5 tips to get your finances in shape
By applying some of the principles for fitness success to your finances, you’ll put yourself on the path to health and wealth, says Larry Lee.
Having spent eight years as a group fitness instructor, there are many things I’ve learned from keeping in shape that can be transferred to managing your finances (and vice versa – I also have over a decade’s experience working in the financial industry!)
I also know that matters to do with finance, from selling training packages to asking for overdue payment, feature very low on most fitness professionals’ lists of their favourite things. You got into fitness because you love helping people improve their lives – but you also got into it to make a living.
Here are my top five tips for getting your finances into shape:
1. Set a goal and have a plan in place
Having a goal gives you something to work towards, and putting together a game plan then helps you think about how you’re going to get there and how long it’s realistically going to take.
2. Think long term and avoid short-term fads
It takes time and effort to get and stay fit the proper way. Fad diets are not sustainable and will only be temporary. The same goes for investing and growing your wealth: it’s about thinking long term when deciding where to put your money rather than just jumping on the bandwagon of whatever is doing well at the time, which may not offer sustainable growth over a longer period of time.
3. Start as soon as possible, do it regularly and don’t stop
Getting into a habit to build momentum helps to improve results in both fitness and saving and investing. Doing a little bit each day makes more of a difference than you think.
When it comes to exercise, try not to do the same thing time and time again: mix up your routine using different things like cardio, weights, interval training, stretching and flexibility so that your results don’t plateau, and you can improve results. Applying this to your finances, spreading your investments across multiple assets like cash, bonds, and shares in different companies, industries and countries can help reduce risks and optimise investment performance. There’s truth in the old adage ‘don’t put all your eggs in one basket.’
5. Use your friends as motivation
Group fitness and group training sessions let you exercise with others, giving the added benefit of motivating you to turn up (you’ll be less inclined to pike out on your mates if you know they’re relying on you to be there) and work hard. You can also use your friends when it comes to saving up: apps like Unsplurge allow you to both set a savings goal and compete with others to see who can reach it first.
Larry Lee is the chief marketing officer at Stockspot, Australia’s fastest growing automated investment service. He has over 15 years of experience working in the financial industry and digital technologies, as well as eight years in fitness as a BODYCOMBAT, BODYPUMP, BODYATTACK, circuit and aqua instructor. stockspot.com.au