Finance and fitness are two very important things in life. While I’m not the crunch numbers, analysis and projection seeking finance person, the tools that protect finances and families are my jam! I also enjoy my own personal fitness journey, that like most people’s finances, has its ups and downs. We are just starting to hit the peak of our summer here in North Dakota. This summer is different for many people depending where you live. While many are used to loading up the car and going on summer road trips, kids heading off to overnight camp, weekends at the lake, sports and music camps, a lot of that has come to a halt. Many kids aren’t even getting to enjoy their community pool. Here in North Dakota, we are extremely blessed to have pools open, golf courses open, summer camps, and sports. We are somewhat normal, but life is different. This weekend many people won’t be celebrating with family and friends as Independence Day approaches. There are a lot of unknowns in people lives. People are scared, anxious, depressed, and confused. While there are things we cannot control in our lives, there are many things that we can. One thing we can control is our finances and health – to an extent. On the financial side we can’t always control how much we have coming in – not everyone makes a salary, or especially during this time, many have seen a reduction in hours or lost jobs, but we can control what goes out. Having a control over your income is empowering. Is it something that happens over night? No, it takes work. If you are used to getting a paycheck, paying your bills and then spending the rest, you’re not going to get ahead in the savings department. Are all the bills you’re paying necessary? Many, probably yes, but I’m sure there are some that you could you don’t need. I am sure there are lists of “top 10 things to help trim your budget” and while they are probably fairly accurate, I’m going to share some of mine.
- Eating out.Now, I understand we all like to support our businesses and that’s great, but if money’s tight, this is a great way to cut back.
- Soda/Sugary Drinks. I am about to be 3 years soda/pop free. I can’t imagine the amount of money I have saved. Quick example – you drink 1-20oz a day and it’s $1.50 at the store, that’s $547.50/year. You drink 2, you’re at almost $1100!!
- Cigarettes. I have never been a smoker, but in North Dakota, it appears the average cost is $5.33 for a pack. A person who smokes a pack a day spends almost $2000/year on cigarettes
Are there other habits out there a person can cut to save money? Of course! Why did I pick these? A lot of what I want to focus on in my practice is being financially fit. While the goal is to have our finances in “good shape”, a lot of that stems into our daily practices of self-wellness. Having a clear mind and a well-rested body can go a long way in our financial success. It helps us get up and go to work, we make healthier choices, we can start to say “no” to things that would have put us in a financial crunch if we continued to do the bad habits. Set goals; daily, weekly, monthly and annually. The easier you break down your goals, the easier it will be to achieve them. When it comes to our health, the opposite is true – we must control what goes IN, because we can’t always control what comes out! Food is fuel. You don’t put regular gas in a diesel. It won’t work, and over time the vehicle will lose function in the parts that make it run. The same thing happens to our bodies. When we fuel it with whole foods, our mind is better, our body is better. When our mind is well, it’s easier to be focused and I believe it does play a role in how healthy our finances are as well. I am not saying being healthy makes you a millionaire, because quite frankly, there are a lot of millionaires that are not so healthy people. It may make you feel like a million dollars and that you can achieve anything you set your mind to. Will you have setbacks, of course! Having an accountability partner or team can help make the process more manageable. Just like a health coach can help keep you on track, having a financial professional can also help keep you on track with your financial goals. There are many out there and it’s best to shop around and find someone you feel comfortable with! You want your professional to have the similar values and want to listen and learn about your successes and failures. If they aren’t willing to listen to your needs, then maybe they aren’t the right person for you. Whether you are just starting your financial journey or looking to retire, we have the tools and solutions to help make your goals a reality.
I hope you all have a great weekend. Enjoy the outdoors, find ways to engage with others in safe and healthy ways, and wash your hands!
God Bless America!