Putting First Things First

The morning is my time. Five days a week, I'm up at 5:30. I come downstairs, sip a diet soda or a cup of tea (lapsang souchong), and spend a few minutes checking e-mail and approving comments. By 5:45, I'm in my gym clothes and out the door.

I walk through the quiet streets of my neighborhood, greeting the birds and the cats and the dogs. I admire the flowers. I notice all the small changes in the yards. If it's cold, I jog until I'm warm. I walk down past the retirement village to the railroad tracks and then make the five-minute crossing of the river. On the other side, I walk along the tracks through the tall, stately trees until I reach the highway, which I follow into town.

After 2-1/2 miles and 45 minutes, I reach my Crossfit gym. I spend the next hour working out with the men and women of the 6:30 class. We run and jump and climb and stretch and lift heavy objects into the air. We sweat together and we joke together. We share our lives. After an hour of exercise, I walk home again, basking in the sun, soaking in the warmth.

I spend the next 45 minutes showering and shaving and eating breakfast. I down half a pound of organic chicken sausage, half a cup of egg whites, a piece of whole grain toast with local raw honey, and usually another diet soda. (I don't like coffee, so diet soda is my caffeine vice.) My goal is to be out the door again by nine o'clock, walking up to the office where I'll spend the rest of the day writing and talking about money. I know I have nine hours of work ahead of me, but that's okay. I'm able to make it through the day feeling happy and strong because I know that in the first 3-1/2 hours I've been awake, I've walked five miles, spent an hour at Crossfit, and consumed a (relatively) healthy breakfast.

Note: Let's not debate the healthfulness of my breakfast here. I know it's not what you would choose. But based on my own needs, this is a solid meal.

 

Twice a week, I sleep in. And once every couple of months, I take a week off. During the winter, I drive to the gym instead of walk or bike. But five days a week, I make the mornings mine.

Obvious parallels
I try not to belabor the obvious parallels between fitness and finance. Most folks understand the connection. But today I want to point out some ways in which my fitness regimen is directly related to my financial regimen. Here are a few ways to put first things first with your personal finances, helping you to pursue your financial goals:

    • Invest as much as possible as early as possible. The single greatest factor in determining how much you'll have saved for retirement is how much you save. And the earlier you start saving, the more the extraordinary power of compound returns can work for you.

 

    • Build your emergency fund as soon as possible. Shit happens. People get sick, things break, and fate is fickle. An emergency fund is like self-insurance: It's a way to ameliorate the bad stuff that happens around you. Build your emergency savings as soon as possible, and when you can, build it bigger.

 

    • Pay your bills as they arrive. In the olden days, I'd wait to pay my bills until the last minute. Why pay them early? I figured waiting let me use my money longer. This just led me to live paycheck-to-paycheck, though. Now I pay my bills when I get them (and sometimes I overpay!), which makes life easier. It relieves pressure.

 

    • Get out of debt as soon as you can. I hope this one is obvious. Debt drains your soul — and your bank account. When you eliminate debt, you eliminate burdensome interest payments, freeing that cash for other uses. I'm a fan of the debt snowball, which lets you pay off your smaller debts quickly so that you can use the increased cash flow to pay off even more debt.

 

The bottom line is this: Don't procrastinate. The sooner you do the hard things, the important things, the right things, the sooner you'll reap the rewards. Sure, it's good to allow a little room for the things you want, but do your best to put first things first. By doing so, you set yourself up for success.

Best of all, by putting first things first, you shift your financial balance. You eventually reach a point where the good habits are ingrained and you've managed to achieve a state where the you can reap the rewards of having made the smart choices. I'm there now.

Because I have a substantial emergency fund, because I set aside money for retirement before I do anything else, and because I pay my bills as they arrive, I know that anything I have left over is mine to do with as I please. Putting first things first seems like a chore for a while (by which I mean months or even years), but eventually it becomes liberating.

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LifeAndMyFinances
LifeAndMyFinances
9 years ago

I think your greatest point out of the four is “Get Out of Debt”. Without debt, there is so much extra money at the end of the month. It truly is unbelievable! My wife and I started this debt-free journey about a year and a half ago. Once we set our minds to this goal, it took us only 14 months to pay off $18,000 in debt! It really is a great feeling. I like the sounds of your day by the way. Knowing that you can make each day your own must be a great way to wake up… Read more »

Jack Foley
Jack Foley
9 years ago

yea its like a cancel, the opposite to compound interest..

Jane
Jane
9 years ago

My first thought when I read this was not that someone was going to criticize your breakfast but rather your beverage of choice. Diet drinks are the bete noire of so many these days (not me, I love them!). I wouldn’t be surprised if someone called it poison in a can or something equally hyperbolic. But I’m glad you decided at least to face it head on and put a request not to debate that part of the article.

Jan
Jan
9 years ago
Reply to  Jane

But my dentist does blame them for my teeth falling apart (yes, diet). Just saying.

Elizabeth
Elizabeth
9 years ago
Reply to  Jan

My dentist is pretty stern about that too. 😉 The real disaster is when people are drinking them all day long at work, etc. Drinking any acidic or sugary beverage is like bathing your teeth in sugar.

But I’m getting off topic 😉

No Debt MBA
No Debt MBA
9 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth

JD also mentions tea – maybe he can slowly make the switch to black tea instead of sodas? Cheaper, but I imagine the switch would be a lot more appealing in the winter.

Charlotte
Charlotte
9 years ago
Reply to  Jane

I agree that diet soda is bad but I’m not perfect either. I eat bad food too (baked goods are my downfall) but I try to eat more healthy food.

JD – May I suggest adding a piece of fruit to your breakfast?
Excellent job on the exercise routine!

Jack Foley
Jack Foley
9 years ago
Reply to  Charlotte

yea starting the day with fruit really gets the body going..

laura
laura
9 years ago
Reply to  Jane

I used to be a total soda addict. After some time traveling in Europe, where people drink a lot of seltzer/ sparkling water, I figured out that it’s really the carbonation and the joy of a cold beverage that I enjoy. So, after we got sick of hauling lots of expensive bottles of water into our 4th floor apartment, we started making our own carbonated water with a simple CO2 cylinder. At a cost of fractions of pennies per 2 liter bottle. A triple benefit– low cost, extremely healthy, and great for the planet. I no longer miss the sugar/… Read more »

Jan
Jan
9 years ago

Wow! I need to get my act together. The walk to town would be a bit further- about 15 miles- but I could drive there to exercise. This summer was supposed to be about me and then life got in the way.
We do all of the things you stated
and I would like to add one more
If you have a 401 or IRA- watch them
Don’t blindly follow someone else’s advice for how to make your hard earned money grow. Just like a job you would like to keep, money needs trimming and time” to grow!

Jasmine
Jasmine
9 years ago

What a great, inspiring post!

And who was it that said that “the hard way gets easier, and the easy way gets harder?” This quote could’ve been the title of your wonderful post. Thanks so much for your inspiration, J.D. I always know that I’m on the right track when I read something like this.

Elizabeth
Elizabeth
9 years ago

I like your point about “as much as possible, as early as possible.” When it comes to health, we tend to react to situations rather than be proactive. (i.e. “I’d better start eating better because I’ve gained weight” or “I’d better cut my salt because my blood pressure is too high”) Poor diet, lack of exercise, stress and other unhealthy habits are debts to our bodies that we can’t necessarily pay back — and it’s much harder and more costly to deal with a debt than to prevent it in the first place. I need work on the health side,… Read more »

Kate
Kate
9 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth

That is good way to think of diet and exercise – as part of your retirement plan. Would you rather spend your retirement money on pursuing your interests, or on health care for your ailing body? Best to put that off as long as possible.

Elizabeth
Elizabeth
9 years ago
Reply to  Kate

I’ve read a lot of people are forced to retire early due to health reasons. It doesn’t matter how good your financial planning is right now, if you’re forced out of full time work 5 or 10 years earlier than planned, it’s going to take a toll. That’s what worries me!

And now I feel motivated to go for a walk! 🙂

Megan
Megan
9 years ago
Reply to  Kate

You bring up a good point! I think people forget that they should invest in themselves – ie, their bodies – the same way they invest in their retirement funds.

No Debt MBA
No Debt MBA
9 years ago

I would love to have more leisurely mornings (not that you really do, I just crave them!). Right now I content myself with walking to work.

I’ve definitely been following the tactic of saving as much as possible as early as possible. It provides an awful lot of peace of mind.

Ornella
Ornella
9 years ago

What I enjoyed most about this blog is the time that you commit not only to your finances but to your health. Not everyone can wake up at 5:30am. Your first bullet point tip is very true. When time is on your side, it’s your greatest asset. You can weather the ups and downs of the market with more ease. Begin with a minimum of 10%, but if that’s too much then by at least 5%. Now, if someone who is young can’t save 5% then review your spending habits and ,regardless, put to the side $50 a month which… Read more »

Max From Liquid
Max From Liquid
9 years ago

J.D., we have a lot in common. I’ve worked out almost every morning for over 30 years now. I too speak on personal finances. I have found that when you’re physically fit, you’re fiscally fit. The better the shape you’re in, the lower your medical bills. This has been proven; corporations that offer health clubs to their employees have seen lower absenteeism and lower medical claims. I won’t belabor the parallel either, what exists is a CONNECTION.

Emmy
Emmy
9 years ago

What a beautiful post! It’s always hard to change your habits, and because I’m still in that first stage of getting my financial house in order it seems insurmountable at times. I’m bookmarking this post to read whenever I need a kick in the butt. Thank you for helping me to keep on track!

olga
olga
9 years ago

Ditto on all the points. From waking up 5 am every morning and getting excercise done, to paying bills when they arrive. Outcome? No debt, no extra weight:) It really IS easier than digging yourself out of either one of those things. Thankfully, I never had to deal with financial pit, but enough of weight issues. Good perspective, JD.

Adam P
Adam P
9 years ago

I’m pretty sure the connection between personal fitness and personal finance stems from the ability to defer gratification. Deferred gratification fascinates me, I really need to pick up a good book / study on the subject. So interesting how it determines so much of people’s ability to be successful and is thought to be ingrained in people and not a learned trait (marshmallow experiment). Some elements of your finances and your health are out of your control, for instance an illness could wipe out your savings and your ability to work out at the same time. What I don’t understand… Read more »

David
David
9 years ago
Reply to  Adam P

Look up a study commonly referred to as “The Marshmallow Test”. I’m sure you’ve heard of it, where they offer a 4 year old a marshmallow, but they can have 2 if they wait 15 minutes. Then they leave the kid with the mallow and see what happens.

Being able to defer gratification and wait for the 2nd marshmallow was strongly correlated with future success in a variety of areas, when they checked up on the group much much later.

DreamChaser57
DreamChaser57
9 years ago
Reply to  David

I don’t know what the methodology of the study was or if it was peer-reviewed. Regardless, I’m doubtful of the results. In fact, I’m doubtful of any study where they attribute some favorable qualities as innate as if human beings are lab rats. The children who were more willing to delay gratification may have come from homes that encouraged that sort of behavior. Those children might be from homes where people honored their word more. If you encourage a child to delay gratification for a special treat and no one follows up with that treat. Generally, children cannot make adults… Read more »

imelda
imelda
9 years ago
Reply to  DreamChaser57

Where in David’s comment does he imply that those qualities were “innate”??

Whatever the cause of the kids’ inability to delay gratification, they lacked that willpower. And it’s entirely possible that the results followed them through life.

I agree with you that delaying gratification is a learned skill. I just don’t see how that impacts the results of this experiment at all.

Michiel
Michiel
9 years ago
Reply to  DreamChaser57

I am always amused when people say things like “I don’t know what the methodology of the study was or if it was peer-reviewed. Regardless, I’m doubtful of the results.”

On what basis can you be doubtful of results of an experiment if you haven’t looked into it? It is almost like saying: “I haven’t looked into the details of this new-fangled idea of compound interest. Regardless, I am doubtful of the results”…..

The marshmallow experiment is a well known and often repeated experiment, with the same results. Its results are generally accepted by psychologists. For more info:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanford_marshmallow_experiment

Rosa
Rosa
9 years ago
Reply to  Adam P

Weight may be linked to delayed gratification, but working out isn’t – getting to spend an hour at the gym is one of my best treats for myself (as is the freedom from job worry that no debt/low overhead brings).

Kathryn C
Kathryn C
9 years ago

I have fit friends, but a lot are not financially responsible so I think the correlation isn’t as high here. Maybe it’s the anomaly of living in Los Angeles 🙂 No need to elaborate.

Jason Beck
Jason Beck
9 years ago
Reply to  Kathryn C

Yes… I know some people that fit the stereotype… of going to the gym to LOOK good. They also want to wear stylish clothes and jewelry/watches, have trendy electronics and drive premium cars.

Of course, other people just know that their 9 to 5 job isn’t doing anything for their health, so they exercise, and they might also be financially responsible. I think we need a scientific methodology here 😛

Pamela
Pamela
9 years ago

The message I received from your post (and isn’t it funny how people can get a million messages you never intended to send?), is the importance of a balanced life. And, of course, this applies to your financial metaphor as well. When my life is out of balance, I make all kinds of choices that throw my finances and my fitness out of kilter. I work too many hours and start grabbing breakfast on my way out the door. Or come home late and get greasy carry-out even though I could whip up a spinach omelet in less time. I… Read more »

Nami
Nami
9 years ago

So inspirational, JD.
I have no right to judge. Though I save around 65%of income, I still buy Starbucks 3 times a week.
It’s my choice of conscious spending.
I gotta get up before the kids so I can run with my dog! Thanks.

phoenix
phoenix
9 years ago

WOW–way to go on the 2.5 hours of exercise a day!!! No wonder you’re getting so fit.

(But there’s a part of me that feels a bit discouraged by comparing a 2.5 hour daily exercise regiment with getting fit fiscally–makes it seem out of my ballpark. There’s no way my life would be balanced if I spent that much time on any one thing, after work/house/childcare. I realize it’s just a gut reaction, because the tips underneath are pretty commonsense.)

David
David
9 years ago
Reply to  phoenix

I’d say there’s two vastly different forms of exercise here. There’s the CrossFit, during which I doubt he can focus on much else except the workout.

Then there’s the 45 minute walk, first thing in the morning, no less. I wouldn’t underestimate how valuable this time is for focusing his thoughts and mapping out his day. He’s probably even (intentionally or not) doing various visualizations of what he’d like to achieve.

I don’t want to put words in J.D.’s mouth (er, fingers?), but I’m doubting he’s spending that 45 minutes thinking about what he’ll have for breaky.

Jack Foley
Jack Foley
9 years ago
Reply to  phoenix

yea this must really put you in a state of alertness for your business…

Mom of five
Mom of five
9 years ago

I’ve heard Dave Ramsey say that it’s fairly common for people who’ve found success with his plan to transfer that success to other areas, particularly their health.

Certainly my husband and I fit this model. Now that our finances improved, we’ve begun to get serious about our physical health.

Andrew
Andrew
9 years ago

Great post! For me, that 45 minutes is spent walking through fields and forests with my dogs. Sometimes I follow with a visit to the gym, sometimes not.

But diet soda for breakfast? That’s revolting.

El Nerdo
El Nerdo
9 years ago

Hi JD

I haven’t finished reading the whole post yet, but as a food-obsessed person, I have to ask:

Why do you bother with organic chicken for breakfast after starting the day with diet soda? 🙁

Amber
Amber
9 years ago
Reply to  El Nerdo

It’s about BALANCE

El Nerdo
El Nerdo
9 years ago
Reply to  Amber

if diet soda and organic chicken balance out, then just buy industrial chicken and skip the soda, and save money twice. 😛

John Sherry
John Sherry
9 years ago

They say life imitates art so why can’t life imitate finances JD? For me I like to start the day right with the right food ‘investment’ and I like my finances the same way. Not over easy! I prefer to build from the bottom up just like I live the day. Create intake (breakfast/savings and income) before I ever use up the energy (spending/dealing etc) so I reach the next meal hungry for more not starving from lack.

Jack Foley
Jack Foley
9 years ago

Even if you are sky high in dest, i think its important to try and become a saver at the same time whilst paying off your debt..

This way u will have the right attitude, take 20% of what u earn and pay off debt and save 10% or something like that, then u really are doing well..

DreamChaser57
DreamChaser57
9 years ago

Awesome post. As much as humans try to compartmentalize their lives, interconnectedness is an inherent part of the human experience. I felt down yesterday evening. This morning I decided to take a 2 mile walk. It was invigorating! I brought my iPod along but opted to revel in the sounds of the morning birds, city workers trimming trees, even light traffic. I browsed a used furniture store that I never been in before. I admired the historical architecture. I visualized what I wanted out of life in several different areas; I even considered new business ideas. It did wonders for… Read more »

Sue
Sue
9 years ago

No objection to your breakfast, and congrats on the exercise.

But….

Diet soda is evil. It makes you fat, and gives you cancer. And it’s addictive, as someone who has it first thing in the morning must realize on some level.

If you really care so much about your health, and your family, just stop. Both will thank you.

Cory
Cory
9 years ago
Reply to  Sue

OK, lets stop the myth here. Diet soda does NOT give you cancer. There simply is no link. Please take my word for it from someone who works in the cancer field. Diet soda (in and of itself) also does not make you fat. There are only three ingredients I would be mildly concerned about from diet soda: the artificial sweetener (aspartame, etc.), phoshporic acid (which can erode your teeth and the lining of your throat) and sodium benzoate (a preservative). The most dangerous of all these three is probably sodium benzoate, but you would have to drink such an… Read more »

Adam P
Adam P
9 years ago
Reply to  Cory

It doesn’t strike you a little odd that someone insists on organic chicken sausage but then chugs down a diet coke with it? This is cognitive dissonance at it’s finest to me!

DreamChaser57
DreamChaser57
9 years ago
Reply to  Adam P

This thread reminds me of when I started trying to get better so I made a sandwich with wheat, and had fresh fruit on the side. I sat with some students who were lovely people but true foodies. They looked at my meal, which I was quite proud of since it did not include a pizza/hamburger and said is that wheat bread!? Wow, it’s so light -it must not be whole wheat. Is the lunch meat processed? Oh, for shame! Then they proceeded to both eat (they were a married couple) out of a big bowl -the food looked like… Read more »

Sue
Sue
9 years ago
Reply to  Cory

I think for a great number of health conscious people, the jury’s still out on the aspartame-cancer link. It is worth it to take a chance? http://aspartame.mercola.com/ Aspartame has been shown to cause metabolic syndrome, an irony for all the soda drinkers thinking that it will help them to lose – or at least not to gain – weight. http://www.ehow.com/facts_4969734_why-diet-pop-bad.html I maintain that it’s evil and has no redeeming social value. Total judgement on my part. If you want something fizzy to drink, try carbonated spring water with a just splash of real fruit juice. If you’re fixated with soda,… Read more »

almost there
almost there
9 years ago
Reply to  Cory

Thup, Thup, Thup..Black Helicopters here. Artifical sweetner in soda is real bad. Google Donald Rumsfeld and aspertame. I’m soda free and stick to Bourbon for a nite cap. JD’s routine made me tired just reading it. I have started walking after 12 years of not running and see the difference. Not related to this post but does anyone have any ideas on what job to get to get 9 more years of social security contributions so I/my spouse are not gouged by the WEP/GPO offset. I was thinking of a low stress job as I am retired and haven’t been… Read more »

Jane
Jane
9 years ago
Reply to  Sue

See, I told you so…..:)

Amanda
Amanda
9 years ago

I tried working out in the morning, but it left me feeling drained. I have found working out early in the week is just as good if you are not a morning person. I work out on Monday nights and that sets the tone for the rest of the week.

PS if diet soda drinking is your only vise, you are doing fine. Just might want to brush your teeth more often.

Lin Ennis
Lin Ennis
9 years ago

Another great post, JD. I took action and blogged about your paragraph, “Get out of debt as soon as you can. I hope this one is obvious. Debt drains your soul – and your bank account. When you eliminate debt, you eliminate burdensome interest payments, freeing that cash for other uses.”

http://www.equitycycling.com/get-out-of-debt-faster/

krantcents
krantcents
9 years ago

Setting priorities is probably the most important single thing anyone can do! I set up a payroll deduction for my retirement saving in order to max it out and automatically go into the accounts. I live on what is left. I have no debt except for a small mortgage.

Crystal
Crystal
9 years ago

I know exactly what you mean as I see parrallels in my financial fitness and my Weight Watchers progress. Things just got better in life when I started simply doing whatever I was thinking about instead of just thinking about it. I also loved seeing that you still let yourself sleep in twice a week. When I start working from home, I was hoping to still enjoy the naughty parts of weekends – like sleeping in. 🙂

retirebyforty
retirebyforty
9 years ago

Wow, you have a great workout routine. I’m taking 3 months off to bond with our baby and my work out had fallen by the way side. Hopefully, I can get back on schedule when I head back to work full time.

TexasLady
TexasLady
9 years ago

JD, thanks for the wonderful post. I was amazed by your phrase “shit happens”. We hear that a lot here in Texas and it’s a wonderful description for all kinds of happenings. It covers a lot and I concur. Last year I tore a ligament in my right knee and no sooner than it healed I was struck with Bursitis in it. That was worse than the torn ligament and it took 6 lower back that will set me back for another 2 months or so. Having an emergency fund was so very comforting to me. I work from home… Read more »

Kent @ The Financial Philosopher
Kent @ The Financial Philosopher
9 years ago

JD:

You’ve expressed my entire view about money, which is that one’s financial philosophy is really no different than one’s life philosophy; they are one and the same.

You must first ask and answer, “What is the purpose of my life?” –before asking and answering– “What is the purpose of my money?” Once you have answered the first question, you have thus answered the second.

SB (One Cent AT A Time)
SB (One Cent AT A Time)
9 years ago

First-thing-first applies to work life as well. It is an essential time management technique that you do important things first.

Katelyn
Katelyn
9 years ago

I love working out in the mornings. Helps me get my head right before turning attention to work, and I know that no matter what the day brings, I already got in some me-time.

Sometimes I feel overwhelmed, working hard on financial and physical fitness at the same time. I’m trying to have patience and appreciate that I’m building up all my reserves slowly but surely.

Arrrrrgh
Arrrrrgh
9 years ago

3 days per week at present–32-34 mile round trip bike commute. Trying to drive car less. This is week two. Takes me 1.5-2 hours. Hills are killers (forgive me, legs!), but I enjoy it.

Thank you for all the great posts and all the great info everyone shares in the comments.

Al Pittampalli
Al Pittampalli
9 years ago

Starting early is great advice for any area of life, JD. It takes discipline and a real commitment to do so. Thanks for the metaphor.

Gerard
Gerard
9 years ago

Good post. But where do you fit in the sleep? Do you need 8 hours per night, or less?

Trisha
Trisha
9 years ago

i think you’d do yourself a favor if you had some protein in the a.m. before working out. you can’t build as much muscle if you are running on empty. you could have a small smoothie on your walk to the gym. you could make a batch once a week,or once a month if you want to freeze them. my favorite is banana, almond or peanut butter, almond milk, yogurt, blueberries,and protein powder.

LC
LC
9 years ago
Reply to  Trisha

Common misperception. Most Americans get ample protein in their diets. There is no need to substitute more with a powder.

Trisha
Trisha
9 years ago
Reply to  LC

i wasn’t commenting on the amount of protein in jd’s -or most americans diet. i was suggesting he have a little something in the tank to bump up the muscle building. the powder is a quick and easy source, mentioned in this instance as an example of what i like.

average or mean
average or mean
9 years ago

Hmmm, a combination post:
– breakfast
– exercise
– investing, getting out of debt, savings
Something for everyone to react to. So great job!

bobj
bobj
9 years ago

My grandfather always told me..”your health is your wealth”.
..now if i could just get on the debt snowball treadmill!

AC
AC
9 years ago

I workout in the mornings before going to work. That minor accomplishment really helps set the tone for the rest of the day, especially if I ran 5-6 miles. Rigorous exercise actually does help you in your career as it actually changes your mentality. You can goal set, persevere, and exhibit endurance in a lot of aspects in life in order to achieve anything.

Jack Foley
Jack Foley
9 years ago

just concentrate on what you can do..

worrying accomplished nada

Joni
Joni
9 years ago

This week is my stay at home vacation, otherwise never have time to read much online. I have made debt mistakes, for 20 years and for last 5 years my husband of 25 years does not qualify for a disability pension at age 53 and has had chronic back pain for 28 years. Gets $198 a month. I make 70k and he works on small engines, just to have some pocket money. We did all the travel early and enjoyed life, with no kids and have no desire to travel. He’s a smoker and average of 6 beer a day,… Read more »

Kevin M
Kevin M
9 years ago

Love this post, we are OK money wise but health is something I need to improve on. I used to get up and hit the gym early in the morning before work. Kids kinda put the kaibosh on that plan though. I need to figure out a new schedule where I can “pay myself first” with a workout. The parallels between money and health are fascinating.

Anne
Anne
9 years ago

I just want to comment that my husband has been dealing with chronic health issues for the past 2+ years and due to that fact, I quit a good-paying job that was keeping me away from home too long each day. We could not have survived (still working on it) without our emergency fund. We are debt-free other than the mortgage and had a large emergency fund and money that had been put into a health savings account by a previous employer. Those two accounts have allowed us to survive the past year and a half without my income. Now… Read more »

20 and Engaged
20 and Engaged
9 years ago

I love your morning routine! It definitely sounds like a great thing to put your mind in the right place. My gym is about 3.5 miles away so it’s a bit farther, but I can do a 2 mile walk around the neighborhood.

Albina
Albina
9 years ago

Your morning routine is admireable, I have just one question, when do you go to bed?
I myself like waking up early but I tend to go to bed too late and so the whole plan fails.

Craig
Craig
9 years ago

Nice post. I envy your dedication. I must say that for many people this routing is not realistic. Not once did you mention tending to others such as a spouse or children. For 3 1/2 hours plus 9 hours of work it’s all about you. This is a luxury few can enjoy. I’m glad you can take advantage of it.

lucy
lucy
9 years ago

After receiving a promotion a few years ago, I started getting paid monthly. Once a month at the end of the month. This hurt! It helped that at the time my husband was getting paid every week. Then we divorced -for many reasons, several financial. The getting paid once a month thing was a huge point of worry for me while I was going through all of that. However, I knew exactly how much I was going to have and I already knew exactly how much I needed. I sat down on pay day and simply wrote out checks (or… Read more »

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