(Guest post by Agatha K, The Fun Money Nerd)
I’m 33 years old. And I weigh 25 pounds less than I did at age 23. WTF?!?
I’m not saying I was fat at age 23, but I always thought I’d gain weight as I got older. I figured nature would start taking its course…that I’d get a saggy a$$ and grow a fupa (if you don’t know what that is, Google it).
So I took a look back and thought about what could have possibly changed to make me thinner now than I was in my 20’s. And, yes, I’ve had some diet and lifestyle changes… but not enough to make that drastic of a difference.
I realized the biggest thing that changed was the state of my finances. Back in my 20’s I was broke as a joke. I graduated college with a degree in Accounting but had absolutely ZERO skills about managing my own money.
By the age of 22 I found myself in $30,000 of credit card debt with no money in the bank.
And after 7 looooong years of constantly stressing and torturing myself, I finally realized I sucked with my money because no one had ever taught me anything about basic personal finance. I knew how to audit the financial statements of a publicly traded company, but not how to manage my own debt or start saving or investing.
So I started learning everything I could about basic money management. By that time, I had my own accounting & bookkeeping business and was awesome at handling other people’s money…so I started doing all those things for myself.
I also observed what rich peeps did with their money and started doing that too.
And it worked like gangbusters! Within 3 months I tripled my income…in 18 months I paid down all $30,000 of my debt…and I walked away with $20,000 in the bank.
I constantly get asked how I did all that. So I’m doing a free call about it on May 16th: Click here if you’d like to join me.
But let’s talk about the weight…I started shedding LBS without even trying. All of a sudden, I was 25 pounds thinner and I was feeling damn good! Sounds kookoo-for-cocoa-puffs, right? But it makes total sense total sense if you think about it…
When I was broke, I stressed about money CONSTANTLY. That means I had insane levels of cortisol (stress hormone) coursing through my body.
Cortisol makes you store fat, lose muscle, and have an out of control appetite. So the better my financial situation became, the less stress I had…and then less cortisol was in my body and the fat basically fell off.
Also, think about it from a biological “caveman” perspective: in today’s society money is our main source of protection. It gives us food, shelter, and water. So when we don’t have enough money our brain might just be fooled into holding onto more fat as a layer of protection against the perceived threat of having no money and losing everything.
Once we are in a good place financially, we feel less threatened and our body can naturally let go of that extra layer of protection (e.g. fat). That’s what happened to me!
If you are stressed about money, you might be wondering how you can stop it. Financial stress can be hard to get rid of so here is the key: you alone have the power to control how much stress you put on yourself. It’s all about perspective. You can choose to look at your situation and constantly freak out about…or you can choose to chill the f**k out.
So how do you chill out when you’re freaking out?
Here’s what I do:
- Meditate. I know this can sound weirdo crazy. But seriously, it works. Every morning, before I even leave my bed, I spend 10 minutes just breathing and being alone with my thoughts. It calms me down in the most difficult of times. Meditation is what helped pull me out of my financial freak outs back in my 20’s.
- Get Moving. Exercise is the cheapest form of stress therapy out there. It gets your blood pumping and releases endorphins, which make you happy. Try to get moving every day, even if you’re really busy. On days when I am crazy busy, I jump on my mini-trampoline for 30 minutes and it makes a HUGE difference in my mood.
- Save Your Mula! No matter how much (or little) money you have, you MUST save some for yourself.
I like to save at least 20% of my income, but if you can’t save that much than start with $10 bucks. Anything to get you into the habit of saving money!
Once you start building up a nest egg for yourself you will feel much more protected and your stress levels will naturally go waaaaay down.
Agatha K. is an accounting nerd that makes dealing with money simple and fun. She blogs over at Agatha K, and is hosting a free telephone event on May 16th to answer her most frequently asked money Q’s. You can sign up to this event here.