Keep Your Finances Fit

The crash diet. It’s practically an American institution. Can anyone keep track of what’s good and bad anymore? Is it all carbs are bad or just gluten? Are we supposed to eat egg yolks or toss them? Is drinking milk better than exposure to soy protein?

One thing for sure is that these fads simply do not work. Not only is cutting calories and, in many instances entire food groups, not sustainable, it isn’t good for your body. When you eat less than your body needs, your metabolism slows, which actually makes it harder to lose weight. According to, crash dieting can cause “negative moods, emotional stress, social pressures to eat more, as well feelings of intense hunger that prompt overeating.” A healthy lifestyle and exercise are the way to go! Creating sustainable habits that you can commit to for the rest of your life are far more effective than cutting calories because eventually, you will fall off the wagon.

Just as crash diets don’t work for maintaining a healthy body, they don’t work when it comes to your finances either. To keep your finances fit, the most important thing is changing your day to day lifestyle. Treat saving like you treat your morning spin class – it’s a part of how you live your life.

Other helpful habits you can incorporate to keep your finances fit are tracking your “problem areas,” each month. Identify the areas you spend most on, whether it be going out to dinner or shopping, and track each purchase. Once you get one problem area under control, move onto the next. You can find more information on ways to cut spending in Investing Foundations.

Another lifetime improvement you can add is getting in the habit of saving automatically. You have heard of the practice of dividing your plate up at meal times into protein, veggies, and grains. Do the same with your monthly income – divide up each paycheck into expenses, savings, and spending.

No matter how often you exercise, you won’t be able to maintain a desirable weight if you constantly eat pizza and cake – you need to commit. And that’s not to say you can never have a dish of ice cream, just monitor your intake of sweets and salty snacks. The same goes for your budget – that’s not saying you can never splurge, just don’t make it a monthly habit.

Just as healthy eating and exercise go hand in hand, so do saving and investing. It’s not enough to tuck money away in a savings account, you need to invest. Many individuals make the mistake of thinking that investing can wait. The sooner you amend this way of thinking, the better. By investing now, you can earn a greater percentage return on your money and get closer to the future you want.

Investing for the first time can be like trying a new exercise routine. There’s fear you won’t be able to keep up. To help new investors gain confidence, we offer free practice accounts and free educational content. You can take time to learn the basics and figure out what strategy works for you. Quit dieting! Start making lifelong changes and start investing. Download our mobile app and invest on the go.

By Nicole Dugan

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Keep Your Finances Fit

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