Game On: Five Tips for Money Management Champions

Many athletes see their sports as a lifestyle rather than a job. They spend time away from the playing field reviewing film, training and discussing strategy with teammates and coaches. If you feel that your personal finance management always has you on the clock, here are five points to consider in your financial savings playbook.

Businessman on starting line

Develop Your Financial Fitness Routine

The best athletes have a routine of daily workout schedules, dietary needs, and rest and recovery time. Financial fitness requires a similar detailed game plan and can allow people to carefully manage their expenses.

At the beginning of each month, list out your monthly expenses, ranging from fixed spends (such as rent or bills) to variable needs (such as groceries and transportation). This will allow for smarter decision-making and prevent surprises later in the month. While budgeting may be intimidating at times, it does not mean you need to punt on having fun. Moderation and responsibility are key, and young pros should set and follow a monthly entertainment budget. In doing so, you can make sure your basic needs are covered while also being in a better place to plan for special events, such as vacations or milestone celebrations.

Conserve Your “Fuel”

Today’s top athletes see competition as a marathon, rather than a sprint. Similarly, you should plan now to keep “resources” for the future. It’s challenging to think long-term where there are upcoming expenses, ranging from student loan debt to monthly bills. However, waiting to save can cause even greater hardship down the line. Budget money into short-term savings, which include funds for larger purchases such as car and house down payments; long-term savings, which include funds for retirement and family planning; and emergency savings, which include funds for immediate repairs or health needs.

Play Cautiously

Financial management is a risk-reward game, and for young professionals with eyes on greater prizes, playing conservatively can be rewarding. While the economy is full of trendy investments, there is no guarantee the outcome will be worth the effort. In fact, many of the individuals who preach “can’t-miss” opportunities encounter more outs than hits along the way. In the end, safely saved money is reliable, while riskier investments are far from a sure thing.

Trust Your Tech Teammates

Watch any professional football game, and you’ll see players and coaches on the sideline using tablets to review game tape and spot potential advantages. Trust modern technology to provide an advantage with anywhere, on-the-go access to important information. Today, there are many apps* and online tools that give you the ability to see your finances and make decisions easily. Financial tools, such as automated bill pay and online account management, may be new, game-changing approaches for young pros to activate.

Study Hard

The path to success involves hours of reviewing playbooks with coaches, running through drills and learning from competition. Even the most successful guards continue to study and practice hard throughout their careers to refine their abilities. To truly succeed, always look for new opportunities to elevate your game. Use resources – ranging from online reference materials to conversations with banks and financial advisors – to improve your knowledge and make sound decisions. In-depth research and analysis also can expose you to less risky investment opportunities that can pay off in the long run.