What is Financial Fitness?

Financial Fitness | happyliving.com - image via Bhaskar Peddhapati on Flickr

There are people who have money and people who are rich.
(Coco Chanel)

How are health, happiness, and finances related?

When we talk about health, we include all the factors necessary to truly be healthy. There’s more to health than not getting sick. There’s more to happiness than having a smile on your face. And there’s more to finances than being rich.

A few weeks ago we introduced our Foundations of Health, which have the Four Fitnesses as a base. One of those is financial fitness, which is the daily practice of fiscal responsibility.

We know that talking about health and money makes some people uncomfortable. Both topics can feel off limits and overwhelming. Health and money are things we need, and things we don’t want to lose.

Most of us need to earn a living to participate in society. Some of us would like to earn more money. Plenty of us who wish we made better choices with the money we have.

The same is true of health. We need our health. Some of us would like to be healthier. And plenty of us wish we made better choices with the health that we have.

Even if it’s uncomfortable, talking about health and finance is important… even empowering. We grow by sharing opinions, best practices, questions, concerns, and ideas for happy living.

This is true of many things, including money, time, and health. Every person has their own definition of ‘enough’ and it is something that can bend, change, and shift through our lives. There are seasons of abundance, times when we conserve for ourselves, and times when we share with others.

The keys to long-term financial fitness are: awareness, knowledge, and commitment.

Learn what works for you by doing research and aligning your spending with your priorities. Once you know what you need for today and tomorrow, you can plan for the future.

Tracking spending and setting savings goals are ideas for developing awareness. We recommend checking out Mint.com, which is a free personal finance website that makes it easy to understand what’s going on with your money.

There are many ways to expand on your knowledge. Books, podcasts, neighbors, and family members can all offer advice and input. While there are millions of resources, one of our favorite books on the topic is Die Broke by Stephen Pollan.

Financial fitness is a daily practice that requires consistent effort. It is living in a way that does not exceed income earned, or put financial strain on savings goals. It is making choices that are in alignment with priorities, and being generous with your wealth.

Image Credit: Money, Money, Money! Bhaskar Peddhapati on Flickr

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