Financial Fitness Steps from My Kid

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Kids say the darndest things

As many of you know, I have my own company that is focused on helping individuals get and stay financially fit; therefore, the topic of financial fitness is an active one in my home. My son hears me discuss client situations all the time or I will use a client’s experience as a learning lesson for him. One time I told my son that he had more money in his wallet than one client did in his checking account, and it made my son feel good about himself. I also told that same client that my son had more money than him which was actually great motivation for the client to get in shape.

So, it was funny when last week my son says out of the blue “I know what people can do to get financially fit?” I perked up and asked him, “Oh really, what?” And here is what he said.

“Step 1 – Get a Job!”

This is so basic, but it’s true, the first step for anyone on the road to financial fitness is to have a job. I know that it is easier said than done for some more than others, but you really can’t expect to get financially healthy without an active income stream. I have clients who are not working in their “dream jobs” and sometimes they get depressed about it, but it is important to remember that even though you may not love your job, it is helping you achieve your financial goals. So until your dream job comes to you, continue to work hard at what you are doing and appreciate the fact that the income that you are bringing in allows you to reach your financial goals even faster.

“Step 2 – Make Money from Your Job”

At first, I just laughed at this, but the more I thought about it, I realized that my son had a point. There are two basic tenets of financial health, making money and saving money. And when you take your savings to the absolute furthest it can go, the only thing left is to make more money. It’s not just enough to have a job, you need to have a job that will allow you to pay your bills and save.

If your current job is not providing the income you need to get financially fit, then I recently wrote about side hustles and how you can make more money on the side. If you feel as though you don’t have enough time to make more money, I also I recently wrote about the importance of making time for making money. If all else fails, then maybe you need to look into changing jobs to find one that pays the income you need to achieve financial health.

“Step 3 – Don’t Spend Your Money”

If you have a job, or sometimes multiple jobs, I know that you work hard for every last dollar that comes into your home; therefore, you need to work hard to make sure that your dollars are not leaving your home too fast. I used to mindlessly spend money, until I reframed my spending habits and realized that every dollar that I spent was taking me further away from reaching my financial goals. It was not an overnight process, but I now find myself in the place where I don’t even like spending money unless I have fully thought it through and convinced myself that it makes sense. You are not going to get financially fit by working hard and not saving hard.

What do you think of my son’s advice?

 

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Shannon is a financial planner who left a “traditional” financial services firm to start her own company, The Financial Gym, because she felt traditional financial services firms did not have the tools or resources to help people in their 20s and 30s who are starting out and trying to build assets while also managing debt. She realized that the key to long-term personal financial success is a commitment to financial fitness and making smart financial choices. Through her blog, Financially Blonde, her book, Train Your Way To Financial Fitness, her podcast, Martinis and Your Money and The Financial Gym, Shannon is committed to making financial fitness fun, easy and accessible for everyone.

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