A Richer Understanding: Outside is Free

Of the similarities between physical fitness and financial fitness, commitment and patience remain constant. Throughout elementary, junior and high school I was active in track, football, basketball, soccer and marching band. Although not a conscious thought, exercise and fitness remained a part of my life. There were games of pick up, softball or bowling with co-workers, even yard work (seasonal; snow, grass, leaves) and washing the car were a constant source of physical activity.

However, less than two years ago I found myself overweight and in debt. I’ve been walking, running, lifting, crunching, cycling and swimming my way back into shape. Simultaneously I’ve applied the same discipline to reaching my financial goals. After a conversation with the owner of a local running store last weekend I put more thought into what it takes to keep your body and finances in good shape.


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I’m currently paying for a YMCA metro membership and a basic Planet Fitness membership. The YMCA provides access to swimming pools and indoor tracks, I keep the Planet Fitness membership primarily for 24-hour access. There are times when I workout very, very early or very late due to my schedule. Consistently I am at the Y or PF six times per week, for me the memberships are worth it. However, with the weather breaking and more opportunities to “be” outside, I am considering canceling the gym memberships.

Outside is Free

The fundamentals remain the same with your body or your finances.

Commitment. You have to desire to change your lifestyle, this will require discipline.

Patience. You didn’t put the weight on (or debt on) overnight, so slow and steady. Create a habit at a sustainable pace and stick with it.

Support System. There are a group of us from the office that meet and walk every Saturday on a local greenway. We encourage and motivate each other to reach our goals, find/ build your system.

Do-Ability. I’ve had two incredible vacations this year; spring break with the kids and an extended weekend with my wife for our anniversary. During both I made time for running and swimming, although I did not want to I found the energy. The same applied for saving money and planning for the trip(s), I found the energy to cut back on expenses and created ways to earn a little extra money.

Financial and physical fitness is a consistent theme here on RetirementSavvy, what are some of the similarities you observe?


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