Are You Financially Fat?

Are You Financially Fat - picture of stacks of cash

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Please enjoy this post from Shannon at Financially Blonde.  I will be back in full force tomorrow, I promise!

Three years ago, I decided to finally make a commitment to losing the 50 pounds I had gained after having my son. I figured that once he turned five, I couldn’t call it “baby weight” anymore, especially since my baby was getting on a bus and heading to kindergarten.

Once I determined that I would make a commitment to my weight loss journey, I found countless resources available to me, which included anything from sites like Weight Watchers to free apps to track my food. I decided on using Weight Watchers because a number of my friends had success with the program.

Eight months after beginning my journey, I reached my goal weight and successfully lost 50 pounds. It was an amazing journey and after reaching this milestone, I began another journey in my career- I left a stable and highly successful career in investment banking and finance to become a financial advisor.

Conquering New Goals

I decided to become a financial advisor because I realized that my personal finances were a mess, and I really needed help with sorting them out. My only problem was that I couldn’t find any advisors that I liked. Plus I realized that 80% of financial advisors are men and there should be more women in the ranks. So I took the “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” approach to my financial advisory career.

Once I started meeting with clients, I realized just how “personal” personal finance really is. There is no one-stop solution for helping people with money. I also realized how few resources were available for people to help them with their money journeys.

One of the biggest financial challenges that people face is understanding what financial challenges they have to begin with. It was easy for me to understand that I was physically fat. I could easily step on a scale, input my height and weight into a website and see what my body mass index or BMI suggested. I could also just look in the mirror or look at a picture and see the physical evidence of my weight staring back at me.

Unfortunately, we don’t have tools like this when it comes to our personal finances. It is not as simple as inputting your assets and liabilities and getting an exact answer. Yes, you can figure out your debt-to-income ratio or your DTI and have a good gauge of your financial health; however, that number is only one component of your financial health.

Why I Wrote “Train Your Way to Financial Fitness”

My pursuit to help people understand their money and money behaviors led me to write my first book, Train Your Way to Financial Fitness. I am excited that it is available as a resource for people on their journey to financial health. One of the best aspects of the book, I believe, is the financial fitness quiz that allows you to assess your financial type, and I believe there are three financial types, Financially Fit, Financially Skinny and Financially Fat.

Financially Fit people are good at managing their money and tend to make smart money choices overall. Financially Skinny people live paycheck to paycheck and have a difficult time getting ahead. Financially Fat people tend to have significant amounts of debt and make poor money choices on a regular basis.

Once you take the quiz, I have customized the sections of the book to help you with your personal finance journey because I believe that the same advice does not make sense for everyone. A Financially Fat person has a different background and different challenges than a Financially Fit person.

If you are someone, like I was, who doesn’t know what your financial health really looks like, I think that this book will really help you not only identify your financial health level, but also help you improve on areas that may challenge you.

Do you know what your financial health is? Do you think you are Financially Fit, Financially Skinny or Financially Fat?

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    1. Thanks!! I honestly never thought I could do it, the weight just seemed insurmountable, but like anything in life, with enough focus, effort and patience, anything is possible. 🙂

  1. Hi Shannon. Congrats on the book, I think the idea of financial fitness is spot on. The truth is that financial health and physical health require the same approach. You need to be constantly working on it. No quick fixes or binge diets. The only way to become financially fit is to make lifestyle changes, the same way you become physically fit. All the best, hope it goes well!

    1. Exactly Thomas!! I wish there was a pill that would get rid of 50 pounds, just like many people also wish there was a pill to get rid of $5,000 in debt. The truth is that there is no easy fix, but everything is fixable.

  2. So glad to see more word getting out about your book! It’s such a great resource for people at any stage of their financial journey and at any level of financial fitness. And agreed, you definitely inject the “personal” in personal finance :). I really enjoyed reading it!

    1. Thanks Mrs. FW!! I hope people aren’t sick of hearing about my book, but I am really passionate about getting people financially healthy.

  3. Fifty pounds is quite a lot and it’s great that you have managed to have kept it off, which is true success! I’m really looking forward to reviewing the book and sharing it with my readers very soon. A lot of people write books on personal finance but it’s great to know an author who really advocates for the betterment of her clients.

  4. It is amazing how physical and financial fitness go hand in hand. It really is the same steps and lifestyle changes that make either or both successful. I’ve also read that many people who are overweight are in debt and there is a strong correlation between the two because the triggers and behaviors are so similar. Have you seen this in your clients?

    1. I actually see a very strong correlation in physical health and financial health. Usually if we have a struggle with control and focus in one area, it impacts others. It was personally easier for me to get financially healthy after I got physically healthy.

  5. It’s funny how much fitness and finance go together. Everyone always wants to give general advice but for so many it’s the specific situation and details that are needed.

    1. I find that the more analogies I use with clients, the better their results. I think too many people make money an esoteric concept, when it is really understandable with the right guidance.

  6. I like to think I am maybe financially overweight, not fat, but working my way to fit. There are few things I still need to “shed” away including a car loan and student loans, and at the same time exercising my retirement accounts.

    1. I would say the same thing about you as well Kipp. As long as you are working on your “problem areas” then you will see improvement and before you know it your bank account will be totally sexy.

  7. I think there is a strong correlation between losing weight and getting control of your finances. It’s all about changing bad habits. The bets way to lose weight is not to diet, because after the diet you go back to our old eating habits and gain weight again. It’s changing the way you eat for good. Finances are similar, you can’t put you spending on a diet for a period of time and then go back to old habits. We are financial a work in progress, but just hit a major milestone in becoming debt free.

  8. I consider myself to be a physically fit and pretty financially fit person. Although I feel my physical fitness is a bit better than my financial fitness. I have made a few poor choices in the past that have not led me into debt, but slowed down my earning potential and limited my income for a couple of years. I like to think I’m back on track now and doing better than I thought I would have in a short amount of time! 🙂

  9. catherine says:

    I don’t really know where I fall into! I have a lot of debt but almost all because of my education and we live tight to pay debt off…somewhere in between all of them I guess:)

  10. I find measuring financial fitness to be pretty easy, mainly because the numbers never lie. You can measure virtually any aspect of finances to get an overall picture. Just like weight won’t tell you the full health story of someone, net worth is only one aspect of financial fitness that needs to be looked at

  11. I think of being financially fit not as an end goal, but as a lifelong pursuit. It’s kind of similar to pursuing physical health. You can’t just spend a couple days working out and then not go to the gym for a month. It has to be something that is constant and consistent in your life.

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