By: Cash from Guaranty Bank & Trust
Howdy friends! CASH the Mascot here excited to spread some financial knowledge to get you started on your financial fitness journey! My goal today is to try and help you build solid habits that will make you stronger and serve you for years to come by helping you save money and make smart financial decisions!
I call it a financial fitness journey because getting your finances in order is not something that can just happen overnight. Similar to working out and exercising, you probably won’t see much return in the work you’re putting in right away… but don’t get discouraged! Anything worth doing is never really that easy, and you WILL see results with time if you stick with the fitness plan I’m going to lay out for you below. So as we go through the workout plan below, please keep in mind that even if you don’t see improvements immediately, you will make progress and get better. You can do this! Let’s get started and get that blood flowing as we dive into our financial fitness journey!
NEGATIVITY CAN KILL A WORKOUT…
One of the first things you must decide upon to become financially fit is to abandon all negative thoughts. What I mean by this is you must STOP telling yourself that you ‘aren’t a saver,’ that you ‘have never had good spending habits,’ or that you ‘don’t make enough money to save any money.’ Friends, I’ve heard it all, and I’m here to tell you that excuses will not help your financial fitness situations improve. We have got to get over our negative and toxic mantras and start telling ourselves that we can, and we will, achieve financial stability and achieve our monetary goals! You CAN lift that 20 pound weight, and you can run that mile, and you can save enough money for the house or car you’ve been needing. And if you absolutely cannot right now, then you will soon. No state is permanent. There is nothing you can dig yourself out of or improve about yourself. So first things first… get positive about hunkering down and making some difficult changes! No, it won’t always be easy, but it is not impossible, and I can promise that you have overcome more difficult situations in your life. So look at this as a good goal and challenge that you can take pride in overcoming. Financial fitness isn’t easy, and you should revel in the challenge! Because once you get to where you want to go, the end goal will be that much sweeter.
FIRST THINGS FIRST… SET A GOAL!
Goal setting is one of the most important factors when trying to make changes. Whether we’re determining how fast we want to run a mile, how much money we’d like to save by the end of the year, or how heavy we’d like to bench or squat, we all have to start with a goal in mind. A goal gives us something to work towards and push ourselves to achieve, which keeps us motivated and focused.
A key factor in getting financially fit is determining exactly what you want to accomplish and making sure you get really specific with numbers and dates. For instance, instead of just telling yourself, “I want to save more,” give yourself a number in mind to save towards and a date to achieve that specific number by. If you only have a couple of hundred dollars in your savings account, vow to add a certain amount of money each month to your savings so it will add up to a specific amount within a time period that you define. When you set a big goal and then break it up into small, specific goals acquired over multiple smaller periods of time, it makes your end goal seem much more attainable. So pick out a long-term goal, and then figure out what you are going to do monthly, weekly, or daily to achieve that goal. I promise it really does work!
SMALL MOVEMENTS FORWARDS AND BACKWARDS MATTER!
I know we’ve all heard this before, but little amounts really do add up, even to the smallest degree. A key part of our financial workout is addressing and acknowledging where our money is going, so we can determine if our outflow of money is healthy or unhealthy.
No matter how ‘fit’ a financial situation may be, everyone should try and practice living below their means. What does this mean, you ask? In a gist, it means to spend less than what you earn. This is the bulk of our workout because if we fail to do this, then we will fail to improve our finances. It is imperative to learn how to cut back on unnecessary expenses and start building up your savings. I challenge you to try to save $50 this week, whether that is deciding to eat at home one night instead of ordering takeout or canceling a subscription that you never use. There is always money to be saved, and a little goes a long way!
For instance, instead of taking the entire family to the movie theaters and spending well over $50 on tickets and snacks and beverages, you could opt for a movie night at home. RedBox has great movie selections for very cheap, as does Netflix or Amazon Prime! You could even stay home and have a game night instead of a movie! The options are endless, and it can really save you some cash!
Another place we all spend a lot of unnecessary money is on our food. I am all for going out to eat and enjoying not having to cook or clean, but if you are really looking to save some cash, I strongly suggest you look into cooking and eating most of your meals at home. The cost of eating out is exponentially higher than purchasing your own groceries and cooking your meals at home. If you don’t think the money is actually worth it, I challenge you to try eating at home for one week and keep track of exactly how much money you spend. Then the next week, when you feel like eating out, go do it, and also keep track of how much you spend. At the end of both weeks, compare how much they both cost. I can almost guarantee that you will save A LOT more money cooking and regularly eating at home than you will eating out frequently during the week!
MAKE A PLAN AND STICK TO IT
All of the above suggestions that are meant to help you save money are great, but if you don’t actually save the money and instead spend it quickly, then all the hard work you have put in means nothing! So I can’t stress enough the importance of creating a savings plan for yourself and really becoming disciplined and diligent with it. When you consciously do something to save yourself money, make sure you put it in a savings account or a trackable account where you can see your progress. This is a very important step because you are able to track your savings and see your progress and discern what works from what doesn’t really work. It’s also important to know that your savings are set aside specifically for something. Whether that is a vacation you’ve wanted to take or a new car you desperately need, it’s important to have a plan for the money you are saving. Otherwise, it will be very tempting to spend it on the next best thing you fancy.
While there are many different financial workouts you can do to improve your financial status, I have found the aforementioned to be the quickest way to a healthy, fruitful financial lifestyle. If there is something I missed or a key point you think would be more beneficial, please don’t hesitate to tell me! I want to have the best information, so y’all can have the best information to make a true difference.
I hope you found this workout plan useful and truly helpful to start you on your journey to financial fitness. I am only a few clicks away, so if you have any further questions, you can always reach out to me on my Facebook page or catch me at events around the Dallas area. I enjoy physical fitness just as much as my financial fitness and love to participate in 5Ks around DFW! So come see me there or reach out on social media, and let’s all make sure our monetary workout plans are ready to go so we can make leaps and bounds towards our financial fitness goals.
Let Guaranty Bank & Trust introduce you to what community banking is all about! Tell them CASH the Mascot sent you!
5910 North Central Expressway, Suite 150
Dallas, TX 75206
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