Nurture Your Financial Fitness

June 26, 2021

Financial Fitness is like having rock-solid abs, but instead of being all about having an awesome body, it’s about having an awesome wallet AND mental peace of mind. It’s easy to get into debt these days with student loans, credit cards, and that adorable little Ferrari you just couldn’t pass up, but if you want to keep your stress levels manageable, having a little financial awareness is a must.


According to www.mybanktracker.com, the ten leading causes of debt are: 


1. Low Income

2. Bad Budgeting

3. Divorce

4. Depending on Credit Cards

5. Gambling

6. Illness

7. Little or No Savings

8. Lack of Financial Communication

9. Spending Future Money

10. Not Knowing the Basics


If life has got you living paycheck to paycheck, you have two choices. You can stick your head in the sand and hope it goes away, or you can face your situation head-on and make a plan to change your situation and act on it. It's easy to meander your way into debt, but you need to follow a solid path to make your way out of it.


If you’re not in debt up to your eyeballs or even up to your ankles, Financial Fitness is still important to help you meet your goals for things like retirement, and that incredibly awesome “I loved it the moment I saw it!” new home.  Also, if you’re in a relationship, by improving your financial communication you lower your risk of divorce, giving you a double boost of power to avoid items #3 and #8 on the “Leading Causes of Debt” list.


For some people Financial Fitness means a big lifestyle shift, for others, it’s more of an awareness shift. Need to downsize or go tiny for a while to save on housing costs? I can help you with that. The money you save in monthly mortgage payments can go towards your debt or towards saving for a bigger house once you’re more financially fit and ready for that step. Seeing the balance drop on your debt or increase in your savings is one of the world's greatest stress relievers. It’s also an incredible motivator to keep you on the right path.


Three of the easiest things you can do right now to flex your money muscle:

  1. Find a high-yield savings account and move your money there.

  2. Scan your credit card bill and cut down on your digital subscriptions

  3. Make saving automatic with a set automatic transfer of funds from your paycheck to your savings account


Even if you start with saving just $5.00 from each paycheck, it’s still a great way to get into the habit. Refinancing and consolidating your debt can help you see the light at the end of the tunnel. No matter what your situation is, one of the best steps you can take is to get yourself a financial planner.  Austin Beneteau, financial planner at Modern Woodmen of America, has been a great help to me in managing my financial present so my financial future looks rosy.


Making and following a budget, saving, paying down debt, and building your credit so it’s there for you when it’s time to make your big Good Debt purchases are all a part of Financial Fitness. Resources like Credit Karma exist to help you get on top of your credit score and build better habits. It’s important to recognize the difference between Good Debt and Bad Debt. According to Investopedia, Good Debt has the potential to increase your net worth or enhance your life in an important way, while Bad Debt involves borrowing money to purchase rapidly depreciating assets or only for the purpose of consumption.


Going frugal in a consumption-crazy world can seem hard at first, but it opens the door wide for increased creativity and innovation, as you replace high-dollar gifts with gifts from the heart and pricey vacations with more local adventures. Financial Fitness is a daily practice and a way of life that puts you in control and aligns your funds with your priorities.


When it’s time to prioritize your living space and follow through on the Good Debt of a fabulous new home in Palm Springs, I’m here to serve. Looking for a home elsewhere but don’t know who to turn to? I’m ready to help with that, too. Check out my blog on The Power of Referrals and let me refer you to a top-notch real estate professional in your area. I’m Stephen Burchard, The Desert Bowtie Realtor, taking the (k)nots out of real estate.