Whether you desire to be physically healthy and/or financially healthy, both require the same type of behavior. Watching what you eat (being aware of calories, serving sizes, ingredients), and exercising regularly (calories burned, steps, rotating muscle groups), requires the same type of commitment and habits as being financially sound (watching your budget, monitoring investment performance, planning for retirement). In both cases, being successful requires you to set realistic goals based on what you’re trying to accomplish, monitor your results, and then adapt as needed to stay on track. Just as you establish a regular plan to stay physically healthy, a comprehensive financial plan is a critical step in achieving financial security.
The biggest risk to financial security is not understanding enough about what it will take to accomplish your goals. Whether it’s investing, purchasing a house, or planning an overseas vacation, there is a certain amount of due diligence that is needed to avoid common mistakes, ill-advised timing, or simply being taken advantage of. Being aware of how all of your financial decisions are inter-related, and the levers you can pull to impact the end result, gives you clear options that will make it easier for you to take control of your destiny. You can not be too prepared.
When it comes to your physical well-being, good health and nutritional habits are constantly reinforced in today's society. You see calorie counts on every menu, nutritional labels on packaged foods, news reports on exercise recommendations, etc. Yet, you see almost nothing about good financial habits unless you go looking for it, and even then good information can be hard to find. The irony is that both are amazingly similar in that they are equally important to your physical and mental well-being. They just use different methods.
Anyone who has lost a significant amount of weight (significant to them), will tell you how much more positive they feel, and how much more they are looking forward to the future. Anyone who has risen from financial hardship to achieve a reasonable amount of financial security will tell you the same thing. Becoming debt free, giving yourself the ability to make purchases without guilt or anxiety, and taking control of your financial destiny is both liberating and exhilarating. Just as good physical health can prolong your life (and make it more enjoyable), good financial health relieves stress, extends the usefulness of your savings, and makes sure that you are well prepared for retirement. In both cases, starting with small steps and a consistent effort leads to significant accomplishments. Knowing that your finances are under control, and that your savings are producing extra income for you, can reduce stress and increase your confidence in being able to handle whatever the future holds. That's a healthy feeling.