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  • Ron Davidson

Four tips to enhance your financial fitness

(NC) Like physical fitness, financial fitness can be a lifestyle shift that takes time and discipline. Forming healthy new habits doesn’t happen overnight.

To help you make realistic changes and build financial confidence, try following these tips.

  1. Start small In the spirit of continuous improvement, focus on the sprints instead of the marathon. If your ultimate goal is to save more money, make a plan that includes shorter-term, attainable goals along the way, such as sticking to a weekly budget. Remember to reward yourself for those short-term wins. Buy that fancy coffee on Saturday after making your own at home throughout the week.

  2. Find a workout buddy You’re more likely to stick to your physical fitness routine if you have a workout buddy. Why? A partner keeps you accountable, helps to create a positive and motivating environment, and makes things more fun. So, challenge a partner, friend or family member to improve their financial fitness along with you.

  3. Don’t sweat the small stuff If a sprained ankle kept you from jogging for a week, that’s no reason to give up your fitness goals. Maybe you’d try a Pilates video instead of going for a jog. Likewise, if an unexpected expense like an emergency vet bill or parking ticket means you don’t meet your budget one week, it’s not the end of your budgeting; maybe it’s an opportunity to think about incorporating some emergency savings into your weekly regimen.

  4. Use technology to stay on track The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada offers free online tools such as a budget planner and a financial goal calculator to make it easier to achieve your goals. While there are other resources out there, be aware that if you provide your banking information to a financial app, it could violate the account agreement with your bank or credit card company. You could be held responsible if there’s an unauthorized transaction. Find more tips, tools, and resources you can count on at canada.ca/money.

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