Two resolutions probably top everyone’s list this year (and maybe every year): Lose weight and get out of debt. Well, strange as it seems, the means to accomplish both of these are the same.
So say Ellie Kay and Danna Demetre, the authors of Lean Body, Fat Wallet. Kay is a financial expert and author of several books on how to spend wisely. Demetre is a fitness expert and survivor of eating disorders.
“Learning to implement healthy, lasting habits and still enjoy life is the core objective of this book,” Kay says.
If the two goals seem disparate, consider these simple tips for doing both:
- In a restaurant, order water instead of soda to drink.
- Learn portion control: Split a large meal with your dining partner.
- Don’t buy expensive foods from weight-loss programs.
- Don’t buy pricey skin creams; fish oil makes a wonderful substitute.
- Work out at home instead of a gym or a paid class.
The book also offers tips on how to fight temptation, whether it be from food or shopping; how to care for long-term investments; and how to raise frugal kids.
Besides practical tips, the book also offers some insight into your psyche — ways to discover what motivates you to overeat or overspend. The authors urge readers to take small steps toward a goal rather than expecting immediate, dramatic results – otherwise known as being realistic.
The most important habit to change is the “You Are What You Think” habit, they say. If you think of yourself as fat, or a shopaholic, then that’s what you will be.
“Watch your thoughts,” the book says. “They become your words.” Words then become actions, actions become habits, habits shape your character and that determines your destiny.
The book also details how sloppy spending can really take a bite out of your budget. For example, a $5 cup of designer coffee every day can add up to $9,000 in just five years – money you could have put aside and invested in something that pays a return.
“We all tend to follow the paths of least resistance,” the authors say in the book’s conclusion. “Fortunately, that is changeable if you give yourself some time and a little grace.”
Lean Body, Fat Wallet is available for $15.99 in bookstores; find it for less at Amazon.