The simplest advice is the best

Many people today struggle with food and eating and dieting.

Many people today struggle with money and finances and debt and saving.

I’ve long noted that the simple tools that help people overcome problems with one of these problems, can help solve the other, as well.

I’m not the only one who has noted this: Ramit Sethi blogged about this, too.

To lose weight, you can try a bunch of radical fad ideas. Or you could just eat less, and exercise more. Your body needs fuel, a certain amount every day, more when you’re working hard, less when you don’t. Eat this much and no more.

To save money, you could try a bunch of “get rich quick” schemes, or wait until you win the lottery. Or you could just spend less than you earn. Your income is a resource – save as much as you can. Reduce expenses whenever and wherever you can.

The basic tool that helps us do these things is something that I feel is lost these days: pay attention. Pay attention to what you spend. Pay attention to what goes in your mouth. Document, track, observe.

The barriers to doing these simple actions are all around us; there are billion-dollar industries that have developed in order to convince you that these simple things are beyond you. They’re there to confuse you, and when they succeed you find yourself out of balance in one way or another.

Your friends and close family may also be an unbalancing factor. They may also be listening to the voices of the billion-dollar industries. Don’t blame your friends, don’t hate them, don’t pity them. Just learn to listen to your body and your checkbook. You only have this much money. You only burn this many calories in a day.