevator. The little things do matter and add up to something bigger!
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About The Author

Erin Whitehead Erin Whitehead
is a health and fitness enthusiast who co-founded the popular website FitBottomedGirls.com and co-wrote The Fit Bottomed Girls Anti-Diet book (available May 2014). Now busier than ever with two kids, she writes about healthy pregnancy and parenting at FitBottomedMamas.com.

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