Top 5 Ways to Get Financially Fit this Spring

May 4, 2012

By Tiffany Thurman, Financial Education Program Manager, Community and Economic Development

Financial fitness involves building assets. It is more than just having a checking and savings account. It involves creating safeguards and strategies that will ensure long-term financial stability. Here are 5 ways to remain financially fit!

  1. Exercise self-control. Most often, people do not practice restraint because they are in denial. A money-manager once said, “winning at money is 80% behavior and 20% head knowledge”. They went on to say what to do isn’t the problem. The problem is doing what they know to do.
  2. Stretch your money. According to Dave Ramsey, 90% of people in America buy things that they can’t afford. Create a budget. Remember, if it’s not written down, it doesn’t exist. Set a realistic budget and slowly change your financial diet by saving more and spending less. Remember, most people crash and burn on diets because they want a quick fix!
  3. Measure current wants against future goals. If you’re serious about becoming financially fit, you have to start investing and keep investing! Do not allow short terms wants to prevent you from setting long-term goals. Short-term wants are things that more often than not cause people to have bad credit and increased revolving debt. Investing will help you to become financial fit for life!
  4. Practice restraint. You can practice restraint by making yourself accountable to another individual or even a group. Accountability is important. It helps to ensure that you are honest with yourself because sometimes we treat symptoms rather than addressing real issues.
  5. Be flexible. Heraclitus, an ancient Greek philosopher once said, “The only thing that is constant is change.” While it is essential to your financial health to prioritize by setting short-term, medium and long-term goals you must remain flexible and open to change. Sometimes there are unavoidable life events that make cause setbacks. You must remain willing to refine your plan to assure you are well equipped with the right information when making financial decisions.

Tiffany W. Thurman, a native of Georgia, is the new Financial Education Program Manager at the Community and Economic Development division of Urban Affairs Coalition.  Tiffany has an extensive background in finance, business development and nonprofit management.  Prior to joining The Coalition, Tiffany worked in the investment industry and served as the Executive of a faith based nonprofit.  She has traveled throughout the nation speaking on panels to promote economic development in underserved, marginalized communities.