A good fitness level is the backbone of every player. A football player’s success on the pitch relies on his ability to react to stimulus, change direction swiftly to gain and maintain possession. This is how he beats his opponents to the ball every time, with quick feet and explosive agility. Now this would be impossible if he wasn’t fit. The same applies to your finances. Before you set out on any financial goal, whether it be making an investment or saving for a project, you have to work on your financial fitness and build up your financial muscle. Fitness requires training and fortunately this is something you can do.
Budget Strengthening Work-out
Let’s be honest, who wouldn’t want to look like Ronaldo when you whip off your shirt? Having a strong trunk will pay dividends on the pitch and in your finances too.
Now, the first step is to create a strong budget by paying yourself first, let’s say 10% of your income, then categorize what’s left into these four groups: Fixed Costs, Financial Goals, Non-Monthly Expenses and Flexible Spending. Your fixed costs list may include utilities and bills (DStv), gym membership, etc. Financial goals are projects like building an emergency fund, or saving for a down payment on your first home; non-monthly payments may include, auto registration, wedding and holiday gifts, school fees, etc; flexible spending will include, groceries, shopping, entertainment, etc.
Next is to allot money for each of these categories from your income. The money you allot will obviously depend on the money coming in. Sometimes you may have to cut down on some things to make it work and make sure you aren’t over stretching yourself in financial terms.
The most important thing is to put a spending limit on your spending and stay within those limits. This will help you control your finances, cut out unnecessary excesses and ensure your money is going where it should be. Now you probably won’t get it right 100% the first time. That’s okay. The trick is to practice it for some months until you get used to how much you really need on essentials like food and electricity, and what to cut out on extras like movies and eating out.
Repetition and consistency aid muscle generation
Every good player knows that constant training gives a strong body. As a player with a strong body built for purpose, you’ll be able to jump higher, turn quicker, tackle harder, run faster and go for longer. So, once you’ve decide to go on the journey to financial security by exercising your finances smartly, it’s important to keep to this commitment.
While keeping to your budget, try to also spend less than you earn. Beware of sales and discounts of things that are not in your budget. Spending money on things you don’t need is wasting money; no matter how good the deal looks.
Also keeping good financial records will help you keep track of your budget and spending and ensure that you are keeping your eye on your financial goals.
One thing is sure, whether you’re a novice on the playing field or a Johnny just come in finances, consistency and determination will help build a physique or bank balance calibrated for success.
Feel the Burn
Most, if not all sporting enthusiasts are used to the phrase no pain, no gain; and the best players will tell you the secret to success is pushing yourself hard and ending every game on a high.
After building some financial muscle, the next step would be to invest. Investing is the smartest way to make your money grow over the long term, and hey, it’s what all wealthy people have in common, including successful sportsmen, ask Okocha.
With success however, may come injuries and with some investments may come risks that will hurt your finances for a little while. Now, when investing, to make sure you don’t get benched for half the season because of injuries, due to unpredictable market forces, it is key to do a thorough research and have a good understanding of the risks associated with the particular investment or investments you are making.
There is a plethora of information that can be accessed online and in professional books on money and wealth management, which may help guide you through the risks. Better still, you don’t need to be a financial analyst to make smart investment decisions, you just need some ground rules about protecting your money while you watch it grow.
And that’s something we can help you with at Meristem. Just give any of our KISS agents a call on 0800-MERISTEM and they will gladly show you what investments can be a game changer for you.
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