Fitness as personal finance


Your health is like a checking account – you make withdrawals and deposits.

Eh, sorta true. But let’s get real – that analogy is played out. I mean, who really gets into adulthood and approaches their personal finance with that attitude? Let’s try to mature the analogy a bit.

My dad took me to open a checking account when I was 8.

Maybe 7. Maybe 9. I don’t recall but I do remember the first time I made enough ($10) to open one up, we went straight to Sunflower Bank. I had no idea how to write a check or make deposits but I imagined my hard-earned $10 sitting in a magical vault guarded by guys with Uzis.

Two years later I opened a savings account. After a couple summers of sweeping warehouses, I had amassed a small ($50) fortune that needed to be leveraged at 1%-2% interest.

I think you see where I’m going. As we get older, our personal finance options turn into IRA’s, pensions, mortgages, life insurance, HSA’s – and the list goes on.

Your health will need to mature just the way your finance options mature.

Are you 6 months into a consistent training program? Great! Keep making those deposits in your checking account! Keep growing that balance.

Are you 2 years in? It’s probably time to open a Savings account and begin leveraging your fitness assets. What does this mean? Perhaps, it means you will begin to acquire some higher-level skills to keep you interested. Think: double-unders, pull-ups, muscle-ups, Weightlifting. Perhaps, it means you will develop strength as an asset to leverage. The idea here is to introduce the concept of Delayed Gratification into your training.

5 years in? Guess what – a checking account won’t suffice any longer. You’ll need to explore some more mature investment vehicles. Think about what you’re eating, how you’re sleeping, how you manage stress. How are your relationships? Are you of service to others when things aren’t going your way? Notice that I didn’t advise you to put more money in your checking account (read: I NEED TO TRAIN MORE!!!). Maybe you should explore some tax-deferred options. Has this metaphor gone too far?

You get the idea. As you mature as an athlete, so must your efforts. But, like personal finance, you shouldn’t open elaborate portfolios without mastering the simple balancing of a checkbook. You’ll know when it’s time. Good news: you have about a dozen awesome financial advisers at your disposal. Use them!