Are your financial muscles well toned and healthy or flabby and weak? Do you want to change your relationship with money so you can have control over your financial future or do you want to continue to complain that you don't have enough? Exercise these 10 muscles to achieve Financial Fitness.
1. Know your current situation
Putting your head in the sand will only give you an ache in the neck, not control over your finances. Make sure you know exactly how much your total income and expenditure is each month and have a clear picture of what you are spending your money on.
2. Have clear financial goals
How much will you need for next year's vacation? When will you need to buy a new car? How much will it cost to give your children the best education? Write down your short, medium and long term goals and work out how much each will cost, how long you have to save for it and how much you will have to put aside each month in order to get what you want.
3. Maximise your current situation
Do you pay your bills late and suffer charges? Set up a system to pay all your bills on time. Are you paying high interest rates on your credit cards and loans? Take control by shopping around for a better deal. Do you have no idea where the money in your wallet goes? Set up a weekly spending plan to make sure your money goes towards what is important to you.
4. Plug the leaks in your financial bucket
Where are the holes that your money is falling through? By having a clear understanding of what caused your debt in the first place and by not adding to it you can make any adjustments you need to enable you to become debt free. Review your debt situation every 2 months and take full responsibility for the situation you are in today and will experience in the future.
5. Plan for your future
Do you know that you are putting away enough money for your future financial health or are you hoping it will all work out? Find out the current state of your retirement fund and make sure you are putting aside enough money each month to reach financial independence. Review your long-term planning annually to make sure you are on track for where you want to be.
6. Become financially robust
Are there tax returns and financial situations you are ignoring because they are too daunting? The longer you leave them, the more daunting they will become. Don't let small issues become huge icebergs in your life. Clear up your issues one at a time, become aware of financial trends and issues and live within your means.
7. Expect the unexpected
No matter how much you plan, life happens. How much leeway do you have to cope with the unexpected? Aim to have six months living expenses in an interest bearing account, make sure you have all the medical, car and home insurances you need and act quickly to changing circumstances. We know the unexpected will happen - plan for it and you won't have to panic when it happens.
8. Review your financial energy
Understand the concept of the flow of money and how you act around money. Is your relationship with money a childish one that makes you stressed, envious and obsessed with money? Establish an adult relationship with money that allows you to be appropriately generous, understand abundance and to share in the success of others.
9. Check your beliefs
What beliefs were you given by your parents. Are wealthy people mean or 'not like us'. Do you believe that friends and family will no longer like you if you are wealthy or that it's shallow to care about money? What beliefs would you like to pass on to your children? Write them down and start repeating them to yourself every day until you replace your old thoughts with new, helpful and empowering ones.
10. Create the right financial environment
If you go to the gym you expect a certain environment that is conducive to working out. Why does your financial situation not deserve the same attention to its environment? Could you work out effectively if the gym was cluttered, decorated in chintz and was full of everyone sitting around eating chocolate? So why do you expect your financial situation to overcome environmental barriers such as being around people who don't support your commitment to financial fitness, banks that are not easily accessible and going out to places where you know you will overspend? Tidy up your environment and give yourself a fighting chance.
Visit Atlantic Coaching for your 100-point checklist to becoming financially fit.
Sarah Steele MBA, founder of, works globally with high-achieving professionals who, although successful in their career, aren't as successful as they'd like in other areas of their life. Specializing in helping clients get crystal clear about exactly how they want their life to look, something many struggle with, our clients learn how to say 'no' graciously, freeing up precious time and space for the things they really want to say yes to. Ultimately, it is through more conscious choices and effective systems that clients quickly enjoy greater control and experience more success without sacrificing professional achievements. Sarah is a successful and empowering coach, speaker and trainer with more than a decade of global business experience. Combining deep capabilities in communication skills, change management, and emotional intelligence with her background in Corporate life, Sarah brings a truly globally savvy touch to all.