A beginner’s guide to financial fitness

Guest Post by Emily Taylor 

If you are going to be looking for a mortgage for your new house you will need to be financially fit

Becoming financially fit is a marathon, not a sprint.

You need to train yourself to know what is wise to spend money on and what isn’t.

If you start too quickly you’ll burn out. Being financially fit means feeling confident with your finances and managing your money for the long term.

It means knowing when to say yes and when to say no.

While starting to train for a marathon requires a basic level of fitness, anyone can become financially fit if you’re willing to learn, act and restrain from old habits, financial fitness is totally attainable.

Here’s the beginner’s guide to financial fitness.

Set goals

The first step in becoming financially fit is to set goals for saving.

How can you save if you don’t know what you’re saving for?

So, determine how much you need and work out how long it will take to get there.

You’ll be more determined if you have a rough idea of how long it will take.

Be thrifty 

Being financially fit means finding out how to get the most from your money.

This might not necessarily mean buying what’s cheapest if it’s not the best quality.

So, do your research and consider what you’re spending your money on.

Some of the places to save money might surprise you. For example, you can save money if you find the best providers for international money transfers

Budget

Budgeting means understanding where your money is going and keeping track of everything you spend.

It’s best to do so on a month-on-month basis.

So, establish your income, your necessary spending and any luxuries.

Keep an eye on your spending and make sure it stays on track with the budget or, you’ll need to make some changes.

Invest

Being financially fit means thinking about the future. It’s no good being great with money now and not thinking ahead.

Investing means that your money is in something concrete and won’t be affected by inflation.

Plus, it can significantly reduce tax.

So, consider investing in a property to prepare for the future.

Whether it’s somewhere you’ll be living or you’re renting it to tenants, it will massively improve your financial fitness.

Be automatic

You probably already know that online banking is the way forward.

Having access to a banking app helps to keep track of your finances and move money quickly.

However, go one step further by being automatic, and set up payments that go out without you physically having to move them each month.

This means that you can’t forget to make the relevant payments or accidentally spend the money elsewhere.

Maintain

Being financially fit means applying new practices and maintaining them.

Anyone can be good with money for a month or two.

But being financially fit means continuing good practices and sticking to them in the long run.

So, once you’ve established a good routine, make sure you don’t lapse.

Like training for a marathon, taking a couple of months off could do a lot of damage.

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