There are time tested principles that apply to how you stay in shape. 

  • Always try to build on your previous workout, keep pushing yourself.
  • Keep track of everything, what you eat, when you workout, and how often.
  • Strike a balance between working out and rest. Working out too much can be detrimental. 

Think about it, these exact principles can inform how we maintain our financial fitness as well. Make no mistake, learning how to be good at money, and continuing to be good at money are very different things. Doing the latter takes a whole lot of effort and discipline, here’s how you can work on staying financially fit.

Keep Pushing Yourself

Despite what you might think you can reach a financial plateau, where you do not continue to build on your successes of the past. Think of your ability to handle your money as a muscle, what happens to a muscle when you don’t continue to exercise it? It atrophies, loses mass and power. Yet if you flex and work it you can continue to help it gain strength. The same is true of your ability to handle your money, if you continue to develop and hone your skills you can get even better with your money.

If you are a novice, then read through our early posts that cover financial basics. If you consider yourself a veteran then really push yourself, its time to start reading personal finance books! The truth is that no matter how good you think you are with money, you can always get better. The minute you reach a financial goal, set a newer bigger one! Continue improving and keep stretching that personal finance muscle. There have always been those who have thought an athletic feat was impossible. The sub 4 minute mile, the 1980 U.S hockey team beating the Soviet Union, we live in a world full of naysayers. Whatever your financial goals are keep working toward them, and when you conquer one work toward another.  

Track Everything

When you have “mastered” the art of the budget (see what we did there with the quotes) you can get the tempting feeling to ditch your formal budget. “We’ve mastered this, we don’t need to keep track of everything anymore.” So you start buying without tracking it, past you screams “don’t forget about your budget.” Remember why you first went on a budget? You did it to earn the freedom from worrying about money. Do you want to go back to those days? Mastering your money and keeping a budget is a skill that can serve you for life. Yes your budget will change with your life circumstances, but having one should always be part of your financial fitness.

Work And Rest Are Equally Important

A critical component of any fitness regiment is getting a good night’s sleep. When you sleep you allow your body to recover, build up broken muscle, and give yourself energy for your next workout. As strange as it might sound, striking a similar balance is important to your financial life as well. If you make money the sole focus of your effort and energy your life will be miserable. There is a time to talk about money and there is a time to avoid it. Finding that balance is essential to maintaining your financial fitness. The personal finance race isn’t a sprint it is a marathon. You need to develop habits and disciplines that can help you successfully finish that race and power through the finish. 

How would you rate your financial fitness? How would you like to improve it?