Financially Fit

Financially Fit by Michele Rohde

Last month I gave you 5 of my best, power-packed tips for dropping the “Quarantine 15”, fast! I hope you are on your way to feeling your healthiest this year, because it’s so critical right now to keep your immune system up in the defense against Covid-19. If not, there’s no time like now to have a real reason to get into shape.

Not only is your physical fitness important, but so is the health of your finances. More than ever, you may be thinking about job security and other financial priorities. It is in times of crisis; we often get shaken hard enough to question our own situations & decisions. Whether it’s in the aftershocks of death, divorce, layoff or other hardship like this pandemic, that’s usually where the mess leaves a message — a lesson learned. Hopefully you will utilize hard times to rise above, as an opportunity to climb the steppingstones toward growth & progress.

Health is wealth. They go hand in hand in so many ways. You want to be healthy enough to enjoy the fruits of your labor and you need to be healthy in order to generate those fruits in the first place. Health isn’t always just about physical wellness either — sometimes we can’t help being ill for a season or may be faced with a disability or other challenge, but mindset is also a critical component of our health. With a healthy mindset, we can overcome those perceived setbacks. If you are ill in one area, try to strengthen or focus on another area. Body vs mind vs spirit. Where is your strong suit or interest? Start there and water the heck out of that garden. There is a saying that states “a rising tide, will lift all boats.” So, if you are physically unhealthy, utilize your faith &/or mindset to help you grow. The disadvantaged area will naturally benefit from that effort and vice versa. This life is a marathon, not a sprint. As are most of our goals, whether financially or physically, we must decide to be committed to the life-long pursuit of improving what matters. If you want to tone up, you must work those muscles weekly & indefinitely. If you want to be financially secure, you have to flex those muscles consistently too — it’s just a different kind of muscle. Both involve a conscious decision & consistent action over a long period of time to see positive results. It’s simply the name of the game in all things success-related, & you just need the playbook.

So, if you are currently feeling financially insecure OR if you just desire to improve your current situation financially, I want to provide you with the fundamentals — the playbook — everyone needs to understand & accomplish to build a solid foundation, upon which to scale, rather than fail. No one wants to fail. Everyone needs a plan. Here’s your plan that will drastically reduce the odds of you failing financially and increase the odds of building lasting wealth for generations. Being wealthy is healthy. Being greedy, well that’s the root of all evil, so if your intentions are good, your wealth can be health- for not only yourself, but countless others. Think of the amount of impact you could have on generations if you made some changes today. It’s inspiring & incredible the power you have within yourself to generate such a positive ripple effect.

Financial Fitness:

1) Assess where you are now vs where you want to be. This step is often overlooked in fitness & finances, which is why so many fail! Remember this, you can master what you measure. In the same way you would weigh, take progress pictures & body measurements when you start a new exercise or nutrition program, you will want to document your income, your debt balances, your asset values & monthly expenses. Look at your last month’s statement to get the exact figures and write them down. Then you’ll want to decide on your goal amount for each of those areas and write them down. Just the act of gaining this clarity & putting it down on paper is scientifically proven to increase your success because of the new actions it may cause you to take!

2) Use a monthly budget. You can download a free family budget at mydollartimes.com. Use your last month’s bank statement to fill in current amounts. Then decide on a budget or goal amount for each item. Your goal is to not end the month in the red or negative. I like to utilize a zero-sum budget which means each dollar has a job, so you should end each month in the green/positive or near zero if this is done correctly.

3) Have a plan to pay down debt. Look up the debt-snowball method. Its one of my favorites for paying off multiple debts faster.

4) Have at least 3–6 times your monthly expenses in a savings account for emergencies.

5) Contribute to retirement plans. It will help you to reduce your taxable income now, grows tax-deferred & will secure your income in the future. Save what you can, but the key is to start & then to increase annually t minimum, making it a goal to save at least 10% of what you make.

6) Find your coaches. Your situation is unique. Your goals are your own. There is no one-size fits all approach to building wealth, so you’ll need to find a CPA, Lawyer & Financial Advisor for example that communicate well with you & each other to guide you toward the best strategies for your circumstances. They can advise you on ways to reduce your taxes, which accounts would be most beneficial & what documents you may need to protect your assets and so on.

7) You should obtain a plan for each of your financial goals from debt payoff, to savings, to retirement, education, protection, estate planning & so on. The plan will include calculations, action steps & accountability to ensure your progress.

8) Have fun! The same way you’d need to indulge in a treat meal & dessert once a week when you’ve been working hard toward your fitness goals, you need to treat yourself when you are pushing hard for your financial goals. Plan a night out, make a little splurge or trip along the way so that you don’t burn out and enjoy the scenery along the marathon route!

Lauren Mozisek & Michele Rohde (founders of FB group Rise & Shine)

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