5 Ways Sports Can Help Build Foundations in Personal Finance

foundations in personal finance


When building foundations in personal finance, sports probably doesn't come to mind.   You may be surprised to discover that you can learn many personal finance lessons and principles from sports. If you’ve been struggling to repair your credit or reach your personal financial goals, you are not alone.  According to Marketwatch, almost 50% of Americans are concerned about their current financial situation. 

In this article, we’ll discuss some of the similarities between sports and finances.  The hope is that you can take the information learned here and start infusing fun into your personal financial journey.  By the end, you will be the champion of your own finances.

Practice Makes Perfect

Professional athletes weren’t born with all the skills they needed to play their sport. Sure, they may be naturally athletic, but they practiced for many years to perfect their moves and condition their bodies. They continue to practice every day. In the same way you weren’t born knowing the foundations of personal finance ( like how to handle your money wisely), you too need practice. Mastering your finances takes consistent practice and dedication. Practice isn’t always fun, but the rewards are worth the effort. Keep your eyes on the prize!

Foundations in Personal Finance Means Being Strategic

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If you watch or play team sports like football, basketball, or soccer, you know that each team has a plan for overcoming its opponent. Coaches share plays, and players make signs to one another in an effort to score points. Winning is no accident.

In the same way, you must be strategic about your personal finances. You can’t simply hope for the best. Instead, you must have a solid plan in place and then follow through on your plan if you hope to achieve your financial goals.  There are two basics to goal setting:

  1. Have a clear understanding of the goal you are trying to reach.  For example, come up with an exact amount you need to save to pay off your debt and by what date.
  2. Think about the exact steps you need to take in order to reach reach that goal.

Whatever your goals are will determine your habits as well as the personal finance “rules” you will follow. If your issues with money are rooted in excessive shopping or booking lavish vacations on your credit card, the steps you will take will look different than someone who is broke because they keep lending out money.

Reframe Your Mindset

Professional athletes know that mental conditioning is just as important as physical conditioning. They spend a lot of time training their brains so they can have a positive mindset while on the field or court. The pressure’s on them, and they must maintain focus to overcome their doubts and challenges.

Just as in sports, you must re-frame your mindset about money and personal finances.  Are you convinced that you are simply “not good with money”? Change your thought patterns and ask yourself why you believe that. Repeat positive affirmations about money and feel confident that you can learn anything you need to know. 

Practice defense as a foundation in personal finance

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Just as you can't control how hard one plays on defense in a sport, personal finance is not much different. You can get a side hustle or ask for a raise in an effort to increase the money you have coming in, but ultimately there is only so much control you have here.  Now what you do have control over is how you spend your money.

You are 100% in control of whether you eat that dinner out or cook at home, get a used car vs. a new one etc.  This is a foundation in personal finance that you want to get straight.  In the game of personal finance, being frugal is what will get you to your financial goals.

You are only in competition with yourself

Just like in sports, there is only one player, yourself.  With that being said, most financial mistakes occur because people seek advice from the wrong people and they are often comparing themselves to others.

The true secret to financial wellness is coming up with a plan that works for YOU.  Not what your neighbor is doing or your best friend.  You are only in competition with yourself. If you follow this foundation of personal finance, you will be that much more financially healthy.

Final thoughts

Now that you know personal finance is a lot like sports, doesn’t it seem more fun? You don’t have to lift weight, run sprints, or be six feet tall with huge muscles. You simply have to believe in yourself and your abilities - and then practice, practice, practice.

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