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Place a Wager on Weight Loss

Place a Wager on Weight Loss

There's a long standing theory that when you put money on something like weight loss, for instance, that you're more inclined to actually reach the goal. Websites like StickK.com allow you to take the responsibility of a bet even further by drawing up a contract. If you want to lose 15 pounds by the end of the year you can pony up a certain amount of money. If you reach that goal, you get your money. If not, you forfeit the money to a person or charity of your choosing. To make it even more interesting, you could set the person to receive the money as someone you really don't like—that way, if you fail then your foe benefits. Talk about a new kind of motivation!

On the other hand, does this type of behavior make good financial sense? Will it help you achieve your goals of getting out of debt or planning retirement? Those are tough questions and not nearly as black and white as they sound. At first glance, this sounds like a bad idea financially. What if you lose the money? On the other hand, your health should be considered an investment as well. And, there's a direct correlation between getting a job and your weight. Many employers view overweight people as lazy and unable to complete their job requirements, so this kind of method could potentially increase job offers. In the end, it's about doing what makes the most sense to you, though we recommend that if you decide to wager money, keep it small.

What do you think? Is betting on your goals helpful or a waste of money? [Wisebread.com]

Posted: 6/5/08