Probably not the most typical personal finance blog topic you’ll ever see, but after thinking about it, I found a striking similarity. This weekend I finally hit the court and played some basketball. I had previously written about how my wife and I were discussing what would be the best financial decision when it came to working out. So it wasn’t too hard to figure out I was out of shape. I’ve been paying for it the past couple days with sore muscles.
Of course, if I would have been smarter at the time, I would have done my regular stretching routine. After shooting a few warm up shots, I thought I felt loose and ready to go. Wrong! Just a few hours after playing I could already tell I was in for it.
After all the complaints about my sore ankles and knee my wife has been hearing about, I thought to myself, this is just like our finances. If you start to think everything is going great when it comes to your finances and start to lose focus month to month when it comes to your budget, you are going to be in for some problems. Just like sore muscles that will stick around for days, being careless with your finances will leave you financially sore for much longer.
Financial stretching, not to be confused with stretching your budget, would consist of making sure you visit your spending habits and make any necessary adjustments to your budget. It also involves setting time during each month to sit down with your spouse and evaluate your financial situation. Again, thinking everything will be fine will ultimately come back to bite you. Having a plan of action in place, like an emergency fund, will allow you to be more nimble when it comes to unexpected expense.
After you give more attention to your finances, the more you become more fiscally responsible when it comes to your money. You become an expert of your own financial lifestyle and how you need to prepare for the future and achieve your goals. I guess you could call it exercising your budget!
Being newlyweds, it does open our eyes that we can’t let our finances go the wayside. We might have a few sore muscles as we move forward, but after months of keeping at it, we’ll be pros!