4 steps to snap yourself into better financial shape

Building a fortune is the same as building the body of your dreams – both take vision, perseverance and discipline.

You may not notice it but building your fortune is much like building the body of your dreams: it’s easy enough to plan but executing it is quite another.

Much like dieting and working out, it’s easy to say you are going to start saving and investing. However, it’s also just as easy to lose interest.

Because of the similarity between saving money and exercising, the tips given for both are virtually the same. What really matters is keeping your goal in mind, working hard and persevering.

1. Keep your stress levels down

Much like stress can result in overeating and getting too lazy or too tired to work out, stress can also result in habits that are detrimental to your financial fitness.

For instance, there are many who use shopping as a stress reliever. But have you ever considered how fleeting this kind of relief is?

When you’re stressed out again, you repeat the action and it becomes a vicious cycle that never ends. The one sure thing is that such habits will leave you penniless.

What you should do: Just as watching every calorie that goes into your body is important, make it a habit to watch every penny that goes into your pocket. Always plan a budget, be it daily, weekly, or monthly, and follow it strictly.

Opt for more permanent ways to keep stress away from your life. It may be difficult at first, but sleeping seven to eight hours a day, eating a balanced meal, and regularly exercising will definitely help.

Find a hobby you enjoy and which will not hurt your monthly budget.

2. Surround yourself with people who are positive

You know how fitness trainers recommend going to the gym with friends who also like to work out? It’s because the actions, habits, and speech of the people you surround yourself with can affect whether you achieve your goals or not.

On one hand, if your friends and family keep putting you down or belittle the important of your budget, you are more likely to give up on saving money.

On the other hand, if you are surrounded by people who motivate you to keep up the good work, chances are you will.

What you should do: You do not have to break off friendships just to save money, but it’s definitely better to spend more time with those who motivate and support you on your financial endeavours.

Talk to and ask advice from friends who are on the right track financially or are themselves trying to achieve the same goal as you. Keep these nurturing people around, and you’ll see how easier things can get.

Athlete Attractive Exercise Fit Lifestyle Sportive Concept
If you stick to a routine long enough, it will become second nature to you. (Rawpixel pic)

3. Put your routine on auto-pilot

Achieving your financial goals requires patience and discipline, lots and lots of it. Even when you’ve already built the foundation for your plans, there’s always the possibility it can all come tumbling down.

As they say, old habits die hard. In times like these, you need a back-up plan or all that hard work and effort will go to waste.

What you should do: If you think you are one of those who might be tempted back to their old ways, automate deposits to your bank accounts. In this way, your money will already have been deposited in your savings account before you’ve have the chance to spend it.

4. Don’t be too hard on yourself

While it’s important to push yourself, it’s counter productive to push yourself too hard. When you have an unrealistic financial goal, you stand a higher chance of becoming demotivated or losing track of it.

Again, it’s much like when you’re working out. Overtraining at the gym can do more harm than good.

What you should do: There’s nothing wrong with starting small. Do so if you have to. Make small goals for yourself regularly that will serve as stepping stones towards bigger financial goals, such as saving a certain amount by a given deadline, etc.

Other than that, it is also important to indulge yourself from time to time. It’s not a good idea to deprive yourself constantly; the chances of you splurging all your money at once is higher this way.

Allot a small portion of your income for vacations and occasional shopping, letting them serve as your rewards. Remember, rewarding yourself also serves as a form of motivation to keep doing what you’re doing.

This article first appeared in thenewsavvy.com

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