Headline: Fiscal Fitness is important too

Date: 1/8/2021

Body: I just went to the doctor, and he sighed, “Drew, you’re going to have to diet.”  I nodded, and answered, “Yes Doctor.   What color?”  So, it seems that I am not alone when considering New Year’s resolutions regarding weight loss and health.  And, yes, this can relate directly to your finances.  I read a great article in the Penny Hoarder on the subject, and I linked it below: https://www.thepennyhoarder.com/save-money/fitness-resolutions/?aff_sub2=save-money

As important as physical fitness is, fiscal fitness is just as crucial, and some lessons can apply to both.

Thrift (and shift) begins at home.

The first point made in this article is that a lot can be done in a cost-effective manner at home.  The point can easily be applied to fiscal fitness as well.   You don’t need any fancy budgeting software; Excel will work just fine.   You don’t need any fancy arrangements like private life insurance: taking advantage of retirement accounts offered by your employer is a really good start.  You don’t always need access to experts on esoteric subjects (like you might need when investing in sector mutual funds); index mutual funds will usually do, just fine.

But, the second point of this section is that if you setup the equipment you need at home, you can eliminate the excuse against starting a workout regimen: the fact that you have to commute to the gym.  In fiscal health, avoiding this delay is vital as well.   The longer you have your money invested, the longer interest accrues, AND in many accounts, this is compounded interest that can grow on itself, as it adds to the principle.    For these reasons, physical and fiscal health are quite similar.

Join an online community

Joining an online community can be really useful in keeping ourselves accountable, for either physical or fiscal health goals.  I joined an online program called Noom, and a portion of that program was a chat group where you can share joys and concerns with others in the program.   This keeps one accountable to the group and more likely to stick with the program.   This same program can help when considering financial health.

And, these groups don’t have to be formal at all.   I have a friend at work named Jay.  In the earlier years of our career, we had a good-natured competition to see who could stockpile a larger share of one’s income into the retirement account.  He helped me stay accountable to myself, and encouraged me to invest as much as I could.  Perhaps you and a friend could hold each other accountable in a similar manner?


Take a long walk with a shorter peer.

 Fitness gurus always say that just taking a quick walk around your neighborhood is an excellent way to get exercise.  No fancy or expensive clothes or equipment needed.   (And, if you have a dog, I’m sure they would be appreciative.) In a similar way, a walk “around your neighborhood” can also lead to excellent fiscal health.  Sniff around your local banks, sometimes the local banks offer accounts or rates not offered by the larger banks.  After all, you don’t need much; A checking account tied to a savings account should be fine for most people.   More metaphorically, though, in your neighborhood, you might see ideas that  would make for dandy investments.  You might stroll past the local senior center, and note some smiling residents.   Do some research on the company, and you might’ve found a fine investment, possibly before the larger investment groups.  You might note how many gray Amazon vans are patrolling the streets, and how many smiling packages are on porches, do some research, and you might decide that this investment makes sense for you.  All of this can be observed directly, and you didn’t need to invest in even 1 e-newsletter.

The Verdict

One can easily be overwhelmed by the amount of information there is on fiscal health; Paralysis by analysis can easily result.  But, if one simplifies the advice, down to the essence of what is truly needed, both physical and fiscal health gets a lot more approachable.  Please don’t forget the most direct connection either


Editor’s Note: Please note that the information contained herein is meant only for general education: This should not be construed as Tax Advice.   Personal attributes could make a material difference in the advice given, so, before taking action, please consult your tax advisor or CPA.

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