| Real Life Strategies for Building Wealth


And I am not even joking.

You may choose not to believe me – it is April Fools’ Day after all. It’s you choice!

I’ve just done the maths – the chocolate bar I ate today, and enjoyed a lot, is costing me very nearly the ISA allowance for the year 2013-14.

Because I’ve been eating a chocolate bar every day. Still, you may say, the maths doesn’t add up. Are these chocolate bars filled with top black caviar, or something? (Now this is a really revolting thought: chocolate filled in with fish eggs that taste bad but are expensive because rare.)

Here is how the maths works.

One: Cost of chocolate – £260 ($433)

This is not that outrageous. I can have expensive tastes, this is true (you know it is true about wine). Lately, my craving for chocolate has been such that any average chocolate bar will do.

When at work, I sneak to the shop. Everything is done quickly: I buy it quickly, I leave the shop fast and I scoff the chocolate is several bites.

This way my brain has no time to register what I’ve done.

Lately, I’ve come to love chocolate; love it not with the calm and tested love of an established relationship but with the greedy passion of a one night stand.

Let’s say that I spent around £5 ($8.31) on chocolate per week (yep, I do try not to give into temptation completely); over 52 weeks this is £260 ($433).

Two: Cost of gym and training – £960 ($1,596)

All this chocolate eating has to be offset somehow.

And remember that I run long distance? To keep the weight off I go to the gym, work with a personal trainer and get up at 5.30 am every morning.

You may argue that I probably will be going to the gym anyway; you may be right.

The way it feels at the moment is this:

I go to the gym to train on a running machine (I am very against using machines in training) because I’ve been eating chocolate and sitting on my butt writing far too long

All my measurements are going in the opposite direction to one I want: my fitness is down, my strengths is down and my weight is up. Building base is essential; hence gym and running machine – easier to control the session.

When my weight is down and my strength and fitness up, I’ll be outside running with Suzi the Dog.

Paying for exercise and training sessions (karate and training) costs me £960 ($1,596) per year.

Three: Cost of new clothes – £1,500 ($2,494)

Yep. It turns out that before I started training again I’ve become rather more rotund than I use to be.

You know it is serious when you can’t fit in your underwear and your running gear.

I need to go to work and I need to look presentable – the time when academics could get away with lapse in fashion and looks is long gone.

I need to have something to wear during the weekends; and the time when I was prepared to live in tracksuit bottoms is gone as well.

I need to be able to run; otherwise there is no chance getting out of this problem.

I reckon that to renew my clothes will cost about £1,500 ($2,494) – this includes everything. And I mean everything.

Four: Cost of guilt and frustration – £3,000 ($4,989)

I am not a naturally big person; I am rather small boned and I don’t carry it well.

Looking in the mirror is a trial; feeling heavy really unpleasant.

It is well known that putting weight on goes with feelings of guilt (why did I eat this?), frustration (I should be able to run 9 min miles without wheezing like a heavy smoker) and outright depression (I am not there yet).

When I feel guilty and frustrated I don’t sleep well and my productivity goes down.

Assuming I lose two weeks per year because of reduced productivity (this is probably on the conservative side) this is about £3,000 ($4,989) net.

Total cost of this daily chocolate bar:

£5,720 ($9,514)

Now, I don’t know what you think but it seems to me I’ll be so much better off giving up the chocolate.

Have fun on April Fools’ Day!

photo credit: VivaAntarctica via photopin cc