Back in my high school days we’d often hear the saying “no pain, no gain” with regards to exercising. And many of us took this to heart and would push ourselves a little too far.

My one year of running track taught me a few things. Number one: nourishment is necessary. Number two: pace yourself. I wasn’t initially aware of these two basic concepts.

I remember one 800 metre race – I was pushing myself so hard on that first lap and was definitely in the lead. But for the second lap, I had the energy sucked out of me and fell back significantly and ended up coming in third place.

A couple of roadblocks at the time were that I wasn’t feeding myself well enough even for basic life, much less running a race, and I also didn’t know about the run steady and push stronger at the end concept. I couldn’t give it all I had at the end of the race because all I had was long gone.

In the race of life, balance is what I seek. No extremism necessary. And that overlaps into how I handle money.

It’s great to want to make significant changes in your savings, but there’s no point in going to any extremes that can’t be maintained and that may lead to a crashing fall.

You can find the pace that works for you and not worry about anyone else’s standards of how far and how fast you should go.

If you look at the main categories of life expenditures such as groceries, eating out, toiletries, clothing, transportation, etc., and find modest, manageable cutbacks that are mostly painless, you’ll be able to stay on track.

Let’s say the current household net income is $50,000 and housing is $20,000 leaving $30,000 for life that all gets spent. If you can spend even just 10% less, that would mean you’d have $3000 more in your pockets. To some, that may not be much, but to others, it could make a world of difference.

In my series of six books that are still being finalized, there are many ideas of how and where to save money and find a balance, spread between many different categories or routes. You can choose the path or paths you take and go at your own steady pace, starting slow and warming up, with no gasping for breath, passing out, or cramped muscles, guaranteed. And you’ll be able to go the distance.

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