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What Olympic Gymnastics And Budgeting Have In Common

  August 1

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I’ve always been a fan of Olympic gymnastics since I was a little girl. I’m consistently impressed by the gymnasts’ skill, dedication, and incredible power. Now that I’m older, I’m even more amazed that the women gymnasts in particular are all teenagers who devote the majority of their lives to their passion and their sport.

As I was watching their routines last night, I got to thinking. Gymnastics is a lot like budgeting.

Now, before you think I should step away from the blog and get a life already, hear me out! I think you’ll find a lot of similarities too…


1. You Have To Be Flexible


Gymnasts are some of the most flexible athletes around. They can bend and contort in ways that I cannot even fathom. If they mess up or have a blip, they seamlessly move into the next step as if their mistake never happened. Most importantly, they are willing to push themselves and their physical limits to the absolutely maximum. Much like the gymnasts, budgeting also requires flexibility. Your finances have to have some give, lest you’d be living paycheck to paycheck. One month might be better than another. The point is to keep moving, improving, and much like the athletes, pushing yourself to the limit.


2. When You Fall Down, You Have To Get Back Up


I always cringe when gymnasts fall off of the balance beam. I mean, they only have 4 inches to work with and then they go doing back flips and all sorts of other moves where they practically have their eyes closed. Many of them do fall off, and even though it rattles them, they always hop back on the beam. Budgeting is similar. No one is perfect. Sometimes we spend more than we make. Sometimes we want an item badly and don’t want to save for it first. Mistakes are inevitable. Yet, when we make those mistakes, it’s important to acknowledge them. Our “points” (credit score) might be affected, but we just need to jump back on the horse beam and keep going.


3. Getting There Takes Extreme Dedication


Seeing as there are millions of gymnasts in the world and only a few actually make it to the Olympics, we all know it takes extreme dedication. The women on the team talk about moving away from their families, missing out on regular high school experiences, and being in the gym on Christmas day. And yet, when they are standing on the podium getting a gold medal, none of that really matters. I think that’s how I’ll feel when I finally pay off all my credit cards, when my budget works, when my emergency fund is full, and my vacation that I’ve been saving for is booked. It takes a lot of sacrifice to budget correctly, but the end result is so worth it.


4. It’s A Team Effort


The USA gymnastics team won gold medals last night because of a team effort, because they worked hard together and had coaches who pushed them. Budgeting is the same. You and your significant other have to be on the same page. You have to want the same things. You have to be each other’s coach. If just one of you makes a mistake, you could lose the gold. But together….you can win it all!


So what do you think? Any other similarities between budgeting and the Olympics? What’s your favorite Olympic sport? Random side note: I told my logo designer that I loved the swirly Olympic logo. It helped inspire mine. 🙂


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17 responses to “What Olympic Gymnastics And Budgeting Have In Common

  1. Oh I loved Olympic gymnastics when I was a little girl – I wanted to be just like Kerri Strugg or Dominique Dawes when I grew up.

    I think another way olympic gymnastics is like budgeting is that it becomes part of who you are – a lifestyle.

  2. Great points. I especially like the first one. I just started writing about that, actually. Budgets are not rigid rules set in stone, but are flexible plans that you can update and change as needed. I think budgets really do get a bad rap for being so restrictive, but it’s because people are treating them that way. Static budgets will get blown every time, and will make people walk away from them. Fluid budgets help you reach your goals without freaking out because you bought a pack of chewing gum that was out of the budget.

  3. These are some great parallels. Watching those girls last night was awesome! It’s unbelievable how young they all are though. I love the interview with Costas afterwards when he asked their first memories of the Olympics and most of them said back in 2004. haha. I’m getting old.

    Swimming is my favorite.

    1. I know! I love swimming too! And, yes, I am constantly amazed by how young they are as well!

  4. I think those are really good comparisons. All very true. I’m constantly “falling off the balance beam.” In all seriousness, I can’t even do a hand stand on the beach. How the hell do they do some of those things???

  5. I love the analogy! Flexibility in your budget is so important, as is a willingness to pick yourself up when you stumble and fall.

    You have to be willing to make so many sacrifices to get what you want… and you have to really want it!

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