Prioritizing Your Financial Fitness with 12 Simple Steps
by Kaitlyn Ranze
One of the most important things you can do for your overall health is to stay financially fit. Just like you need to exercise and eat right to maintain your physical fitness, you need to stay on top of your finances to maintain your financial fitness.
Here are a few reasons why you should make financial fitness a priority:
1. Money matters affect your mental health.
Money stress can lead to anxiety and depression. By tracking your money and working towards financial goals, you can reduce money-related stress and improve your mental health.
2. Your financial well-being affects your physical health.
Studies have shown that people who are stressed about money are more likely to experience physical health problems like headaches, stomach issues, and sleep problems.
3. Financial fitness can help you reach your other goals.
If you want to achieve other goals in life, like buying a home or retiring early, working on your financial fitness is a good place to start. Getting your finances in order will give you a solid foundation to work from as you strive to reach your other goals.
4. Financial fitness can improve your relationships.
Money stress can lead to arguments and conflict with loved ones. By getting your finances in order, you can reduce money-related stress and improve your relationships.
5. Financial fitness gives you peace of mind.
When you’re financially fit, you have less to worry about and can enjoy greater peace of mind. This can lead to improved mental and physical health.
So, as you can see, there are many good reasons to work on your financial fitness. If you’re not already taking steps to improve your financial well-being, now is the time to start.
That’s why we’ve put together this 12-step guide to financial fitness.
1. Track your spending. Knowing where your money is going is the first step to getting your finances in order. Use a budget or tracking app to keep tabs on your spending and see where you can cut back.
2. Make a plan. Once you know where your money is going, it’s time to make a plan. Decide what financial goals you want to achieve this summer and create a budget that will help you reach them.
3. Get organized. Getting your financial documents in order will make it easier to track your progress and stay on top of your finances. Gather up all your bills, statements, and receipts and create a system for organizing them.
Pro-tip: download a money app to keep all of your bank accounts and your spending at your finger tips.
4. Automate your finances. Automating your finances can help you stay on track and avoid late fees and interest charges. Set up automatic payments for your bills and consider using a money transfer app to automate your savings.
5. Save money. Make saving money a priority this summer by setting aside money each month to reach your financial goals. Use a savings account or investing app to help you grow your savings.
6. Invest money. Investing is a great way to grow your money over time. Consider investing in stocks, mutual funds, or exchange-traded funds to get started.
7. Stay disciplined. More like a muscle that builds up over time, staying disciplined with your finances is key to achieving your financial goals. Make sure you stick to your budget and avoid overspending.
Sometimes this means looking at your relationship with money
Your relationship with money is the way you interact with money on a daily basis. It includes your attitudes and beliefs about money, as well as your behaviors when it comes to spending, saving, and investing.
8. Have an emergency fund. An emergency fund can help you cover unexpected expenses in case something comes up. Try to save enough money to cover 3-6 months of living expenses.
9. Pay off debt. If you have debt, focus on paying it off this summer. Try to make extra payments or consider consolidating your debt to save money on interest charges.
10. Get insured. Make sure you’re protected this summer by getting the right insurance coverage. Consider buying health, life, auto, and homeowners insurance to protect yourself and your belongings.
11. Give back: Once you’re financially fit, it’s important to give back. This can be done in many ways, such as donating to charity or helping out friends and family in need.
12. Enjoy your money: Finally, once you’re financially fit, it’s important to enjoy your money. This means spending it on things that make you happy, whether that’s a new car, a fancy holiday or simply treating yourself to a nice meal out.