No, this is not an infomercial and I’m not trying to sell anything today.
Last week, I went in for my annual physical and guess what. I lost 6 lbs and I weigh 130 lbs now. Yes, it took a year for me to lose 6 lbs, but I’m pretty sure this is sustainable and I should be able to maintain this weight. The 6 lb drop was quite surprising because I didn’t plan to lose weight. I’m actually very happy at 135 lbs (5’4.) How did I lose 6 lbs without planning to?
The big change this past year was the addition of our baby. We didn’t get as much sleep as in previous years, but I don’t think that really affected the weight loss. Does it? I believe it’s the routine that I’ve been following that helped me lose those 6 lbs. This is a pretty easy routine that works for me.
- Eat 5 small meals per day. I was having dizziness a couple of years ago and the nutritionist suggested 5-6 smaller meals per day to keep my sodium level stable. I have breakfast at 7am, oatmeal with blueberries at 10am, half my lunch at 1pm, the rest of lunch at 3pm, then dinner around 7pm. It’s a routine now and I’m used to it. This helps reduce the amount of food intake overall.
- Avoid empty calories. Minimize soda pops and other sugary drinks. I chew gum instead of eating junk food and I drink unsweetened ice tea, hot green tea, and other low calories beverages. This is cheaper too.
- Go to the gym at lunch on the weekdays. I schedule going to the gym in my calendar every weekday at lunch. Fortunately, my workplace has a small gym on site. I usually do 30 minutes of cardio, a few sets of free weights, and then some light stretches. I also take Yoga and Boot camp classes when I can. I try to go every day even on days that I don’t have much energy. If I don’t feel up to it, I’ll try to do half of the usual workout or even just some stretching.
That’s pretty much it. We also cook at home, avoid prepackaged food and limit eating out to once a week or so.
Having an automated routine helps tremendously and I lost weight without even knowing it. The same can be done for finance. You can set up automatic routines for your finance and before you know it, your net worth will grow by $25,000/year without much effort.
Here are some steps you can take to automate your saving:
- Contribute to your 401k every paycheck (max out if possible.)
- Contribute to Roth IRA.
- Make extra payments on your mortgage.
- Invest in dividend stocks and choose to DRIP.
- Auto-deposit funds into your stock account.
- Avoid the latest and greatest gadgets.
What else do you do to automate your finance? Do you think it’s better to be hands-on and invest manually or automate your investments as much as possible? Which one do you think is more difficult – losing weight or increasing your net worth?