Friday, November 8, 2013

We go to the gym to keep ourselves fit. We motivate ourselves to finish one more set, to add a few more lbs. to the weights, or to run ten more minutes on the treadmill. It’s about having a goal and being motivated to do everything we can to achieve that goal. Some go to the gym to get a six pack, some go to the gym to lose some extra weight, while many go to the gym to build their muscles. Physical fitness is important but there are other areas in life that also need the same effort that we give to physical fitness.

Physical Fitness vs. Financial Fitness

Financial fitness is arguably as important as physical fitness. To stress this point, how many star athletes have filed for bankruptcy? Boxer Evander Holyfield had to file for bankruptcy and he had to auction off many of his prized possession including the gloves he wore in his fight against Mike Tyson when he lost a piece of his ear thanks to a quick chomp from Tyson. Mike Tyson too is also facing financial problems of his own. From earning up to $30 million a fight, Tyson lost a lot of his fortune as he had to go through a divorce without a prenup and he had to deal with many people around him who were after his money.

The list of athletes who have gone on to become bankrupt is long and this highlights how you could be physically fit enough to become the king of your sport but not fit enough to be able to manage your finances.

Motivate Yourself to be Financially Fit

You know how to motivate yourself to go to the gym rain or shine, you can push yourself to run faster and longer so it shouldn’t be hard to find that voice in you to that will tell you to work on being financially fit. Start by sitting down at a table with a pen and a piece of paper. Note down your income and expenses, be honest with yourself, don’t embellish the numbers because knowing the true picture of your current financial health will help you move from where you are now to where you want to be. If you find out that your income is way above your expenses, then congratulations, but many will find that their expenses will be greater than their income.

Look at your expenses. If you have a credit card, your monthly statement will give you a clue about your spending habits. Categorize your credit card expenses to find out the areas where you spend most. You might be surprised to find that you spend a lot more on clothes and entertainment such as going to the movies than you spend on food or for paying utilities. Holyfield and Tyson’s financial woes serve as reminders that being physically fit does not guarantee overall wellness. More on having a credit card, you may have the best credit card in Malaysia or anywhere in the world but do you use it responsibly? Used responsibly, a credit card can help you financially, but using one the wrong way could lead to financial problems. It’s easy to spend more for things you don’t need with a credit card but you don’t want that. You can resist eating unhealthy food like soda, so you should be able to refuse unnecessary spending on your credit card.

If you can find the time to go to the gym, you should be able to find the time to sit down and study your finances to make the financial adjustments that will keep you financially fit.

This article was written by Michael Vincent for Compare Hero, where gym-goers in Malaysia can compare credit cards online. We can be found at where users can compare a broad range of financial products, from credit cards, insurance, to broadband plans.