Tips for shaping up your finances

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It’s easy for us to focus on our health and fitness because we can see the results of taking care of  ourselves and working out on a regular basis. It also easy to achieve the same results with your financial fitness by following some of the advice you receive for getting into shape.

Here are just a few simple tips to achieve financial health:

Number 1: Identify goals and create a plan

Similar to when you outline fitness goals such as improved flexibility, increasing strength training or losing weight, you need to write down your financial goals. Specifics about your lifestyle might change as you raise a family or change careers, but your goals and commitment should remain fairly consistent.

For example, are you looking to accumulate wealth, planning to for retirement or a child’s college education?  Think about your goals from a short-term and long-term perspective.

Number 2: Fix your goal and create a plan to get there

Start slowly. Most fitness trainers tell you to ramp up slowly to avoid injuries. The same applies to financial planning. Start your savings slowly. You don’t need to sock away half your paycheck right away. Also, keep in mind that it’s important to pay down your debt.

Pacing yourself also helps prevent you from jeopardizing your financial future. Just because you think you need to buy a home right away don’t jump in  such a big investment until you’ve made sure you can really afford it.

Number 3: Stay motivated

Is your workout getting boring? Feeling tired today? Physical fitness requires you to find whatever motivates you to stay the course. The same is true for meeting your goal of financial health. Streamline the process to keep it easy and to make sure your goals stay on track. Start by automating your savings plan. You probably won’t even miss the money if you never see it.

Find a financial planner you trust. He or she can help you stay accountable and help you track your financial strength along the way.

Number 4: Run a progress report

Tracking your development is a common fitness practice. Some people record times, repetitions or weight lose. When it comes to monitoring your finances, check in weekly, monthly or even biannually to make sure your plan is staying on track!

As with fitness, the longer you stay at it the healthier your financial well being will become!