The following blog post is part of The Road to Financial Wellness blog tour. The Road to Financial Wellness is a three-month, grassroots campaign promoting financial empowerment on a national level and encourages people to pursue their dream lifestyle. Find out more about local events near you.
In 2012 over 200 million Americans eagerly watched as the Summer Olympics took place (source). However only 10,500 actually participated in the events (source). Still fewer won the gold metal. Many others tried but failed the qualifications to participate and stand for their country.
Many people throughout the years have also tried to get to the level of Olympian, and many (really the majority) just strive to be in shape through exercise.
Let’s take just the sport of running. I recently started running for my health. Now I’m still really out of shape, but I have gotten better.
I would say I’m in average shape now striving for good. A friend of mine has been running for years and runs 5k’s all the time, I would say she is in good shape. Then you have Olympic runners who run in 4 minutes what I do in 15 and do it more than once a day.
We don’t all have to be Olympic runners with our finances. As long as we are able to pay our bills, and live comfortably WITHOUT debt then we can be “average” financially.
So going along with the same thoughts of physical wellness. Someone who is “average” would be debt free, have some money in the bank, certainly enough not to worry about any emergencies. They may have a mortgage or a car payment but they are reasonable and manageable.
Someone who is in “good” financial health would have that with the addition of investments. That could be stock investments, or real estate, or some sort of personal business they run. But regardless they wouldn’t be content with “average” they would have to make sure they are working towards their “future self”.
And the “Olympian” finance, would be one who has enough money and investments that they no longer need to work. That doesn’t mean that they don’t simply that they no longer need to. Some would refer to this as “financial independence”.
A few years ago I worked with a man that was overweight. Not just a little pudgy or could stand to lose a few pounds, this man was so overweight that he would sweat when the temperature would go above 74 sitting in an office.
I’m not sure the exact pounds but it had to be close to 500 and he was no taller than me (about 5’9).
About a year later I found out that this man had a new job working at a hospital as a dietitian. I was confused and thought how could anyone possible take him seriously when he looked the way he did about what they should eat. I know I couldn’t.
I tell you this not to speak ill of a former coworker, or to say don’t listen to overweight dietitians (though you probably won’t). I’m saying this because for me to go into great detail about “financial wellness” would be no different that that overweight dietitian telling you to eat more salad.
See I started this year with $20,000 in credit card debt and a goal to have it paid off by December 31st of this year. It’s now June and I’m not half way there. I’m really not anywhere away from there.
I am ashamed to say that I have made no progress, I have paid the minimums every month, which are mostly eaten up by interest, and nothing more.
I have done this even with working hard making extra income. So what went wrong? What can I tell you about financial wellness now?
I’m currently just a “spectator” on the financial wellness tour. My goal is to be able to truly be a participant by next year. Be one that can actually stand up and say “yes I have accomplished this, and you can too”. To be an “Olympic” financial Athlete. According to MiradorWealth.com.au, participants who make it through to the other side and succeed at this are often changed forever.
The thing is though, that until you realize you have a problem you will never reach financial wellness. So I encourage everyone to follow the Road To Financial Wellness Tour, look at our “Olympians” and make changes in your life NOW , so that you too can be one of them.
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