By Dave Kavanagh
The start of another year, where despite all of the challenges that Covid-19 brought, many people will still be intent on embarking on making some positive changes or improvements in their lives. The most recognisable of these is the ‘losing weight” one. To give people more of an incentive to maintain what they start, it’s worth noting that if done properly, losing weight can have the added bonus of leaving you with more money at the end of each month. So how does that work?? Well, by “doing it properly” I refer to NOT going on a diet, or buying products with magic properties that will make the weight just fall off. Instead, making small, sustainable lifestyle changes. It can be adding some exercise in week 1, drinking more water (and less alcohol/sugar laden drinks) in week 2, reducing portion sizes in week 3, substituting things like chips for wholegrain rice or pasta in week 4, breaking the association of biscuits/cakes whenever you have a coffee or tea in week 5, etc., etc. Do-ing it this way, makes it sustainable and when weight is dropped slower over a longer period of time, it is far more likely to be kept off. So how does that help my finances? When I analyse people’s spending budgets, it’s clear that takeaways, alcohol, sweets, cakes biscuits etc. pop up quite fre-quently. If you keep track of the savings when you cut down on many of these things, it’s easy to see how much you can save. One person I was helping used to enjoy her “treat” of a chocolate eclair most days. When she accepted that she felt bad after eating it and conceded that it was not helping her goal to lose weight, I suggested it was more of a punishment than a treat. I proposed that she put the money into a jar each day and when there was enough, to treat herself to a back massage, which can positively reinforce the good changes someone has made. Make the right choices, one day at a time.
Dave Kavanagh QFA has been advising people financially for over 25 years. For quotes or infor-mation (with no cost or obligation) he can be contacted by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or use the contact form on www.financialcompanion.ie or phone 087-6414570, or @Davekav_advice on Twitter and Instagram. Combined with his previous role of gym/nutrition adviser, he regularly gives talks and workshops at seminars and events for groups, companies and government depart-ments on financial wellbeing, positivity and motivation. As heard on RTE 2FM and TV3.