How Spending Plays Into Your Financial Fitness Routine

If there’s one “truth” about a successful physical fitness routine, it’s that you must have a disciplined diet to accompany any exercise or fitness plan. In other words, all the working out in the world will be useless if you continue to eat junk food. When building a Financial Fitness Routine, the same can be said about spending. One of the cornerstones to building a plan toward financial freedom is to understand the kind of spender you are - being very aware of how, where and when you spend your money. It doesn’t matter what plans you make toward a stronger financial future if there is no restraint in your spending habits. We’re all guilty of reckless spending. Whether it’s being the first to get the latest iPhone, gaming platform or those Manolo shoes, we all have our guilty pleasures where self-restraint is thrown out the window. I remember when I was younger, I insisted on rewarding myself with a new Harley-Davidson – beautiful bike, but I would only drive it 2,000 miles in four years! Just like any nutrition program, a small indulgence once in a while is not the end of the world. For example, going out for a nice dinner on a special occasion or splurging for popcorn at the movie on a date night won’t necessarily take you off the tracks of your Financial Fitness Routine. But these must be the exceptions rather than the rule. So, what kind of spender are you? Are you naturally prudent and thrifty? Or are you a YOLO (You Only Live Once) type of spender? Are you the kind that likes to “live large” or “live within your means”? I launched a new website earlier this year with the idea to help people figure this out. GoAskNewton.com is a non-commercial website designed to help everyday people get more comfortable understanding personal finances. Two of the tools on the site are quizzes designed to gauge your personal spending habits. I’d like to invite CAREEREALISM readers to try one or both of these quizzes. The regular Spender quiz is here; but if you’re in your teens or 20s, you might like to try the YOLO quiz here. Either is designed to give you some insights into how you approach money management, with multiple-choice questions like:


  • What at your buying habits when at the grocery store?
  • You’re buying tickets for a concert, what seats do you choose?
  • How do you handle your workday lunches?
These are fun and insightful, and should give you a better idea of the kind of spender you are today. And knowing the kind of spender you are will help put together a Financial Fitness Routine.

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