Your Financial Beach Body: Stop Getting Sand Kicked in Your Financial Face

I’m at the beach this week, and while I’m no Dwayne Johnson in Baywatch, I do know how to become the financial version of “the Rock.”  Here are tips on how to get that financial beach body you’ve always wanted.

The sand oozes like brown play-doh through my toes.  The waves lap over my knees, smoothing my rough edges.  I take off my shirt and… so much pale.  

I know, you probably imagined me as this hulking dude with swollen biceps typing away furiously about finance.  You see in your mind my brawny torso making my MacBook look like a postcard.  I’m sorry to disappoint you, but I look nothing like the Rock or the Situation.  My body isn’t ready for the Jersey Shore or even shoring sheep.  (Those half dozen donuts and 3 waffles I had this weekend sure didn’t help!)

But I do know how to get a financial beach body.  Let me show you how.

What Does a Financial Beach Body Look Like?

In short: awesome.

When we think of the perfect beach body, we think tan and muscular.  Yes, but what makes a beach body have that particular look is a V-shaped torso.  And the perfect proportion of that “V” is a 1:1.618 ratio, meaning that your torso is 1.618 times as long as your shoulders are wide.

Interestingly, this ratio is all over the place.  They attribute it to the perfect face, with the length of your face generally 1.618 times its width.  This ratio occurs in nature as well, like the growth pattern of sunflower seeds, spiral of a snail shell, or satellite images of hurricanes.  Some call this the Fibonacci sequence, others the Golden Ratio.  When it comes to your beach body, it’s known as the Adonis Ratio.  

Whatever you call it, it’s what makes statues look like this:

(The Rock, as a rock)

So what happens if you applied this Adonis Ratio to your finances?  Turns out, pretty cool stuff.  If you assume that you spend $1.00 for every $1.618 you make, you get your financial beach body.  Take a look at the numbers, assuming the average household income of $50,000, the 7% inflation adjusted stock market returns, and the Trinity Study draw down ratio of 4%, which is your “safe” retirement withdrawal number.

So, for every $1.618, if you could limit your spending to $1.00 and invest the rest, your investments will have generated enough to replace your living expenses in 20 years.  Basically, you hit your retirement number.  

To truly see how your investments get pumped up in the later years, check out at how the numbers look when put in this sexy chart.

(Year 20 rises like a bulging bicep)


How Do You Get a Financial Beach Body?

Just like with the Adonis Ratio, there are two important components:  the width of your shoulders and the slimness of your waist.  

Thin Waist:  This is your spending.  This is easier to control, and more powerful.  For example, if your shoulders are 50 inches and your waist is 33 inches, is it easier for you to buff up your shoulders to 53 inches and maintain a 33 inch waist, or keep your shoulders 50 inches but reduce your waist to 31 inches?  Unless you’ve got crazy genetics, it’s easier to slim your waist than widen your shoulders.  (I said easier, not easy!) Here’s how you reduce your financial waist (waste?):

  • Watch Your Junk Calories:  Reduce your junk spending to slim down that belly fat.  The random junk we buy is a financial donut–like empty calories, they add up before we realize what we’ve done to ourselves.  Take a look at what you’ve actually spent in the last month and separate the essential items from non-essential.  Of the non-essential things, ask yourself if they still make you happy today.  You might find out that the pleasure you got from them was only momentary but the cost for paying them still lingers on your credit card bill.  Financial donuts are poor happiness investments, but their financial impact adds up.  
  • Behind The Six Pack:  Of course you want those washboard abs.  But that’s more for show. Instead, you want those deep abdominal muscles–your core–to be an oak of stability.  No one sees these muscles, but they are the muscles that allow you to be great at just about every physical activity.  Likewise, few see your financial core, which are your habits and processes.  It’s not as flashy as a new luxury car, but is a better foundation to get your financial beach body.  To develop those habits, start slowly.  Start with a budget, then reduce one expense until you get used to it.  Then reduce another expense until you get used to that new cost cut.  And so on.

Wide Shoulders:  Men’s Fitness says what’s obvious to anyone who’s walked by an Adonis:  broad shoulders create “an instant air of dominance and masculinity to a man’s physique.”  It’s the most visible sign that someone can do awesome things like pick up big boulders and pull 18-wheelers with a rope.  The financial version of broad shoulders is more income.  This is the harder side of the Adonis Ratio.  

  • Latissimus Dorsi (“Lats”):  These are the muscles that are the “\” and “/” of the “V” in your beach body.  Most of us don’t realize we have muscles there and never work them out, so we’re shaped like a stove pipe.  Wide lats give you the illusion of wider shoulders.  It widens your back using what you already have.  In the same way, the best way financially to get more income is through your current source of income by getting a raise or promotion.  How do you maximize your chance at getting that promotion?  This article will give you my secrets to how I landed every promotion I ever sought.
  • Welcome Aboard Deltoid Airlines:  Your deltoids are your side muscles.  Add to your “side” by getting a “side hustle.”  Side hustles are what we used to call “side jobs” and then some.  They’re also side businesses.  The downside here is that each take time, either working to earn or to build.  Other than part time jobs, there’s so many things you can do in this gig economy.
    • Get a side job
    • Drive for Uber or Lyft
    • Take online surveys
    • Freelance writing
    • Blogging
    • Eating donuts (ok, I made this up. But I’m guessing someone, somewhere would pay you to eat a donut. If that’s you, where should I send my resume? I’m very qualified!)

Tired of Getting Sand Kicked in Your Financial Face?

Yeah, me too.  

I was broke and living in a Spanish Harlem hostel.  No one would hire me.  No place to call home.  Yet once I figured out the simple money and living habits, my financial beach body swelled up like the Rock.

You might not have a beach body (or even want one), but you can get that financial beach body. Just like with working out, it takes some dedication and effort. But as you can see, nowhere did I mention being smart, handsome, muscular, or tanned as prequalifications to pack on the money muscles.  

You do not have to be smart, handsome, muscular, or tanned to get a financial beach body!

Getting a financial beach body is democratic and for anybody at any income level!

Do You Have a Big Goal of Getting a Financial Beach Body?  

So you want to widen your financial shoulders by getting more income.  But you want something more sustainable than babysitting or dog walking.  You want to create a business but you don’t know how.  Well, I’ll show you how when you download the FREE 17-page guide below and start getting financially fit today!  (You can preview it here.)

Tired of waiting for “someday?”  You have a dream you’d like to come true, but going for it seems too scary.  So how do you do it?  This FREE 17-Page Guide is exclusively for subscribers. It will help you clarify your goal and develop a plan that will maximize your chance of achieving it.


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  • Mustard Seed Money June 26, 2017 at 10:10 pm

    Love love love this article. I definitely want to get my financial beach body on. Heck, let’s do both 🙂 I love how you weaved it all together. You should definitely try to get this on rockstar finance 🙂

    • JT June 27, 2017 at 7:43 am

      Thanks MSM! Your financial “V” is looking pretty great already! I’ll have to check out rockstar — thanks for the tip!

  • Justin @ Atypical Life June 27, 2017 at 1:06 am

    Great post! Never though of finances in terms of the Golden Ratio. Working on spending is definitely the way to go. Everyone can tighten up that belt a bit and save more, whether we know it or not.

    • JT June 27, 2017 at 7:44 am

      For sure, Justin! People think more income is more powerful when in fact it’s saving. Thanks for dropping by!


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