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Be Wise With Money

Get Fit: Set & Follow Through on Your Physical & Financial Goals

person lifting weights

Fitness is a state of being. For the guy on Muscle Beach, it's the size of his biceps or how much weight he can bench press. For Richard Simmons, it's just moving. For someone else, it might be being able to ride a bike 40 miles or walk two miles. The same thinking applies when it comes to defining financial fitness – it's how close you are to your goals.

Invest in your future: Physical fitness and personal finances

When we're in our 20s, we tend to be pretty physically fit and active. As we age, it gets harder to stay that way. Financial fitness tends to work the opposite way. Most college grads have school and credit card debt, auto loans and more as they get started with their adult life. And as you age, your finances tend to be more fit because you have greater available resources. No matter which fitness you're talking about – you have to work at it.

According to the 2015 Principal Financial Well-Being Index survey of American workers in growing businesses, 87% view physical health as an investment in their financial future. The goal is to avoid major health expenditures in the future by staying healthy.

5 steps to becoming financially fit

Fifty-two percent of people who work with a financial professional are more likely to say they are happy with their current financial situation. These same people also say they give themselves a financial check-up in a variety of ways, from monitoring spending levels and creating a budget to re-evaluating their investments and creating a financial strategy. They:

  1. Set a goal.
  2. Plan how.
  3. Do something.
  4. Track progress.
  5. Celebrate milestones.

Overcoming inertia is typically the hardest thing to do.

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Fitness doesn’t just miraculously happen. There are no instant results, despite what TV advertisers say. You have to want it and go for it. It's about the journey and where you want to be down the road.

Tips to help you reach your goals

  • Ask a friend for support.
  • Put time on your calendar for the activity and stick to it.
  • Talk to a financial professional to help create or review your financial strategy.

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