## Numbers, debt and weight loss

Interesting title, don’t you think?

So as I rode on my exercise bike, where I attempt to at least slow the expansion of my waist I noticed that at the end of it, the bike estimated I burned about 137 Calories, which makes me feel kind of good. Exercise of any kind is a good thing, so please don’t take my next few comments as me saying, “… you may as well not try…”, keep exercising, but keep the following in mind, 137 Calories burned might seem like a lot, however:

• A granola bar (which you might eat after your bike ride) is about 350 calories.
• A potato (by itself) is about 500 calories

All those numbers are estimates, but you get my point, you have just burned off an extra 100-200 calories, which is great, but if you then try to reward yourself for your hard work, you are in fact putting yourself behind, so keep that in mind.

What the heck does this have to do with money? It’s all about the numbers baby, do the arithmetic.

Say you decide to give up buying lunch at work for Mon-Thursday and then you will go out somewhere nice on Friday. You save \$6 over 4 days, which is about \$24, good for you that is a good saving! You then go out to lunch on Friday and have a beer and spend \$25, um, well, that kind of puts you down \$1 for the week doesn’t it? Another way to rationalize this is you are only spending \$25 a week instead of \$30 if you ate your lunch in your cafeteria, so  there are many ways to look at the numbers, but my opinion is you are still down \$1.

Run the numbers when  you start making up ideas to save you money in terms of financial plans, get a clear picture on what you are saving and how much, and decide whether you are really doing yourself any good or you are creating a false saving