Several years ago I discovered John Stone Fitness, a site that documented the life of a man whose body looked like this:
as he undertook a journey to make his body look like something else entirely:
Stone had a problem, and knew it. He educated himself, discovered a solution, and applied himself to achieving his physical fitness goals. We can learn some valuable lessons from Stone, and not just about health and wellness. Stone’s example is perfect for those of us trying to get our financial lives whipped into shape.
[John Stone Fitness] offers a section of the forum for fitness journals. Anyone can start one. They post their goals, their workouts, their diets, their accomplishments and setbacks. Others read them, provide suggestions, critiques, and motivation. Often, you can find someone who started out in, or is in your situation, and has the same goals. They can be a good source for reinforcement and motivation.
Most importantly, the desire to keep updating your journal with regular postings is a motivator to stay focused on your goals.
What about a section here for “Fiscal Fitness” journals? Everyone’s goal doesn’t have to be the same, some might want a house, some might want to be debt free, etc. They post their goals and provide regular updates on their progress.
Because I think this is a terrific idea, I’ve created a place for GRS readers to track their progress with fiscal fitness journals. These are like little mini-blogs where you can share your progress on the slow, sure path to wealth.
Brad is writing about his effort to reduce computer-related expenses; Squished18 is keeping a car journal; and Croz is making an effort to get into financial shape. But it’s Cady and Gnashchick who have shared the most compelling personal stories so far.
January 2004 I began the year facing a divorce, (“You can’t leave me in the middle of the holiday AMEX pay period,”) with a half-heartedly-used Quicken, and roughly $87,000 of debt. I helped him pack and get started on his new path and then returned to cry in front of my Quicken screen. 39 y.o. and broke beyond belief but with a good credit score because I pay everything on time. My new motto: “I do whatever Quicken tells me to.”
Gnashchick is pursuing a quest for financial independence:
In 2005 I decided that 8 to 5 was not for me. I decided that my goal is to build up enough capital that it will generate a small annual stipend that will allow me a regular, if very frugal, income. When I am 45/46, I will get off my golden hamster wheel and “retire.” Perhaps I’ll start my own small business, go back to freelancing, or take a part-time “fun” job more about the enjoyment than the paycheck. If I want to do nothing, then I can live on the stipend alone and be very frugal and do nothing. I have seven years left to reach my goal.
If you’re looking for support and feedback as you tackle your debt and save for retirement, I encourage you to start a fiscal fitness journal. As always, please let me know if you have any suggestions.
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