Fitness is often top of mind when it comes to New Years resolutions. While being physically fit is a great goal, working on your financial fitness is also something that is worth your attention. Here are some great tips on how to be fit both physically and financially in 2019.
Create a budget
It is very important to understand your cash flow. Most people tend to spend frivolously and don’t realize where their money is going. Tracking your spending will help you cut spending where you need to, so you can save for the things that are most important to you.
This is also important when starting any sort of fitness program or regimen. It is easy to spend a lot of money on gym memberships, personal trainers and fancy work out gear. Know what you want to achieve and a realistic budget for what you are willing to spend to help you get there. You should never have to suffer financially in order to reach your fitness goals.
Know your credit score
It is very important to understand your credit score because it reflects your financial credibility. It also affects lending. Your ability to finance a car or get a mortgage all depends on the health of your credit. Review your credit score on a regular basis to make sure there is nothing on it that shouldn’t be there.
Trans-union and Equifax are both companies where your can check your credit score online for a small fee. Borrowell.com and creditkarma.com are websites where you can check your credit score for free, but you should be aware that they will try to sell you a loan.
It doesn’t matter how you do it, having a handle on your credit score is an important part of knowing where you stand financially moving into 2019.
Know your options
When it comes to fitness there are many avenues you can take. If you aren’t sure where to start check out your local gym’s new client offerings and promotional specials. Most fitness facilities will offer trials/consultations to help you find the best option for you. This can be a great way to try out new classes without any significant financial commitment.
Pay down high interest debt
Credit card debt is a silent killer. Credit card companies take roughly 20 per cent of every dollar you put on the card in interest, making it very difficult to pay down. If you only ever pay your minimum payment you could be in debt for 35 to 40 years. Make it your focus in 2019 to get rid of your revolving high-interest debt. Taking care of that debt will do wonders in improving your financial fitness in the new year.
Using the tools available to you for saving is an essential part of improving your financial fitness. Use your RRSP and TFSA to invest your money and save for the future. Putting money into your RRSP will also give you a tax break which could lead to a refund that you can reinvest. Strategic borrowing can also be used to boost the amount of money you are putting into your RRSP every year.
Protect your income
One of the biggest mistakes people make is not understanding what might happen if they cannot work. Critical illness insurance, disability insurance and life insurance are all important to have in order to protect you and your family. Using five cents on every dollar to protect the rest of the dollar is what insurance planning is all about and it is an important part of ensuring that you are financially stable no matter what happens.
Make the commitment
When it comes to physical or financial fitness it is important to make the commitment. You don’t have to be putting away thousands of dollars a month or working out every day to make progress. It’s all about finding a routine that works for you, your budget and your schedule. Getting help from a professional like a financial planner or fitness trainer can help you outline realistic goals and keep you motivated. There is no reason why 2019 cannot be your best year yet, both physically and financially!
Daren Givoque, CDFA & Partner
O’Farrell Financial Services
Rebecca Cronk, Fitness Trainer & Owner
Becca Langstaff, Fitness Trainer
Get Cronk’d Fitness Studio