After a spell of inactivity, I am finally getting back into working out and training. I was a committed runner and cyclist for a number of years; completing half-marathons, 10Ks and several triathlons. I got tired and took some time off, but recently set up my bike on a stationary trainer at the office. And It feels good to work up a sweat again!
While pedaling the other day, I started thinking about recent conversations I have had with clients about their financial and tax planning objectives. I realized that I have a goal to improve my body, and I assist clients with setting goals to improve their financial situation. The similarities are striking.
One way to improve your weight is to take in fewer calories than you expend. With money, you have to take in more than you spend. So while you’re burning your fat, think about not burning your money! A few easy ways to do that are to curtail non-essential purchases, contribute to your RRSP, and reduce credit card debt. It’s important to have a plan for both physical and fiscal fitness. If you don’t have a plan, you run the risk of not reaching your goals. When I was training for a half-marathon, I had a schedule of what I had to do every day for the weeks leading up to the race. To reach your financial “finish line,” set a budget and work hard to stick to it. Both endeavours require a real commitment.
Once you decide to get fiscally fit, be sure to tell your friends and family – they are your support system and can help you stay on track. And many will want to join you. Just like running with a group, the group dynamic will propel you to success. If your friends are not buying the latest new, cool gadgets and working on securing their financial futures, you will too.
It’s hard work, and requires discipline but by thinking of your fiscal health as you would your physical health, you can make real change. Think of frivolous expenditures just like junk food — unhealthy food will destroy your body and impulse purchases will affect your ability to save and invest. You can also think of your savings or investment account like a scale. You feel good when you lose a few pounds, and you will feel fantastic when you have money in the bank and no credit card debt.
The adage “no pain, no gain” works here, too. Start today. You won’t regret it! And if you need a coach, the professionals at Sloan Partners are here to help.
Jerry Paskowitz is a Partner with Sloan Partners with over 30 years’ experience in all tax and financial matters. Contact Jerry (firstname.lastname@example.org) for an appointment to discuss tax savings opportunities and financial strategies for your business.