Monday, February 16, 2015

An Anchor Can Make You Wealthier

Here's something that you may or may not have realised:

Most personal finance bloggers seem to be rather fit. 

A large chunk of PF bloggers that I follow seem to share a common trait among them - fitness.

Jason from DividendMantra places a lot of emphasis on physical fitness, Karen from MakinTheBacon is a personal trainer (doubling up as a side hustle), GenYFinanceGuy is on a P90X system, and bodybuilding is certainly not foreign to Jon The Saver from FreeMoneyWisdom.

I will not be shy and say that I, too, enjoy lifting those dumb metal rings. In fact, it's one of my passions.


Not really.

If I were to deconstruct this commonality between us and peer deeper into the relationship between personal finance and fitness, it boils down to the mindset that is essentially the building blocks of progress.

If you're a fitness enthusiast, you'll know the fundamental rules:

To lose weight & gain healthy muscle mass, stop binging and increase the intensity of your workout. To know that you're improving, constantly measure your progress. Discipline is key.

If you're a personal finance buff, you'll also know that the same fundamental rules apply:

To be wealthy, stop spending money on unnecessary items and increase your ability to earn more. To know that you're making progress, constantly measure your progress. Discipline is key.

Because fitness and money go hand in hand, a person who excels in personal fitness tends to also excel in personal finance, vice versa.

But here's the best part, having a life anchor like bodybuilding can in fact help you to save money.

When I'm having a shitty day, I fall back on my anchor. Instead of splurging my money on something that I'll regret later to make me feel better (btw, a lot of us do this. Oh, and they have a term for it, 'retail therapy' or something like that), I head down to the gym, release all that anger & frustration in that box.

My anchor also tells me that progress does not come overnight. In fact, it's a gradual process; every rep compounded over months or years add up to the body that you're trying to build. The same principles can be applied to building a freedom fund.

Having a disciplined anchor like bodybuilding also helps me to stay committed to my goals. In other words, it helps me to stay away from the occasional beer parties, keg stands and shenanigans that most white collar rats indulge in as a form of escapism after work.

And all this contributes to my freedom in the long run because staying committed to my goals ensures that I'm knocking down every door of failure. Because behind those doors are opportunities.

Opportunities to freedom.

"Opportunities don't come knocking on the door. They present themselves when you knock the fucking door down" - Greg Plitt

Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Email This Pin This


  1. Nice observation!

    Fitness is for sure my anchor. I have more energy. More mental clarity. More confidence. I feel happier, which makes since because endorphin's like dopamine and serotonin are released when you workout.

    All these and other allow me to perform better in all other areas in my life. When I make fitness a high priority, everything else just seems to fall in place.

    Love Greg Plitt...its sad that he passed away at 37. He was a huge loss to the fitness community.

    Great Post!

    1. Yup, when we make fitness a priority, things just seem to fall into place. I don't think it's magic but when we commit ourselves to something, we unconsciously commit the same drive and determination to other areas in our lives.

      Ah, Greg Plitt was the man! Used to subscribe to his videos many years ago. Sad that he went the way he did.

      At least he'll be remembered.

  2. What's your deadlift brah? Hah!

    Seriously though, fitness and finances are so similar. Great analogy.

    The only thing is that I find that it's easier to automate the finances than the fitness. For me though, it's completely diet. I lift once a week and get to play volleyball a few times too. But if I'm not eating clean then it all goes down the crapper!

    1. You mean the one where we put ourselves in a pooping stance and pray that we don't release any flatus? Aha! I never go heavy on them - for reason stated above.

      Haha, but jokes aside, yea it's quite amazing how well fitness and finances work together. Also, there's no quick, fast shortcut for either one.

      And you're right about the automation.

  3. Great post, fitness and being healthy is very important. After all, how are you going to enjoy financial independence if you don't have your health?

    1. Yup, and most personal finance enthusiasts seem to have a good grasp on this.

      Btw, welcome to this little white space Tawcan!

  4. Hey Josh,

    Thanks so much for the mention.I like how you compare the reps you perform in your workout to building your freedom fund. I was a personal trainer briefly, but now only teach group exercise classes as my fitness side hustle. I really do enjoy exercising and encouraging other people to stay fit. The facts don't lie, it really is a great stress/frustration release.
    This anchor helps keep me going and aside from personal finance, is one of my true passions.

    1. Hey Karen, aha, you're still in an ultimate win-win situation. Personal fitness as a side hustle + personal finance = a winner's game.

      Keep it going!

  5. Josh,

    Thanks for the mention!

    I definitely take fitness seriously, though not as seriously as my younger days now that I have a wider array of interests that take up my time.

    But I feel much more energetic and focused when I get a great workout in. And I couldn't agree more in regards to the similarities between fitness/losing weight and finances/building passive income. The only difference being that money doesn't atrophy like muscles over time; money actually grows and grows, even if you stop paying attention to it. :)

    Best regards!

    1. You're welcome Jason.

      I believe taking fitness seriously was the building blocks of ur success over the years. With that same commitment, hunger and drive, you'll achieve practically anything that you set your mind on.

      Aha, and I like what you said about the difference between fitness & money. One atrophies and the other keeps growing.

      That's all the more why we should keep working on our freedom fund.

      Funny thing that I just realised is that I actually have a grand-uncle who is the perfect model of what we're working towards. In his 80s, he used to lift weights and cycle all around town.

      Here's the sweet part. He's a millionaire many times over because he invested in solid blue chips that spits out solid dividends over the years.

  6. I've been doing Slow Carb and Kettlebell workouts the past few months. Down 17 lbs with some big strength gains

    1. Here we go, another PF blogger who is into fitness!

      Oh, and btw I read about the day you left the rat cage on J. Money's blog. Bloody awesome!

      And welcome to this little white space of mine.