By in Saving | 5 comments

Categories: life, saving, Yakezie 

“Follow your dreams, work hard, practice and persevere. Make sure you eat a variety of foods, get plenty of exercise and maintain a healthy lifestyle.” Sasha Cohen

The accomplished Olympic gymnast said it all in two sentences; she offers a guide to life in this quote!

MAIN TOPIC: I was fat and lazy!

I incorporate fitness in my life in an unconventional way. Here’s how it all started. When I was a teen, I was quite fat; I ate too much and didn’t exercise enough. By my late teens, I’d had enough. I didn’t like how I looked or felt! I won’t bore you with the details, but I learned healthy eating habits. I ate moderate portions of everything, rewarded myself (not with food) for my successes and didn’t beat myself up when I fell off the wagon.

By my early-mid 20’s I was exercising about 5 days per week and have kept up the habit!

In my quest for health and fitness, I learned a REALLY IMPORTANT TRICK to weight management and fitness. Not only does exercise count in burning calories, BUT SO DOES ACTIVITY. In short, the higher your activity level, the more calories you burn, AND the faster your resting metabolism will be. So in addition to moderating my eating, I tried to be more active. I didn’t sit around for hours on end, but was always getting up to move around and do something. Consequently, I have maintained a healthy weight for many years and most of the time feel great.

Here’s the other side to this story. During various times in my married life, we have employed a cleaning service to help with the housework. It’s very nice because it frees up a lot of time. The down side is that it’s NOT CHEAP, in fact, it’s quite expensive!

When I made the decision to hire housework help, the cost was worth the value I got from the service.

After we moved to our current home about 7 years ago,  I began cleaning the house myself. I expected to hire a service, but…….

 It turned into an INCREDIBLE WORK-OUT, and a huge financial savings.

PRACTICAL APPLICATION: Here’s the Financial and Health Benefit

You can probably see where this is going. Last Monday, got up a bit early, CRANKED UP THE MUSIC REALLY LOUD, and grabbed the vacuum. I went from top to bottom, in every room, and vacuumed to my favorite ROCK MUSIC. After 1 hour, moving furniture around and vacuuming, I worked up a sweat. 


$20.00 for 1 hour housecleaning

$10.00 for 1 hour exercise class

$30.00 TOTAL

I also didn’t waste time going to a gym or a class, and got my total work-out and a big cleaning chore done ALL BEFORE I HEADED OFF TO WORK.

How clever is that? I’m saving money and cleaning my house and getting fit. Also, I’m cross-training, using different muscles, and not getting bored with the same routine. This strategy works with yard work, and any active chore.

Give it a try and let me know how it works out?


Get a notebook, label it: “(your name) Personal Finance” and store it by the computer. Use it to keep all of your personal finance goals, thoughts, activities, and plans.

Check out your routine & your budget; find a way to increase activity and decrease spending.


Read more personal finance from my colleagues from the Yakezie Challenge:

Mike at Saving Money Today  writes about How to save money on movies.

Beating Broke talks about taking personal responsibility in You are Your own Worst Enemy.

Personal Finance Ninja offers a fascinating viewpoint on the quickly expiring home buying credit.


  1. I traded in my work out sessions for gardening. It takes strength and stamina to keep the gardens looking good but I have to admit, there is no way I could get it done in an hour so I’m not really saving time that I would have spent at the gym. But I am getting something done that looks wonderful in the end.


    April 29, 2010

  2. I think it may be counter-productive to tell my wife about the great and healthy benefits of cleaning the house more.

    While I am not touching that one, you are so right. Our bodies were made to be moving. If I could just walk a blog at the same time:-)


    April 29, 2010

  3. @Ingrid, So you look great and so does your garden; its a win win for all! Thanks for stopping by! @LeanlifeCoach, Yea, it is a problem that the more one blogs, the less we move, when you figure out how to blog & walk, let me know! WRT to your wife, probably a good idea not to share this one with her! Thanks for taking the time to comment!
    Best regards, Barb


    April 30, 2010

  4. Great idea. I actually do the same thing. I live in a neighbourhood where all the housewives go to the gym. Hey..Why don’t they stay home and clean the house…or clean up the yard, or paint the house…You can achieve so much when you just do it. I just think it’s a waste of time and money going to the gym. There was no such thing in the old days..They was no need to exercise because everyone was busy anyway.

    Saving Money

    October 23, 2010

  5. Actually, I did a lot of yard work and cleaning of the basement this week, watched what I ate, and I think I lost some weight. And, the house and yard look pretty good 🙂


    October 23, 2010


  1. WHY I’M WEALTHY & MY HOUSE IS DUSTY | Barbara Friedberg Personal Finance - [...] the “not so fun tasks” can be redefined to give SOME SORT OF BENEFIT. Even vacuuming can be fun.…

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