Running a race, and personal finances are actually more similar than you would imagine. While the two may seem different in nature, there are several different aspects to race/run training that you can apply to personal finances in your own life. We like visual comparisons. We hope you do too. If you're not a runner, that's okay! We still think this post will be something that you can relate to. So what are the similarities between running a race and setting financial goals? We're glad you asked!
Set a reasonable goal...then build on it
In running, you set yourself personal goals. If you are someone who has never run a day in their life, setting a reasonable goal is important. You're probably not going to go run a full marathon in a few months time. Start off with a small goal, like a 5K (3.1 miles) or a 10K (10.2 miles) and train for that distance. Eventually, your body will get used to the distance and you'll be able to extend your runs. Eventually, you can work up to running a marathon if you want...but it may be best to try some of the smaller races before going all out. Similarly in finance, you need to start with a reasonable goal. Let's say you want to start saving money. That's a great goal! Let's say you want to start putting away $5000 a month. That may be unrealistic depending on your financial situation, but maybe you can put away $100 a month to start. Once you've gotten used to saving that amount each month, slowly increase the amount. While it could take a few years and salary increases you'll reach your goal!
Get a support system
When you decide to run a race, the training can be daunting, painful and exhausting. Find someone who is willing to train with you and encourage you along the way. One of the greatest examples of runners being encouraging is on race day. People are constantly encouraging you every step of the way. The running community is unique in that while most everyone is trying to win, you'll also get encouragement from fellow runners to keep pushing. Likewise, if you decide to start on a new financial adventure, find yourself someone who is willing to take the plunge with you. You'll be able to hold each other accountable to keep going and encourage one another when you've hit a milestone. We know that talking about finances can be a taboo topic, but we assure that it will be easier to hit your goals if you try!
Don't let setbacks get you down
As a runner, injuries happen. Some are easier to overcome than others. Muscles can get pulled, toes can be stubbed and blisters can occur if you aren't careful. These injuries don't normally take much time to heal, but one wrong step and your knee could twist, your ankle could turn or your hip could slip out of joint. These injuries take quite a toll on your body, and they take time to heal. Much like running, you can have setbacks in your financial planning due to several different things beyond your control. These setbacks can be minor, like a speeding ticket or having to purchase new tires for your car, or in some cases they can be serious like a trip to the ER, major car repairs or getting a divorce. When life happens, don't be discouraged when it takes a bit of time to get back on track. It's okay if you aren't perfect! Remember that life happens, but it's always important to get back on the horse once you've been kicked off.
Have fun with your journey, and be open about it with friends. You just may inspire someone to change their lives as well.
-The Taconnet Team