Have you ever thought about how the same concepts that help you achieve good health can also help you achieve financial well-being?
Our daughter graduates from college this December and will soon be fully immersed in all kinds of REAL world financial decisions. (She will be off the payroll!) And our son, who is currently in college, isn't far behind.
We have been trying to prepare them for these decisions for many years now. As we continue to talk to them about what we believe are the important concepts and principles, it has occurred to us that the same habits that help you eat healthfully can also help you to achieve financial well-being!
Keep in mind, these decisions can be overwhelming and stressful, no matter what stage or life we are in. So, we hope these tips will be helpful for you (or maybe they will be helpful for your children, grandchildren or family members) because imagine it...thriving with good health AND experiencing financial freedom!
What are the keys to achieve good health AND financial well-being?
- Keep it simple. Both of these areas are simple, but not easy. There are so many conflicting and confusing messages out there about how to be healthy and how to achieve financial independence. When it comes to food, you can boil everything down to “keep it simple and eat REAL food.” For your finances, you can distill everything down to “keep it simple and earn, save and invest.” Of course, there is a lot more to this, but these can help you stay on course and provide the response when others inevitably ask what you are doing.
- Let compounding work its magic. While there is no overnight magical solution, the magic of compounding is REAL. Maybe you have heard this story...what would you rather have? $1 million or a penny? Easy, right? We would all take the $1 million. What if the penny would double in value every day for one month? Many of us would still take the $1 million (after all, this sounds like so much more than a handful of pennies). Believe it or not, a penny that doubles in value every day for 30 days would give you over $5 million! That is the magic of compounding! And compounding doesn't just apply to money, it also applies to your habits and decisions. So, the earlier you start making good decisions and the more consistent you are, those decisions compound over time and the results are absolutely phenomenal! Remember, it works both ways (good decisions compound for huge success, and poor decisions compound for undesired outcomes).
- Slow and steady. We all know fad diets and “get rich quick” schemes are not sustainable. Yet how many times do we fall into the trap of going after those quick results? The results of good daily decisions are often hard to see. If you eat roasted vegetables instead of fast food, you won't immediately see that your cholesterol went down. However, if you do this consistently over a few weeks, you may be surprised how much your cholesterol has fallen. If you invest $100 in your 401k or IRA, which doesn't seem like much, but doing this consistently adds up to a lot of value over time (based on the S&P's historical performance, investing $100/month for 30 years could be worth almost $200,000). Staying disciplined and having faith that your daily habits will help you achieve your desired results is key!
- Tune out the noise. There is so much “noise” that comes from market pundits, so-called health and nutrition experts, and so many others, which can tempt you to make decisions different from what you know to be the right ones. Tune all this out, stay disciplined, and stick to the philosophies of keep it simple, eat REAL food and earn, save and invest.
- Be wary if someone is trying to sell you something. It may be the latest and greatest weight loss program or a bulletproof way to make $1 million. Or it may be something as simple as the newest superfood or an insurance product with all kinds of tax advantages. Don't get us wrong, not all of them are bad (after all, we think our products and services are truly making a difference in the lives of others). If you don't fully understand it or it just doesn't feel right, it's probably best to pass.
- Know your why. Achieving results is much easier when you know WHY you want to achieve them. Why do you want to eat healthy? So you can be there for your grandkids' weddings? So you can hike and see the amazing scenery that has been created for us? Why do you want to earn, save and invest? Is it to retire by the age of 50? Is it to travel the world? The vision of your WHY can help make those daily decisions so much easier.
- Have a plan and get started. "Winging it" isn't a good strategy. Once you know the results you are striving for, prepare the right structure in place to make it easier. Stock your pantry and fridge, plan your meals, and find your rhythm. For your finances, get the right accounts set up (for example low-cost index funds, 401k or IRA and maybe one or two others...remember, keep it simple!) and automate as much as possible. With the right plan, you will be surprised how quickly everything becomes second nature and the compounding really starts to multiply. Of course, to achieve results you have to get started - don't keep putting it off! This is true for everything important in your life!
- Don't deprive yourself. Once your REAL food lifestyle has become second nature, it is perfectly fine to splurge on your favorite dessert or your favorite bottle of wine or beer once in a while. It's also important to spend money occasionally on things that bring value to your life while you are consistently saving and investing. Constantly depriving yourself is not sustainable and is often a recipe for disaster.
Good health and financial well-being go hand in hand:
- Cooking at home is WAY cheaper than eating out, especially if you do it consistently. Remember...compounding!
- Better health means fewer medications and doctors' visits. Medications, visits and procedures have become outrageously expensive. We know many people who have discontinued medications and have fewer doctors' visits as a result of enjoying a REAL food lifestyle.
- "When health is absent, wealth becomes useless." This is attributed to an ancient Greek physician, and it definitely still rings true today. When we are young, many people focus on building wealth (high stress careers and relentless workaholics) to the detriment of their health, and when they get older, they are forced to spend their wealth to try to regain their health. We agree it is important to build wealth, but it shouldn't come at the expense of your health!
Please share with us!
What are other key concepts to help you achieve the best health and wealth possible?