Shedding Pounds and Shedding Debt

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Shedding Pounds and Shedding Debt

This blog post is part of the Pay Down My Debt (PDMD) blog tour, sponsored by US Equity Advantage. PDMD is a solution that accelerates debt payoff and helps consumers monitor their credit and make smarter purchasing decisions. If you’re looking to pay off debt find out how they can help.

I have always struggled with my weight. From the moment I went through early puberty at 10, I always had curves and needed to keep an eye on my eating and activity levels. I did a good job of keeping my weight under control while I was in high school and college because I had side hustles that kept me active and on my feet.

Then I graduated from college and took an investment banking job that was not only sedentary, but also consumed 90 hours a week leaving me with little to no energy to work out before or after work; and this is where the weight started to creep on. It was only two or three pounds a year, but the weight was coming on and not going away.

Credit Creep Is Real

I see this happen to clients with their credit cards. They’ll buy an $80 dinner one night and then a $200 plane ticket the following week and each transaction doesn’t seem like a lot, but it’s adding up on the card and cumulatively becoming difficult to pay down. Each month the card balances will roll to the next month and the client will assert that the next month the balances will come down.

Another problem I see is that the client’s monthly spend balances continue to grow, so instead of only having $1,500 on their credit card every month, they’ll have $2,000 and then $2,500. Clients will pay these off in full every month, but it’s easier to pay down $1,500 then $2,500.

Rationalization Is Our Enemy

This happened with my weight situation. I started gaining the extra weight and then I not only didn’t try to lose it, but I just accepted that I was a higher weight. I rationalized that 160 wasn’t that bad or that a size 10 was fine when I had been 135 and a size 6 only two years before. I continued down this path until I began to accept that my “new normal” was 200 pounds and a size 14. I stayed this weight for years after my son was born and just accepted the reality that I would be a “fat girl” forever. I assumed I couldn’t change anything at that point.

Until I got tired of not looking at myself in the mirror and hating myself when I got in the shower. I decided to make a change and used Weight Watchers to help me begin my weight loss journey. I paid a monthly fee for the tools and resources that Weight Watchers offered, and for the first time in years, I began getting results. The process just clicked for me.

Change is not Overnight

The weight didn’t come off overnight and in fact many weeks the weight loss was negligible, but I had a goal in the system and I stayed focus on that goal. Part of the reason why I created my company, The Financial Gym, is because I saw a lot of similarities in my weight loss journey with client’s journeys to get financially healthy, specifically in paying down debts.

Just like you can gain weight over time or in large amounts quickly after you have a baby, you can gain debt over time on credit cards or in large amounts quickly in student loan debt. Either way you gain the debt, it sucks, but just like physical weight, getting rid of debt is going to take you time. It’s rarely an overnight process and in most cases it’s easier to tackle it when you have tools.

Find Resources that Help

I was so thankful to have Weight Watchers when I started losing weight and I think of Pay Down My Debt like the Weight Watchers for your debt. It’s a tool to help you understand how you can pay down your debt and then help you implement the most strategic repayment plan to repay it efficiently. I think the best thing Pay Down My Debt helps its users with is automating their debt repayment plan.

We all lead busy lives and sometimes forget to take care of certain financial areas; however, when it’s on autopilot it’s one less thing for you to think about. Weight Watchers helped me understand a good meal plan that worked for my body and once I figured it out, I went on autopilot with my eating. When I stuck with my meal plan, I knew that every week I would lose weight; and if I slipped, I knew I would fall off track. The great thing about Pay Down My Debt, though, is that once you set up your plan, you really can’t fall off track because your payments are in place.

There’s a monthly fee for the service just as I paid a monthly fee for Weight Watchers, but if Pay Down My Debt helps you pay off your debt quickly and efficiently, then it’s money well spent, just like my Weight Watchers membership was. I really never could have lost 50 pounds without a tool like Weight Watchers and I know that many people feel the same way about Pay Down My Debt for losing debt.

I tried a number of different weight loss solutions over the years after my son was born, but none of them worked like Weight Watchers. If you’re struggling with the right debt repayment solution for you, I encourage you to check them out and let me know what you think. There is not a one size fits all solution for debt repayment and I encourage you to try any and all options until you find the best one that works for you; and maybe it’s Pay Down My Debt?

Are you on a debt repayment journey? What tools or resources work for you?

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Shannon is a financial planner who left a “traditional” financial services firm to start her own company, The Financial Gym, because she felt traditional financial services firms did not have the tools or resources to help people in their 20s and 30s who are starting out and trying to build assets while also managing debt. She realized that the key to long-term personal financial success is a commitment to financial fitness and making smart financial choices. Through her blog, Financially Blonde, her book, Train Your Way To Financial Fitness, her podcast, Martinis and Your Money and The Financial Gym, Shannon is committed to making financial fitness fun, easy and accessible for everyone.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Hey Shannon, I love the link between money and fitness as well. It’s so obvious when you look at it. I also like your PDMD and WW connection. Very interesting way to bring those together!

    How often do we rationalize things? It’s like a disease. I put it in the same category with procrastination. You make compromises little by little each day (whether with money, food, career, etc.) and you wonder how you got to your position today. But, the fact of the matter is it’s all on you. Nobody else is to blame!

    Great article. Thanks for sharing.

  2. The common thread through Pay Down My Debt, Weight Watchers, personal trainers and the like are that they are external monitors that help us stay on track with our commitments. Its hard to fight human nature but these tools help!

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