Take a break from consistency to make gains
All this finance and fitness stuff is confusing most of the time. Maintaining a savings ratio above a certain level is just as hard as maintaining a six pack. Each goal has differences and similarities in how to approach it and succeed. For instance, you would spend less money when trying to increase your savings rate. Also eating less calories as a whole will likely help you attain/keep a lower body fat percentage. Is that all there is to it? no, sadly, everything gets complicated when you dive into the details, and I am here to illuminate an extra layer of possibility when dealing with complex issues like these.
Last week I wasn't feeling so hot, so I dropped my lower body exercise weight down by about 18%. I felt like I was being super lazy doing this. Squatting with 205lb feels incredibly light when you are used to 245lb, and yet it still gets the blood pumping and you can feel like you are in control of the weight throughout the duration. I did this weak attempt at placating the lifting bug because
A: I was tired
and B: My body and joints hurt
Because I had been consistently squatting for months, it started to wear me down in a non-sustainable manner. So I did a de-load week inadvertently. Admittedly, I was just happy to have some weight off the bar even though I hypothesized that this would hurt my performance for weeks to come.
Turns out, this de-load workout didn't hurt my performance the following week. It actually helped! I squatted 225lbs for 27 reps (utilizing an exercise scheme known as breathing squats.) At 185lbs, these are not bad numbers to attain at all! Don't believe me? Try it sometime.
I should note that in almost every form of power/strength lifting, it is a known fact that a de-load week approximately once a month is an absolute necessity to attain max strength. For some reason my brain has internalized that rest=weakness=killing gains. This is generally the case, but it should be noted that rest is a very important part of recovery and physique is not as simple as calories in = calories out when you are trying to maintain a highly functioning body at a low fat percentage.
The problem that arises with highly functioning individuals is this; we are the people who care what we lift and save and eat and do. Sometimes, we care too much and it hurts our gains. If you are constantly striving to be better, then losing some ground on occasion will still easily put you ahead of the game when compared to the rest of the population. But there really is no need to lose ground, you just need to switch it up a bit and sometimes the switch makes things easier than your normal day to day so you feel guilty about it.
For the casual reader here, I would prompt you to look at your routine and goals. If you have been consistently making progress somewhere or if *gasp* you have stalled out, consider taking a de-load week and lift less weight and feel it a bit more. If you have been putting off expenses in order to boost a savings rate, maybe just take care of them. After all, if it is an inevitability to spend the money, then you might as well go for it instead of inflating a short term metric like savings rate in order to feel good. In the long run, you end up worrying about expenses less if you take care of them soon so you are in fact saving something: It's your sanity!