How do you know if you’re financially healthy? As with physical health, there are certain indicators you can use. Knowing your savings account balances, retirement plan status, debt load, interest rates, and credit score can give you a picture of your current position. If you don’t like what you see, here are some tips to help you get your money in shape:
- Just like you plan your meals and prepare them ahead of time to make sure you eat well, you can plan and automate your savings. Create an automatic deposit at the beginning of the month into an account named after your goal.
- Debt is a heavy load. Consider using a debt management plan to consolidate your payments, lower your interest rates, and pay off your credit cards.
- Focus on what you want. As with physical fitness, it’s easier to reach your goals if you focus on the healthy foods you can have instead of what you can’t. Focus on what you truly want to spend money on and what your values are, instead of what you can’t afford.
- Tell someone about it. We’re more successful in reaching our goals when we write them down or share them. Let a friend or partner support your savings or debt reduction goals.
- Reward yourself. Pick an activity that you enjoy and that fits within your budget (taking a walk, drawing, watching your favorite show). When you reach your goal, you can do the thing you love.
- Break it down. In trying to be physically healthy, it helps to look at a daily or weekly goal instead of your overall, long-term goal. When it comes to your money, break your financial goal into small steps, and focus on completing each step, not the whole journey.
- Use a coach. It’s hard to hold yourself accountable, or see what systems are getting in your way. Use a coach to help you get where you want to go.