The road to financial fitness can be a daunting one. The path is not smooth nor always the easiest path to navigate. There are unexpected twists and turns and people regularly fall asleep at the wheel. Similarities are often cast between financial fitness and personal fitness.
In either pursuit, following certain key principles has consistently proven to yield success. If you feel like you are a little financially flabby, let me offer a few tips to help you become more financially fit ...
HAVE A FINANCIAL PLAN.
As a financial educator, I've consistently found that this first step - developing your financial blueprint - is the hardest step. The key? Find a budgeting system/ method that will work for you and your personality. Establish goals to guide you and you'll quickly realize that meaningful, purposeful steps will make success obtainable. Numerous free budgeting resources are available - start here.
As an Eagle Scout, I was taught the importance of being prepared. There are several important areas of personal finance with which this motto will serve you well:
- Eliminate Debt
- Have an Emergency Fund
- Maintain Appropriate Levels of Insurance
INVEST FOR YOUR FUTURE.
Invest in yourself - make education a lifelong process. In addition, take part in personal and work retirement programs. When possible, take advantage of any company/ employer matches. Contribute to a 401(k), IRA, and/or other investment programs that maximize the growth of your money through tax free and tax deferred savings vehicles.
As I've said before, start by simply doing something. Go ahead and start small. What I've learned over time is that the majority of personal finance revolves around inertia. Once momentum starts, it tends to continue rolling... not until it starts though! As with personal fitness, the bottom line is discipline ...