Except for the first two months of every year, enthusiasm for exercise falls toward the bottom of most peoples to-do list. And financial fitness? That does not even make it on the resolution list and people seem to be totally oblivious to it and/or just plain do not care. But a lot more people are on treadmills than they realize.
For many, having a budget and not going over it is the ultimate objective. After many months of adhering to the budget and not amassing any more credit card debt, some even get confused and believe that they have secured financial independence. What they are actually doing is running in place. I would use the walking analogy but we all know how fast paced life really is.
It just keeps going and going
I know many people, especially those around my age group who are living paycheck to paycheck. A number of them are not using credit cards to survive but they also are not able to do more than that. Financially speaking, they are in the same place month to month. So much effort and there is zero net change. This is one kind of exercise that delivers no benefit.
Try the stair stepper
Personal trainers from the local gym tell us that we are supposed to try different exercises anyway to get the best results. I think this could apply to our finances too. Instead of just running on flat ground in perpetuity, it might be a good idea to start hiking the ups and downs of the stock market also. It is almost guaranteed by the very nature of the stock market that there will be some net change.
By learning to invest (whether in the equities market or even just in a CD), I became more aware of how to use money and get out of the boring routine of just surviving from month to month. In the end, it does not really have to be all about investing, rather the goal should be to get off of the same machine that is getting us no where and fast.
Do you know people who are also just running in place? How else can we get off the machine and really work towards better financial fitness?