Staying the Course: 5 Ways to Keep Financially Fit

Friday, February 14, 2014, 1:00 AM | Leave Comment

Good runners are disciplined. They know that to win a race, or even complete one, they must be deliberate. Reaching goals requires foresight and patience. As you think about keeping on track financially, what can you learn from successful runners?

Staying the Course 5 Ways to Keep Financially Fit

  1. Plan

    It is important to assess the situation before taking steps towards success. Do you know if you spend more than you make? Are your credit card balances growing or shrinking? Utility companies offer budget plans that improve predictability by allowing fixed payments. Credit card companies provide spending reports. Taking an honest look at your income and spending patterns is a good first step towards financial solvency.

  2. Prioritize

    What are your problem areas? Is there a low hanging fruit or a big expense that requires immediate attention? The Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy indicated that bankruptcy in Mississauga is down due to income increases and a thriving economic climate. That is a good sign, but in order to continue on a strong path, prioritization is vital. Separating wants from needs is not easy, but it is necessary.

  3. Stay Fit

    Modifying well-ingrained habits is also critical. We drive to work and grab coffee or water along the way. We pay gym fees. We meet friends at full-service restaurants. These can be comforting, but harmful habits. Zipcar says members save an average of $500/month versus car owners. Can you change your transportation patterns to include car sharing or public transit? Can you eliminate expenses by using a water filtration pitcher or coffeemaker at home?

  4. Keep Good Company

    Good friends help keep you on track by encouraging you to maintain healthy changes. Just as runners find it useful to jog with partners and join running clubs, it is important to surround yourself with like-minded individuals who will appreciate neighborhood walks/hikes, potlucks and game/movie nights at home.

  5. Seek Help

    Successful runners work alongside steady individuals who help identify bad habits, provide motivation and offer helpful advice. According to Paddon & Yorke Inc, financial difficulties can strike anyone at anytime. Knowing when to ask for help is important. If you have made some changes, but need assistance in order to continue to improve, consider engaging a local financial partner or working with an online service.

Short bursts of strength/speed are essential for short races, and pacing is critical for success in long runs. What type of race are you running? When it comes to personal finances, living within your means by forming healthy habits and maintaining solid support are keys to staying the course.

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