Run Your Own Personal Finance Race

Brent Pittman —  02/05/2013


When it comes to personal finances, you’ve got to run your race . There are many voices out there telling you the who, what, when, where, and how’s about money (my voice included).

Each runner in this personal finance race is unique, so the training methods and running styles will differ slightly, but there are some common core running principals you have to adhere to. Find out what works for you and hit the track.

Find Your Coach and Run Your Race

There are a lot of popular personal finance voices out there. Each have their own agenda or main focus. A coach can both motivate and point out areas you need to improve on.

Find a money coach you can trust or a combination of voices and apply what they are shouting through their bullhorns.

 “Some people create with words, or with music, or with a brush and paints. I like to make something beautiful when I run. I like to make people stop and say, “I’ve never seen anyone run like that before.” It’s more then just a race, it’s a style. It’s doing something better then anyone else. It’s being creative.”-Prefontaine

Steve Prefontaine 1972 

Choose Your Distance

Sorry, this one is predetermined. You are running for the long haul. You’re running for life. Personal finance is no sprint or 5K, yet you’ll have times when you’ll sprint to get ahead or to jump an upcoming hurdle. Think Ultra Marathon.

“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”-Prefontaine

Pick Your Pace

Some runners have to start by–walking. The Couch to 5K running plan might be where you need to start, but you’ll be jogging soon enough. Budgets will soon be a breeze and you’ll be making wise financial decisions blindfolded.

Train Consistently

The time to run the race of personal finances is every day. Each day wake up and throw on those sneakers and log those miles. Every month make a budget, resist debt hourly, with every paycheck invest a little. The financial principals work best when applied on a consistant basis. Don’t blow your whole race on holiday binge eating with no training.

“To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.”-Steve Prefontaine 

Cross Train

Remember when you’re running this personal finance race there are other races you’re running simultaneously: Faith, Family, Friends, Career, Learning…etc. When you succeed in these other areas, you’ll likely begin to see success in your personal finances. Success breeds success.

If you are only running for money, then you’re running the wrong race.

Find a Running Buddy

It is hard to run alone, though if that works for you and you can be successful-props to you. If you are like myself and most of us, you need a financial running buddy.

That buddy is already chosen for you if you’re married. Singles will need to find someone who can look at their budget and tell them “no”.

The race is happening if you realize it or not. How are you doing? No matter where you are, you can begin to walk and move towards the finish line.

Run. Choose to win. Finish well. 

(Photo Credit  domi-san)

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Brent Pittman

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Brent is a financial coach and writer looking for the perfect donut. He believes personal finance should be both fun and accessible to anyone willing to learn.