“You have a purpose in life, and living it is the great key to success and happiness.” ~ Financial Fitness
Comparing the two books, I was a bit intimidated by the 47 Principles of Financial Fitness. 47 is a lot! The whole kit came with the reading book, workbook, and a set of audio CDs. I honestly began with the CDs. I listened to them in the mornings after I dropped Baby off at Daycare, when I could on my prep period at school, then again on the way home from work. There was a lot of good information! I think my favorite CD was the one titled “Money View” where Chris Brady talks about the 10 ways people generally view money.
I decided the book wasn’t going to be that bad. The analogy they use is playing a game. There are three parts: offence, defence, and the philosophy. Financially fit means living the kind of life of balance between the three.
Part 1: The Basics
Principle 1– Pay yourself first and save what you pay yourself.
Principle 2 – Money is a gift and you have a stewardship.
Answer these questions like you just got $10 million. 1. How do you want to spend your days? 2. Who do you want to spend your time with? 3. What do you want to learn, experience, do? 4. How would you better other areas of your life? 5. What would you do to change the world?
Step 1: open a savings account for yourself. Pay yourself 10%
Step 2: Make a plan to add money to savings. Put your long-term financial plan into writing.
Principle 3 – Live within your means.
Step 3: Budget. Look at your spending habits for the past six months to come up with real numbers. Give every dollar a place in the budget.
Step 4: Record your spending in the budget daily. Have an accountability partner to help keep you honest.
Principle 4- Listen to sound advice from someone who knows.
Principle 5- Budget and save for emergencies.
Principle 6- 10% of income to tithing
Principle 7- Use your time, money and talents to genuinely help others.
Already I am feeling calmer than when I read the other book. I really like how this kit starts out asking you to look deeper than just the money — there needs to be a reason to have the money so you can use it to be an influence for good. A lot of the investing Chris and Orrin encourage are investments in yourself — education, skills, knowledge, ability, and leadership. Viktor Frankl said, “Any how is possible as long as there is a why.” The piece I was missing was my why. Sure, I want to get out of debt for my kids and I want to be able to do the fun things to make memories instead of being in survival mode all the time! But, something has been missing.
At this point I pulled out the workbook. You remember I’m an English teacher who LOVES reading and writing, right? Good, because I cannot tell you how excited I was to find short answer activities in the workbook that pushed me to honestly think about these principles and answer: What is stopping you? What would happen if you were to be successful? Write down your short-term goals as you work toward you long-term plan. My heart soared as I pulled over my notebook to start writing.
I’ve been struggling with who I want to be in the next few years the past year. I feel like there is more out there that I am meant to do, but I’m not sure what or where to go to start looking. Many people who I thought would be supportive and help me search have shut me down and told me that I’m not being grateful for what I’ve been blessed with. I’ve been asked, “What’s wrong with holding a job and putting in the hours like everyone else?” I have cried over my struggle with feeling trapped and my guilt for not being more thankful. Then I read a financial book that gives me permission to dream big! This is definitely a book that I will re-read as I work my way through the workbook, and I can confidently recommend it to you.
I’ll spare you most of the other Principles, but do want to end with Principle 46 – Invest more in yourself by learning to be the kind of person who consistently engages in an enterprising, creative, enthusiastic type of life.