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4 Similarities Between P90x and Personal Finance


Have you ever heard of P90x? It’s an extreme workout that, over the course of 90 days, promises to get you into the best shape of your life. As of today, my nephew and I have endured 47 days of grueling workouts and healthy eating. I am definitely seeing results, both on the scale and in my appearance, but it is still difficult to stick with the program, especially since it burns up at least 90 minutes of my day.

Now that we’re a little over half way through the program, I am seeing a quite a few similarities between keeping your body healthy and being smart with your finances. In order to be successful in your exercise program and in personal finance, you’re going to have to understand these 4 truths.

1) The First Few Days Are Unbelievably Tough

When my nephew and I inserted that first disc for P90x, I think I was underestimating the difficulty of the workout to come (even though I have done a few of these workouts in the past). After about 40 minutes, I was keeled over with my head inbetween my knees, almost certain that I was going to blow chunks (sorry if you just got a visual of that). Somehow I was able to keep my cookies down that night, but there was no doubt about it, that first day was tough.

Handling your finances is similar to starting a serious workout program, and that first day can be really tough. Let’s say your typical day involves grabbing a coffee on the way to work, eating lunch with your co-workers at the local sub shop, and then browsing through the mall on your way home to see if there are any new items that you might want to walk out with. When you crack down on your finances and are committed to spending less, you have to make that coffee at home, pack a lunch for the afternoon, and completely avoid the mall on the way home. It’s a complete lifestyle change, and those first days are probably going to suck.

2) You Need to Stay Disciplined

While both of these programs can be new and exciting for a while, there’s no doubt that the good feelings you get when you do that workout or when you pay another bill will soon get old and unfulfilling. It happened to me with P90x around day 35, and the last couple weeks have been a huge struggle, but I’m staying disciplined so that I can reap the results at day 90 (and beyond). The same is true with your financials. In the beginning, you’ll be paying down your debts and putting money toward savings. It feels good, but boy do you miss going out to lunch every day, and that mall has really been calling your name lately. Stay disciplined though, and you won’t be dissapointed with the final results.

3) You Need to Have a Goal

In order to stay disciplined, you’re going to need to have a goal. With P90x, I wanted to lose my love handles and build some muscle again. I’m getting there and I’m excited to reach my goal at day 90. With your finances, perhaps you want to get out of debt, or save a 6 month emergency fund, or maybe you’d like to retire! Whatever the case, don’t forget what your goals are. Keep them in your mind at all times, especially when things get tough.

4) Don’t Forget to Reward Yourself

For my 90 workout regamend, there is a pretty strict eating plan. While I haven’t followed it perfectly, I have done a pretty well. At day 90, I my reward will hopefully be a rockin body, but I think I might sneak a donut on that day too. Of course I’ll continue to eat healthy, but an unhealthy snack once in a while isn’t going to kill me.

The same is true for your personal finances. If all you do is pay off your debts and save your money without having any fun, you’re not going to make it very long. Create a schedule of rewards. If you pay off one of your credit cards, Head on out to lunch with your coworkers, or buy that hat from the mall. Then move onto the next goal and fight for that next reward.

How are you doing with your personal finances? Are you succeeding with paying down your debts and saving for that future emergency?



My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.


  1. I definitely resonate with the points you make. I try to set a goal somewhere between short and long term so I can see the light at the end of the tunnel even though I’ve got to keep working hard to get there. With this extra job I picked up we’ll be able to put another $400/month toward our house savings!

    • Yep, even if you have only long term goals, that should flow into short term goals as well, just to make sure you’re staying on track. That’s awesome to hear about your extra job and having the money go toward your house savings!!

  2. I completely agree with your points! I’ve been doing Insanity and have a post in the works on how it’s relating to my journey out of debt.

    • I hear Insanity is quite the workout! I’d love to hear about your experience. Let me know when you post about it!

    • Thanks RITH! Both goals are tough, and they just relate so well! Glad you enjoyed the article.

  3. Great analogy! I often compare financial fitness to physical fitness in my own life and this post really describes that comparison perfectly.

    • They both take a ton of discipline don’t they? And, if you lapse on your goals for a day, you have to find a way to get back into the groove again and continue working toward that final goal!

  4. Great comparison. Then if you get through the program of fitness or saving/debt, etc. you have to maintain forever or you’ll be back in poor shape.

    • Very true Kim! I should have added that as another point. If you reach the goal and then just go back to your old ways (either bad eating or overspending), then all of your efforts were completely pointless. You have to use the goal to change your mentality and then your lifestyle. Thanks for the comment!

  5. I’m starting to think you’d be good for teaching a time management course. Work, p90x, mba, house, wife… Impressive!

    • Haha. I don’t know about that. My life definitely feels very busy though! 🙂

  6. I haven’t tried P90X, but tons of friends got great results. I think it’s time now, post-baby, to work my body back into post-marathon shape! I also need to get a little more focused on shredding financial shredding. My body and budget will thank me!

    • Sounds like you’re motivated! I can’t wait to hear about the results! 🙂

  7. Good comparison and I agree much to you about personal finances.They have truly a similarities but they have also differences.

    • Yep, similarities and differences, but they definitely are both difficult to achieve and take hard work and discipline! Thanks for the comment!

  8. Points 2 and 3 are true for most things in life – exercise and finance being two of the most important. Not that anyone wants to hear them, but they are true. I like running and after a race people will tell me “you’re fast” as if I am naturally fast. Not true (and I’m only considered fast to those I beat, not the many I don’t). But my secret to being “fast” is simple – I have a goal, and I run consistently to try to reach it. Not very exciting…

    • Haha. Great point Kris. There are plenty of un-exciting moments in training. Only once in a while you’ll feel good about them because of the compliments from others, but for the most part, it’s best to just do what’s right for your fitness and finances.

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