I have a treadmill that most often is our largest and most expensive clothes hanger. However, I do get into spurts of desire to get in shape again and use it. Here’ s what it teaches me about money:

  • Owning a treadmill makes me feel like I am doing something about my health, but if I don’t use it, it’s no use. Only regular, consistent use of the treadmill will keep me in shape. Same goes for your budget.
  • If I turn on the treadmill and it automatically goes.. it does me NO GOOD unless I get on and use it. If I have a tool that automatically tracks my spending — great! but… if I am not involved with my money, that tool will do me no good.
  • No matter how fast I run on the treadmill, I am not actually moving anywhere. With your budget – you can plan like crazy, but you need to actually follow the plan. You need to adjust the way you actually spend and save your money to make your plan work.

What other analogies did I miss?

  • You can set the speed, but you should not overdo it. If you budget too tightly, you won’t stick to it. Be realistic so you can make a plan that you can really work.
  • I don’t enjoy exercising very much… so I listen to music or an audiobook to take my mind off the exertion. With your budget, it can be hard looking at a budget as a constricting authority. Instead, get motivated with a goal. What are you saving for? Be clear with yourself, get emotionally involved with your goal, then budgeting will be MUCH easier.