The most common New Year’s resolution is to lose those stubborn pounds. Physical fitness is a great resolution. I've got another one to add — financial fitness! You don’t need to track your diet (or steps), join a health club or lift some weights to become financially fit. Just a quiet place and some financial willpower.
Here's how to get started:
Calories or dollars? Start a budget.
Do you try to stay within a daily limit of calories? Think about a budget the same way, but over the course of a month or year. Tie your budget into your Core Values — the priorities that are most important in your life.
Drop those pounds of debt.
Review your debt and make a plan to pay it down over time. Start with any high interest loans or credit card balances. That extra debt can weigh on you!
Get on the scale and check your credit score.
Who likes to look at the number on the bathroom scale? Not fun, but helpful to measure your fitness progress. The same goes for your credit score. To check your for free, go to annualcreditreport.com.
Save some extra calories and dollars for special occasions.
It is often hard to have willpower with your diet when it comes to an unexpected dessert being placed on the table. So, as you watch your calories, plan for the occasional indulgence. Just like that unexpected home made brownie, life happens and there are unexpected emergencies. Creating an emergency fund that will allow you to pay six months of household expenses will afford you a stable foundation going forward. If that seems too ambitious, build the fund a month at a time until you reach your goal.
Have you cake and eat it too!
Are you making regular contributions to your retirement accounts? Take advantage of the full amount of matching contributions from your employer. It's really the equivalent of a free lunch!
Visualize how you will feel with those extra pounds of financial stress gone. You will have a bounce in your step and will feel great. You might just have a little extra to spend on something special for yourself.
Shari Greco Reiches
Shari co-founded Rappaport Reiches Capital Management with one goal - to maximize the return on life for her clients. Please connect with Shari below. She loves to talk about investing, financial planning, and Barry Manilow.