Many people don’t understand the constituents of financial fitness that well. They tend to think that managing your finances is about spending less, saving, being prepared for the future and having a good credit score. These are all good things to keep in mind when you’re trying to be financially fit. However, the most important thing is to know your priorities. If you try to save money by not spending in areas where spending is needed, then you’re not doing yourself any favors. And you might have a lot of money saved up but if you did this by skipping vacations and working overtime everyday, you might have damaged your health. So here are a few tips to understand your financial fitness priorities:
Spending on Happiness
When you spend money on something, you’re not really spending it on that thing. You’re spending it on the happiness that that thing brings you. For example, if you buy a dress for a hundred dollars and wear it once, it’s probably not bringing you as much happiness as those well-fitting thirty dollar jeans you wear every other day. You need to make sure that when you spend money on things, they bring you a proportionate amount of happiness. It may not always be possible to know exactly how much happiness is going to result from each and every thing that you buy but you can try to approximate it.
Health is Wealth
One of the things that’s always going to bring you a great deal of happiness in the long run is taking care of your health. In the short term, things may not seem quite that way. To get healthy, you have to quit eating all the fatty things that you like and switch to healthy options. You also have to start working out on a regular basis. Given that neither of these seem very palatable to someone who hasn’t been healthy for a while, you might feel as though spending on health is not worth it. But the more you make an effort to be healthy, the happier you are in the long run. So go ahead and splurge on that gym membership and start going to farmer’s markets. Invest in some health-related cookbooks. It’ll pay off in the end.
Necessities, Comforts and Luxuries
Everything you buy can be divided into three categories: necessities, comforts and luxuries. Necessities include things that you just can’t live without, such as food, clothing and shelter. Comforts are a step up from necessities; you don’t need them but it’s nice to have them around. Pretty clothes, artwork on your walls and going to movies can be considered comforts. Luxuries cost a lot more and are really not necessary to your life at all. A hot tub feels amazing after a long day’s work but it’s expensive to buy and maintain. So you can’t really make a case for needing it. For financial fitness, you need to make sure your necessities are taken care of before you turn to comforts and then to luxuries.