Hello, everyone! Carly here for Week 3 of the Fit & Frugal challenge!
First, let’s talk about last week. How did it go for you?
Recapping Week 2
I will be honest, I only did the push-ups 5 of the days this week. On two of the days, I dropped to my knees. I know, it’s totally acceptable to complete this challenge from a modified position. I was just hoping to feel strong enough and ready to do all push-ups from my toes. I got tired and needed an extra day of rest and to modify. All is good!
While the push-ups were one story, I DID do all of the planks because those are already part of my daily routine. I do a lot of planks in the morning to fire up my glutes and core before I get started on my day. My morning routine usually consists of rolling out, plank variations, and coffee!
Week 2 Budgeting
Sometimes people get confused and think because they track what they spend coming in and out of their checking account, that that is budgeting. Not exactly. Creating a budget means setting limits on your spending in certain categories. I know that doesn’t sound super fun but it can really open you up for so much future potential and opportunity.
ChooseFi’s Brad said it really well when he said, “Frugality allows opportunity.” If you live frugal now, it can allow for savings for a lot of things like:
- a business opportunity
- a rental property
- a career change
- a chance to stay at home with the kids
- or retiring 5, 10, 15 years early!
You don’t always have to think of budgeting as limiting yourself or your fun, look at it as delaying your gratification. Stick to your budget now, so you can save and pay your future self.
We need to have an honest moment here. Our budget is currently in the RED (meaning we overspent in the last month). Big time. Most of it from Christmas gift spending and some because of vet visit costs and overnight stays for our dog over the past few months. Although our personal spending is in the negative zone right now, we plan to be extra frugal for January and February to even it out. (See, we are not so strict!)
However, for our pet spending category, we may need to reevaluate. We budgeted $90 per month for our dog. That is $33 for pet insurance, $30 for treats and food, and $27 to accrue each month for vet visits, etc. But with a couple of unplanned trips to the vet and 2 overnight stays, while we were out of town, our girl is negative $300! So what does this mean? It means, we miscalculated what it costs to have our dog. We either need to move around some money from other categories to make it work each month or we need to increase our overall monthly spending budget.
If you are just starting this budgeting system, it may take you a few months to see where your numbers fall. This is not an exact science. The goal of this budget is to decrease mindless spending and increase your savings rate to afford future opportunities.
Week 3 Challenge
Okay, who is ready to turn it up a notch. This week’s challenge is to do this 5 out of 7 days.
- One 45 second forearm plank
- 2x 30-second side planks
- 10 Push-ups
- 8 x Panther Plank (pause) => Walk out High Plank (pause) => Push-Up
AND for the finance challenge this week, calculate your savings rate. Maybe you already figured this out when you started your budget, but most likely you didn’t. Calculate your savings rate like this: pre-tax income divided by the amount put into savings.
I recommend using all savings categories (ie: emergency fund, retirement, college savings, etc) and then break it down to find exactly what your retirement savings rate. (ie: IRAs, 401ks, stocks/bonds, pensions, etc) Therefore, you want to calculate two percentages this week.
TOTAL SAVINGS RETIREMENT SAVINGS
Pre-tax income Pre-tax income
For example, if a family or individual has a pre-tax yearly income of $50,000 and each month they save $100 toward an emergency fund, $300 toward retirement funds, $100 toward college savings = $500 per month x 12 months = $6,000 and $300 x 12 months = $3600.
We are not here to tell you what your savings rate should be. We just want to give you some tools to show you where your finances are presently, make sure that you pay attention to your finances, and with small, intentional changes, where your finances could be. Good luck this week and let us know how it’s going!
Hi, I’m Carly.
I’m a certified personal trainer and group fitness instructor based in Cherry Hill, NJ! I teach spin, barre, and megaformer classes throughout the week. Check out my schedule and where I teach.