How I Lost 20 lbs and Put 20k in my Emergency Fund

Posted by Fitz Villafuerte under Guest Posts, Money Saving Tips, Personal Finance on April 23, 2012

Lose weight and save more money – these are two goals that many people want to achieve.

However, I’ve noticed that today – a good number of people believe that one must spend money to lose weight better.

Early this year, a friend who wanted to shed some pounds had to enroll himself in a gym and hire a fitness trainer. That consequently made him buy new rubber shoes and other sports apparel.

He also hired a personal nutritionist and because he’s a busy person, he then began eating more in expensive restaurants (instead of fast-food) because that’s where he can get healthy food choices.

He’s been achieving good results in losing weight. But as you noticed, he’s been spending a lot of money as well to get those goals.

Now what if I told you that by making a sound budget plan, you can actually “hit two birds with one stone” and be able to lose weight and save more money?

That is certainly possible – as proven by Anthony of Each Peso Counts, a fellow Pinoy personal finance blogger who is guest blogging here today. His story starts below:

I still remember that night when I was sitting down, feeling exhausted (not to mention heavy). I was tired from work because I had 8 sessions with my Wednesday kids (I work with children).

So I was not at all in the mood to go all the way to the gym for a workout. I was even “too tired” to lace up my running shoes and run a quick 30 minute short run.

But back then, I knew I was overweight. I knew I would have to make a change for the better, because if I didn’t, I’d just stack more “excuses” and solidify even more “not so good” habits.

The REALITY.
I was 184 pounds. That’s almost 20 pounds overweight from my optimal body weight.

I had to CHANGE. I had to START now.

Why? Because I want to meet a lot more Each Peso Counts readers. I want to live up to a 100. I want to be with my family and loved ones. I want to make a change in this world (who doesn’t?).

The MISSION.
Lose the gut. That’s 20 pounds. I thought I can do it. and I did, and much more.

The PLAN.
Go to the gym. Get moving. Stop eating junk. Eat what’s right. I did all this, and much more.

I still allotted money for chips, juice drinks, sodas and fast food (for a meal per day) and pool them together into a fun envelope (yes, I also use an envelope system). I kept that money for 3 months. I spent some of that money for cereals/oats and for gym membership.

Food I decided to give up.

Chips 50 php/day 1,500 php/month 4,500 php/ 3 months
Juice Drinks 25 php/day 750 php/ month 2,250 php/ 3 months
Soda 25 php/day 750 php/ month 2,250 php/ 3months
Fast Food 200 php/day 6,000 php/ month 18,000 php/ 3 months
Total 300 php/day 9,000 php/ month 27,000 php/ 3 months

I spent some of the money for 3 months gym membership and boxes of cereals/oats (1 box per week) for breakfast, sometimes snacks and dinner.

Cereals/Oats 400 php/ month 1,200 php/ 3 months
Gym 1000 php/ month 3,000 php / 3 months
Total 1,400 php/ month 4,200 php / 3 months

I was very happy, (1) because I was able to save Php 22,800 (Php 27,000 – Php 4,200) and beef up my emergency fund and (2) I was also able to lose the extra 20 pounds.

Believe me, it was not easy. I had to fight temptation every single day when I started. But as soon as I finished a month and realized I was still alive, the last couple of months went by smoothly.

It was more fulfilling when I realized that I didn’t just lose weight, I was even able to save more.

At the end of the (self-imposed) challenge. I was so thankful to the Lord. It took a lot of self discipline. A lot of reflection. And also, the execution of a plan and focus on clear set goals helped a lot.

Have you done your own version of the challenge? Saved on make up or clothes or beer instead? What did you save for? What was the result? I’d like to know your own version of this challenge too.

This guest post is contributed by Anthony Dones. I encourage everyone to visit his blog Each Peso Counts.

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Photo credit: alancleaver


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10 Responses to “How I Lost 20 lbs and Put 20k in my Emergency Fund”


  1. N/A says:

    wow, it’s a win-win situation!

  2. andro says:

    good info..

  3. jasmine a. delos reyes says:

    I will surely try it to save more and to achieve healthier lifestyle without spending much.

  4. RobertMF says:

    Knowledge Management practitioners often quote Lord (degrees) Kelvin: “If you can not measure it, you cannot improve it.” This article exemplifies it by illustrating how before you can arrive at a solution to a problem one must be mindful of the current situation; i.e., cashflow. Having a clear picture / inventory of expenditure one can now better manage and improve on it. Nice article! :)

  5. lioncityrebel says:

    It is ironic how unhealthy food is so cheap in the metropolis. White rice vs brown rice, fastfood vs organic resto, etc. But, if we will just look harder and spend more time we can actually eat healthier. Just buy local produce, prepare your own meals, and plan every meal well.

    You can also save by walking instead of commuting (as long as it’s doable), exercising at home/community instead of signing up for a pricey gym membership.

  6. I agree. I really just wanted to lose weight but didn’t want to “miss out” from all that I wanted or craved for (chips, fast food, quick sugar fix) and it all worked out. Sort of another way of saving without “limiting” myself. Thank you for the comments.

  7. @RobertMF

    I also wanted to see how long I was going to do the challenge. At first, I thought a month was too short so I opted for 3 months to up the ante. I continue to do this challenge with different things now (i.e., movies, eating out).

    @lioncityrebel

    I actually gave up the gym membership, I’m working out at home, running every morning (45min, 55-65% my maximum heart rate) and switched from weights to resistance training (until I’m able to buy for the bench and weights I’m saving for).

  8. Great article! I’ll definitely try this. :)

  9. Thank you! If you can, kindly share you own version of the challenge too.

    -Anthony

  10. Joseph says:

    I know that feeling too,

    most of my expense goes to meriendas, and urges for food like chocolate.

    The only difference between you and me is i don’t get fat. LOL

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