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There’s always a reason that someone starts a physical fitness routine or a new diet. Maybe it is clothes that fit too tight. Or it’s the huffing and puffing after climbing a flight of stairs. Or maybe even it’s the looks you get from people who haven’t seen you in awhile. Whatever the reason, it leads to gym memberships, New Year’s resolutions and grand pronouncements of fitness goals. Recognizing the need for a Financial Fitness Routine can be just as obvious. It starts by asking yourself some key questions and giving some honest answers. The same way no one likes to admit they need to firm up or lose some weight, no one likes to admit they have financial deficiencies. But just like physical fitness, the first step to being financially fit is recognizing there is a problem.

  • Are you living paycheck-to-paycheck? And are the days right before pay day ridiculously tight?
  • Are unexpected expenses paid by a credit card or a family loan? And speaking of which, how is the balance of that credit card looking?
  • Are dreams of an exotic vacation, college or a new car really just a hopeless fantasy?
  • Are you still saying “someday” to the idea of retirement planning?
Saying yes to any of these questions is a pretty good sign that its time to commit to getting into better financial shape. And just like physical fitness, it’s NEVER too late to start. The first step is always recognizing the need for change before you can craft a strategy. You ever notice that when you start a fitness routine, the people who love you will encourage you? They’ll push you, and maybe even join your routine. Your family and friends WANT you to succeed, because they recognize that the outcome will make you healthier and happier. It works the same way with personal finances. The ones you love will appreciate the effort you’re making to provide a better future for yourself and your family. They will respect the commitment and dedication to more responsible fiscal behavior. And of course, when you’re successful, everyone will appreciate less stress and headaches that come with money trouble. The biggest obstacle to committing to a Financial Fitness Routine is admitting that you need it. But once you do, you’ll find there are plenty of resources and paths you can take on your way to better financial discipline.

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