Getting in financial shape is similar to getting in physical shape. If you take good care of your body, you are eating right, tracking your exercise plan, and working on staying in shape on a regular basis.
The same level of care is needed to keep your core financial muscles in shape. As you know, if your core muscles are in shape, you are in shape.
To get in good financial shape, you need to work on it regularly. You also need to understand, it doesn’t happen overnight but it does happen every day.
Here are a few tips to get you started:
Get Organized: Do you have a plan? You should keep track of your expenses. Just as when you try to lose weight, it is a matter of consuming fewer calories than you are burning.
With financial success, you need to be spending fewer dollars than you are earning. Keep good records of what you owe and when it is owed. Understand how much you are earning and how much you are spending.
Cross Train: When you workout, you will mix upper body exercises and lower body exercises; sprints and long-distance runs. You don’t focus on only one aspect, but instead you focus on a well rounded plan.
In financial terms this means that, yes, you enjoy the short term fun things in life and put some expenses on your credit card.
Remember that you shouldn’t over due it and only borrow what you can afford. Mix the short term fun with long term planning around your a diversified retirement savings plan and having an updated Will in place.
The secret (I think) is to live in the moment, but realize that you need to prepare for the future.
Look in the Mirror: It’s OK to steal a glance in the mirror after having a great workout – this is part of your self motivation to make sure you keep working hard.
You have put in the effort and you should check on the results from time to time. The same thing could be said about your career growth and your compensation.
Reflect on your success and give yourself a much deserved “pat on the back”. You’ve done well, now check to see if you need to modify your gym workout as well as check to see if you should modify your career goals.
Priorities change over time and you should periodically check to see if what you are earning (both financially and emotionally) from your job or career path is still in line with your short and long term goals.
If it’s not aligned, do a little research and see what other opportunities are out there.
Being in good physical shape and being in good financial shape are dependent upon your core muscles.
Remember, if you work on having strong core muscles, you are less susceptible to injury and you will feel better about yourself. The same is true for your financial core muscles – get organized; get motivated; and get moving!