Have you heard the latest health craze? No, it’s not eating organic, gluten free or vegan but it is very important. Many people know the importance of eating healthy food and what we put in our bodies is crucial to our daily living, but are you financially healthy? It may not get the press coverage that nutrition and healthy eating gets and thankfully the advice doesn’t flip flop on a regular basis (is coffee, bread, or bacon healthy now or not anyway?). Just like eating healthy and making better choices today can positively affect the quality of your life down the road, being financially healthy is equally important. Staying financially healthy means that you are smart with your money, spend less than you make and investing wisely.
Whether you want to be physically healthy or financially healthy, the principles are similar. Here are some tips to stay financially healthy.
Set Debt Loss Goals
Just like with weight loss, it’s best to start with where you want to go with your finances and how much debt you want to lose. If you know the “why” behind your financial goals, then it’s easier to stay on track. And being financially healthy means you can live with less stress, have money saved for vacation, and invest for the future. It’s allowed me to travel the world, help others in need, and live with less stress.
Get a Financial Physical
Want to get an overview of your financial health? Get out all your bills, bank statements and see where you are financially. I find it helpful to use a spreadsheet to know how much my income and expenses are each month. Keep it simple as the main goal is to get an idea of the money that’s coming in and going out each month. You can then determine if you have any extra money that you can save (which is where the fun starts).
Hire a Personal Trainer
If you don’t know the first thing about getting into financial shape, then hire a trainer. They can help you get a plan together for helping you reach your goals. Look for similar things as you would with a physical trainer.
- How much experience do they have?
- Are they financially fit and do they practice what they preach?
- Do they have other references?
- Are they a good fit for you?
Get into a Regular “Workout” Routine
Most people feel awkward or uncomfortable getting their finances into shape. Create a goal to review your finances twice per week for 15 minutes. Start small and work your way up. Just like you wouldn’t try to bench press 3 times your bodyweight the first day in the gym, you don’t want to overwhelm yourself by looking at every document, bank statement and money guru out there. I recommend looking at ways you can cut out the “fat” of your budget, like your cable bill, eating out and other non-essentials (yes, cable isn’t essential).
As you become more financially healthy, you’ll feel more confident when life’s surprises come your way. Financial health means making the right decisions each day. So get started today and see where your healthy lifestyle takes you!