The 3 P’s of Financial Fitness
February is Heart Month. My husband and I joined a local gym. I’ve decided that it wasn’t procrastination on a New Year’s resolution, it was a month of planning and committing, and it seems very appropriate to begin in February to recondition my heart, to improve my well-being. I will say that is has been VERY hard to leave for the gym (sans breakfast, shower & make-up), at 6am, on these extremely cold mornings. Neither of us has had any regular aerobic exercise in years. I have to say, after 2 weeks of 5 or 6 days a week, I could never have done this without a partner. Particularly, when you are trying to build a new habit or skill, it really helps to have someone else pulling and pushing you into place!
PURPOSE. Before you begin to get financially fit, you need to get your thinking straight, and figure out why you need to do this, and why you need to do it now. The answers may seem obvious, but until you sit down and put numbers on paper, you really won’t feel the motivation you need to get started. You need to think about what your own goals are, what they cost, before you can have any idea as to how you are going to get there. For many, this is an over-whelming job. Until you DECIDE to do it, it will probably never happen.It is rather ironic that fitness and weight-loss is such a challenge for me, when financial fitness and debt reduction is what I do! The process is really quite similar.
PLAN. Fiscal fitness requires a short term and long term plan. I don’t really like the word ‘budget’. It feels too restrictive. You need to start with a picture of where your money comes from and where it goes. Then you know whether you can save more or need to spend less (most people need to do both). As with physical fitness, if you don’t like where you are, you need to make a change, or you will STAY where you are.
PARTNER. Just like having a workout buddy can motivate you and keep you on track, having a financial partner helps you when you need to make a spending or investment decision, or are tempted to do something you know you can’t afford. There are different kinds of financial partners, who help in different ways. Financial advisors help guide you in growing your investments, and in choosing wise investment strategies. Accountants help you maximize the money you keep, and play by the rules. Daily Money Managers do the work of classifying your every transaction, paying your bills on time, helping you establish a system to avoid expensive charges and penalties, and letting you know where you stand each month. By knowing how your money is being spent, it becomes easier to identify places to trim the fat, and ways to increase your monetary ‘blood flow’. By doing this work for you, you gain time to spend on greater profit or pleasure!
PURPOSE + PLAN + PARTNER = PROFIT + PLEASURE + PEACE OF MIND
At Paper Tigress, we developed the Tame Your Financial Tiger™ System to help our clients to clarify their purpose, to create a reality-based plan to increase available future funds and have the peace of mind that they and their families are protected for the future. By being an accessible and actively involved partner, we are there to help you avoid financial pitfalls and give you back some time.