Ever stared at the bottom of an ice cream pint and had it stare right back at you?
Well, our in-house fitness enthusiast Ripla, says that staring at a fast depleting bank account also evokes similar feelings. Here’s how she thinks her fitness journey could help your financial one.
PS: Bonus healthy ice cream recipe. Because, why not.
Remember those Telemarketing commercials? Where two overenthusiastic hosts try to sell you a product that they promise would change your life. Magic mop, Perfect Roti maker, Royal vegetable chopper, the works.
Ah, good old times.
While the telemarketing ads don’t retain their former glory anymore, the internet does a pretty good job of taking their stead.
In my case, the internet tried to sell me Mediterranean, Low cab, and Keto diets. Granted I was the one searching for ‘weight loss tips’ but Google did a really good job in showing me a shiny future as a petite girl if I followed a few ‘simple’ steps.
But, if there are two things I learnt in my 5-year journey from “Damn, I wish they had that pretty dress in a bigger size” to “Yaay. I can fit into this dress now” it’s the following:
1. Nothing on the internet is one-size-fits-all, neither dresses nor advice
2. Dieting and financial planning have similar trajectories and hacks
Let me elaborate.
For the longest time, I was stuck in a vicious cycle - I ate an entire tub of chocolate ice cream because I was stressed. Felt guilty for eating unhealthy and spending so much on it. Got stressed all over again and ate some more. It took a worldwide pandemic and shutting down of online food delivery, for me to realise I was addicted to eating junk food.
Thus ensued a series of Google searches on how to lose weight. I was immediately overwhelmed with multiple stringent rules that I supposedly needed to follow, but none of them felt sustainable to me.
Something similar happens during financial planning as well. There’s the stress of wanting to save more, of getting your investments sorted and that portfolio just right. But despite the quicksand of information around us, and despite everyone and their third cousins giving financial advice on YouTube, it is difficult to take the first step.
When you’re scouring information on the internet and following the advice there to the T, you’re not really in control. Any advice on the internet is not customised for you. In fact, only you know your quirks the best. You’d know if cutting ice cream out of your life gives you nightmares or not. You’d know the consequences of cutting off that dopamine hit you get while shopping.
Consequently, the only routine that would work for you, is the one you customise for yourself.
Once I realised that I needed to listen to my body and tweak my regime accordingly, things became much simpler. I decided to talk to a subject matter expert and contacted a nutritionist to help me arrive at a long term solution.
Moulding the diets according to my quirks, and my pace, caused me much less stress than chasing some unrealistic 3 step routine on the internet. For instance, I realized, I cannot give up on chocolate or ice cream completely, so I switched to a healthier version - started treating myself to a delicious scoop of peanut butter banana ice cream (homemade) every time I craved anything sweet. Cost-effective and healthy, and therefore a complete win.
The same thing goes for your finances as well. You don’t have to have a perfect financial plan, you just need to have something that works for you. If the 50:30:20 rule doesn’t work for you, tweak the ratios and think of other ways of compensating for it. If you can’t give up on online shopping entirely, set a threshold of how much you’ll spend or how many items you’ll buy per trip.
Take little steps in accommodating your quirks in your plans.
My process might have been slightly slower, and it might have taken slightly longer for me to reach my goals. But the taste of smaller milestones, like being able to pick up higher intensity exercises and being able to work out for longer, gave me more satisfaction than a sudden drop in scales ever would. This is because I wasn’t sacrificing a whole lot to reach my goal. I had the reigns in my hand, and I could tweak the pace whenever I wanted to.
Eventually, I realised the same hack works while planning your finances as well, or while planning anything important for that matter. It takes taking an objective view of yourself, your quirks, and planning your way ahead around them to eventually reach your goals.
So the next time you are daunted by a YouTuber assuring you that their way is the perfect way to invest money, or that they have the best hacks to lose weight, take a step back. Know that there are other ways to achieve that perfect portfolio or a dop in the scales, ways more suited to you.
All you need to do is figure out what your ice cream is and what your equivalent of peanut butter banana ice cream is, and you’re good to go!
Did you ask for it? No. Am I going to share it with you anyway? Damn right. Because it’s just that good.