fiscal fitness

Fiscal Fitness Part III — Using Lessons Learned About Physical Fitness

Fiscal fitness has more in common with physical fitness than one might think. Many financial experts draw parallels between the two by using well-known elements of diet and exercise programs to illustrate how consumers can get their finances in order. In his blog post titled Eliminate Debt with 10 Successful Diet Principles, Leo Babuta, the creator and writer of zenhabits.net says, “Debt dieting and weight dieting are exactly the same. Personally, I’m doing both, and it’s striking how similar the two practices are.”1 They both involve setting goals and having the dedication to stick with what you’ve started. Both also require you to change your habits — whether that means eating a healthier diet to stay physically fit or trimming your excess spending to reach fiscal fitness. And there’s no quick or easy way to accomplish either, especially if you want to maintain fitness.

Here are a few principles of successful physical fitness programs and how they equate to building a stronger, healthier financial situation.

 

1. Set up a training regime = Write down your goals in detail.

In fitness training, you don’t just say, “I’m going to lose 30 pounds.” You need to go into detail about the changes you will make to your diet and lifestyle. Similarly, as you’re building your fiscal fitness, you need to define exactly how you will reach your goals.

Is your goal to pay off  your credit card debt? Or to get your credit history in order so you can buy a house? Maybe you want to move beyond living from paycheck to paycheck. Whatever your goals are, it’s important to list them and come up with specific ways to achieve them. Solutions might include: “On every payday I will put $50 toward my credit card balance.” Or, “I’ll start making my coffee at home rather than spending $5 every morning at the coffee shop.”

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preventing identity theft

Preventing ID Theft If Your Purse or Wallet Is Lost or Stolen

The contents of your purse or wallet can be a gold mine to a thief. They provide the number one method used by criminals to steal your identity.1 If you discover that your driver’s license and credit and/or debit cards are missing, there are important steps to take. However, one of the most effective ways to prevent ID theft are some things that you might want to do before your purse or wallet disappear.

 

Keep a record

Scan or photocopy your license and payment cards — both sides — to keep on file. Include any card you normally keep in your purse or wallet such as medical insurance, auto insurance, membership and loyalty cards. Keep copies of all in a safe place at home. If you’re traveling, you might want to bring a second copy with you, but keep it in a place other than your purse or wallet. Include your passport among the items you copy. And remember, you should never carry your Social Security Card or number with you.

With this back up set of records, you’re better prepared to report the loss or theft of your items quickly and accurately.

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