While talking to a client recently about some changes to her financial situation, I started talking to her about my philosophy on exercise. You see, 5 years ago I was allergic to exercise. I had tried everything from gym memberships to Yoga classes and nothing stuck. I would get in to it for 3-6 months and then something would break the cycle and I would quit on it, mostly because I wasn’t really enjoying it in the first place.
The other problem is that I love food. I have modified my food intact as much as I am willing but if I want to continue to eat the way I do (and not put on 50 kgs) then I needed to find something that would work for me. 2 and a half years ago I came to the conclusion that I needed a Personal Trainer and managed to find the perfect one for me. My trainer is someone who has been overweight and so also enjoys food so she does not mentally punish me when I eat cake, although sometimes she does physically punish me. Having said that, working with her has never felt like a punishment. I am now able to eat almost whatever I want and maintain my weight with lots of fairly intense, but enjoyable exercise, which has become a way of life for me.
I was telling my client that one of the girls that I train with commented in one of our sessions that she does not eat cake and I said to her “I think you have missed the point, I work as hard as I do so I can eat cake”. At this point my client laughed and said “Andrea, do you realise that you incorporate that same philosophy to financial planning”. And she is right. You see I believe that it is important to put something aside today for the future, but I am also a big believer in living today and not giving up everything for a future that is uncertain. When I get my clients to prepare a budget, we do not strip out everything that is important to them, but if there is nothing left over to put aside for tomorrow then we prioritise the things they are spending their money on and agree on what they are willing to strip back.
So next time you are thinking about how to manage your finances, consider financial planning so you can eat cake.