As part of our goodbye tour before heading to San Diego, Whitney and I spent the weekend with her brother, Chris, and his family on Long Island. Over forty, Chris is in the best shape of his life. The “dad bod” was in last summer, but what has he been doing to look so fit now?
We got to talking about his routine, and he shared a simple philosophy that has helped his physical health.
“You get tone in the gym, you control your weight in the kitchen.”
Chris had been exercising regularly, with some modest results. He didn’t see a true transformation until he took control of his diet. The modest results he had first seen in the gym were compounded by his healthy eating habits in the kitchen.
While doing one without the other is still a positive step in the right direction, it won’t take you to the next level. If you only eat well and don’t exercise, you may be thin, but you’ll likely be weak. If you only exercise and eat poorly, you may be able to lift more weights, but you’re probably looking at negative health effects. If you only keep up with these actions short-term, your positive results will quickly fade.
There is nothing Chris is doing that the average person can’t do. It is a simple, yet effective philosophy. There are no special supplements and no expensive meal plans, just three steps that when combined make an enormous impact:
- Eat well
As I thought about his philosophy on physical well being, I realized there is a parallel to achieving financial well being.
I boil it down to this: “You increase your money by investing, you control your future with cash flow.”
The similarities are striking.
Individually taken, these fundamental actions likely won’t allow you to reach your highest financial goals. If you only invest and don’t have control over your cash flow, what will you do if the economy struggles? You’ll likely have to sell your investments at the worst of times. If you only focus on your cash flow and don’t invest, what will happen to your savings? Inflation will destroy the value of the cash lying idle in your bank account. If you only keep up with these actions short-term, your positive results will quickly diminish.
We see three steps to financial success materialize:
- Control your cash flow
- Invest the excess
This is where a solid financial plan becomes so powerful. The right plan will ensure your cash flow is purposeful. Money will flow into the most appropriate accounts, optimized for goals, taxes, fees and returns. Investing your excess cash flow will compound your returns in the markets, taking you to a new level of wealth.
If you feel like your finances are stuck in “dad bod” shape, we’d love to help you get financially fit. At Driven, we are dedicated to making the financial planning process approachable and understandable. Learn more by setting up a consultation today.