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Does your house have a “property for sale” board outside because you couldn’t plan your expenses right? Is your bank account experiencing occasional negative numbers? Are you in need of a change, but struggle to afford the cost of moving? Are upcoming expenses causing you extra stress? You are not alone. A lack of financial fitness is shared among many women all over the country. But there is hope.
Women often find no need to devise a financial plan during times of plenty. It is not until we get into a serious financial crisis that we consider the benefits of tending to financial fitness proactively. As the world hurls into 2020, make the decision to define your financial goals and values and to differentiate between your needs and wants. Commit to financial fitness this year.
Here are 5 tips for women to become financially fit:
Talk About Your Financial Fitness — or Lack of It
The first step to becoming financially fit is to take time to talk about money. Find a safe confidant with whom to share your financial concerns. This person could be an intimate partner or a friend or family member. However they are a part of your life, their ability to maintain confidentiality and ask you tough questions is of greatest concern. Money is a necessary resource for a healthy life, and healthy conversation about money makes the difference for change and fitness.
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Know Why You Want Financial Fitness
You will not become financially independent without clear goals: the “why” of making sound financial decisions. Every woman has a different answer to this “wh”’ because each person’s goals are unique. Whether it’s to be able to continue running your own business successfully, live your life well after retirement, or send your kids to college, being financially fit provides a way forward.
Set a Financial Routine
We all know about a weight loss routine. But have you ever heard of a financial workout routine? It works similarly to a fitness regime. You invest your time and energy to reap the rewards later. Both routines require mental and physical determination.
Evaluate your spending habits and monitor your credit card expenditure every month. This will help you determine which items are costing you more, which items are necessities, and what expenses you can cut. Avoid over-spending so you do not feel overwhelmed or trapped by financial obligations. Start by making small changes and adjustments for creating a bigger impact later.
Ask yourself if you always buying things you actually need or if you are spending money unnecessarily. Lowering your expenses on unnecessary purchases allows you to begin saving money. Give the practice of saving a short-term try, like a 20-day challenge. You might be surprised to see just how much you can save in a short time.
For reaping long-term benefits, identify the things you want to pay off in a certain time frame, such as six months. For example, focus on paying off credit card debts or your mortgage. Interest rates accrued on debts such as these make your overall spending higher than the amount you borrow. You must not lose your valuable property investments because of financial errors. So, clear those debts as quickly as possible. You will soon see how much you can save by doing so.
Accomplishing goals should be celebrated in ways big and small. For larger saving goals, set smaller “milestone” amounts that you can celebrate along the way. Plan your celebrations ahead of time and involve your family. It is fun to celebrate together!
In addition, commit to a philanthropy of some sort. There are incredible rewards to your emotional and mental health that come from spending money on other people or for a good cause. Treat your friends or family to an evening out or donate generously to an effort to help society.
Nobody can force you to become financially fit. However, you can overcome bad spending habits. To do this, surround yourself with people who are positive and believe in planning for the future. When you push yourself, you get greater outcomes.
Financial fitness is a gift you can give yourself. With intention and focus, it is possible to work toward financial freedom, one small gain at a time. Your efforts will not only benefit you but also those in your life who observe you. When financial fitness is a reality, pass what you have learned on to others so they may benefit as well.