Helpful Tips

How Getting Your Finances in Order is Like Training for a Marathon

By Parker Andrews
Marathon training

Marathon training

As some of you may know, I’ll be running the London Marathon for Shelter this weekend, and with the big day nearly upon me, I thought I’d reflect on the comparisons that can be drawn between intensive training and hardcore budgeting. I was actually quite surprised by the similarities!

A lot of people who come to me require advice and support to help get their personal or business finances in shape, either to avoid, or following, insolvency or bankruptcy.

At the outset, this can seem like an impossible task. When I first took up running, about 2 years ago, the thought of completing a 26-mile course felt just as impossible, but that’s exactly what I’m hoping to achieve on Sunday.

So, how have I prepared and what lessons can be applied to financial planning?

  • Start with a strategy – know what you want to achieve and set milestones with deadlines.
  • Run your own race – set goals that are realistic and achievable for you. Don’t compare yourself to other people; every situation is different.
  • Pace yourself – set a spending budget, but don’t try to cut too much too soon. Easing yourself into a more frugal lifestyle will mean you’re more likely to stick with it.
  • Be disciplined – stick to your goals and don’t get lazy. In the words of Record Breakers, “dedication’s what you need!”
  • Find a training partner – someone who’ll keep you on track when the going gets tough; someone who knows what you’re going through and is there to share your pain!
  • Push yourself – as you get more experienced at budgeting, don’t rest on your laurels. If you can save more and reach your targets faster, go for it!
  • Reward yourself – all work and no play will make you lose interest, so give yourself a treat from time to time.
  • Monitor your progress – tracking your success will keep you focused on the task at hand and make all the sacrifices seem worthwhile.

Like running, budgeting can be a long, painful process, but ultimately, it’s good for you, very satisfying and quite addictive. A good habit to get into, once you’ve mastered it you’ll wonder how you ever got by without it!

If you have any budgeting tips to share, or need advice to help you get a handle on your finances, please get in touch.

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