Recently, I decided to take my personal exercising to a new level.  I decided to learn and begin a lifestyle of running.  I found a good beginning, how-to plan to turn my favorite exercise of walking into running.  I wanted to experience the cardio benefits of harder exercise as well as the satisfaction of being able to run a few miles without stopping.

As I was working my way through the 8 week how-to-begin running plan, it dawned on me that if I would carry less weight on this frame as I ran, I would be more efficient at running overall.  One would think the workouts alone would lend itself to dropping the pounds, but with no change in other parts of my health, like changing my eating habits the workouts alone did not effect the number on the scale.   In fact, the workouts didn’t progress as quickly as they could have.  So I put myself on a healthy food restriction coupled with my continued effort to gain proficiency with running. 

Our finances are like a workout.  If we don’t work-out a plan of spending, we can carry too much extra weight that only slows us down and makes every step we take very burdensome and tiring.  Just like my extra 10 pounds that needs to go, so are the extra spending habits that sneak up on us.

To accomplish the goal, I needed to define what I should eat to stay healthy as well as loose the pounds to reach my goal.  I began by learning how many calories I should eat per day and then keeping track of what goes in my mouth.  So it is with our money.  We need to take an educated look at our spending areas and then record where our money actually goes.

For 30 consecutive days keep track of every penny that is spent.  That includes all cash spent to the last cent.  Carry around a small notebook which can be transferred to a master sheet at the end of the day and at the end of the 30 days, categorize the expenses into categories such as housing, food, entertainment, savings, retirement, tithe, etc.  Then analyze the totals to see if a category is over or under budget.  Look for items purchased too frequently, like eating out, that designer coffee, clothing purchases or excessive trips to the supermarket. 

Then ask yourself if these items are necessary.  Look for expenses that can be cut, lost or cut back on.  Daily habits such as sodas, coffees and snacks can all add up.  Driving extra miles where trips can be consolidated may be cut.  View these extra expenses as areas to loose a few pounds.  And with your lighter load, the better your run through life will be.