You want to be financially fit. You know all about buying generic and what needs to be done to start a budget. You know what is involved in starting your retirement fund and how much to sock away. You can even picture a future with fewer stresses and possibly an early retirement.

So why aren't you on the road to that frugal success you read about?
Simply put, there are life issues that block that path to financial fitness and I want to spotlight 5 of them below.

1. It's A Bother
It's a pain in the arse having to keep tabs on everything you buy. Not only that, it may very well be in our DNA to try to take the easiest route possible and tracking spending doesn't seem very easy. In your mind you think that it is a waste of time with no immediate results, if any and your eyes rolling is the physical manifestation of that thought.
flickr/cc - Brian Forbes
The solution: Think about something in your current financial state that makes your life difficult. Are you staying awake at night because of bills? Is the thought of taking a sick day off from work causing you pain in your neck and shoulders? Focus on the negative situation you are in now and convince and inspire yourself to change, to make your life better by any means necessary.

2. It Takes To Long
Just like wanting to make life less painful, we also want to make life a pleasure, with immediate gratification the easiest way to get that result. This may have served you well while you had the money to toss at every whim but lately things responsibility and bills have laid claim to every penny you own and even those you will earn in the future.

The solution: Extra spending on impulse items or grabbing the credit card to feel better is not the answer. There are other ways to stimulate your self-gratification center of the brain. Find an activity in your area that is free or minimal in price and partake in them regularly.

Recently I was watching at the local park as guys were flying model planes around and got into a conversation with a man who knew quite a lot about each model plane that went up. I asked if he had one of his own. His answer was that he didn't have the money for these planes but he participated in the local club as a volunteer and that allowed him to be around them and help them oil or fix up planes on occasion and that was satisfactory for him.

You can retrain your brain to see the free events around you and crave those pleasures while keeping your money safe.

3. Way To Busy
Let's face it, it isn't uncommon these days to talk with neighbors and co-workers and find out they have a 2nd or 3rd job on top of raising a kid or two. We are so busy that when doctors suggest we get 7-8 hours of sleep to keep us healthy, we laugh out loud. This fast-paced, constantly going schedule certainly is a good enough reason to not worry about being financially fit. Besides, when things slow down, then we can take a look at the retirement plan.
flickr/cc -andryone
The solution: Prioritize what is really important in life. If you are a perfectionist, it's time to let go of that standard and remove a few commitments from your schedule so that you are able to continue on a healthy financial path and won't be running this fast-paced life for the next 20 years or more. Remind yourself that taking care of your financial health is a way to take care of your physical health as well.

4. I Don't Deserve It
As odd as the idea may sound, sometimes we get it in our head that the personality we have is one of "work till you die" and if anything good happens to you, it must be a mistake. Think about times that you may have self-sabotaged your goal to get rid of debt or get started on the 401k plan. If you don't believe deep down that you deserve a life free of debt, a future where you have a savings, then you will never give yourself a chance to attain that goal.

The solution: First off, I believe that each one of us deserve a life without debt, no matter. I urge you to dig deep down and uncover those reasons why you don't think you do. This may be a "come to Jesus" or a "come to Jillian" moment. Once you conquer your feelings of unworthiness, getting a budget and a savings plan will become a much easier goal.

5. It's Really Scary
Failure is a real problem, it happens and it happens often. You be afraid to start for fear of failure but also afraid to start for fear of success. Even being successful at reaching a goal can freak you out because it means change, it means a new way of life - even if it is a change in the right direction.
flickr/cc - hozinja
The solution: As Zig Zigler has said, "Failure is a detour, not a dead-end street." When you decide to get financially fit you will go through many changes a new way of spending, a new way of saving, a new way of looking at each dollar, a new way of shopping and a new self-image. Focus on the positive effects this new financially fit life will bring to you. Envision a better life everyday so that it goes from being a new and scary idea to a familiar and comfortable one.


  1. Chris @ MyMoneyMess // Thursday, February 17, 2011 11:30:00 AM  

    Financial fitness is very similar to physical fitness. Same kinds of excuses for not doing it. Kind of like inertia though once you get in motion on it, it's pretty easy to stay in motion.
    The most difficult part for most people is getting started.

  2. DIY Investor // Sunday, February 20, 2011 10:45:00 AM  

    I liked the example of the guy who volunteered at the local model airplane club. I think there are a lot of opportunities like this. I know people who are ticket takers at the local arena part time ( and get paid for it!)so they can see good shows. In many cases people just have to look around a bit and put their thinking caps on!
    Good post!