This weekend, thousands of hopeful runners will be putting their hard work to the test at this year’s Honolulu Marathon.

But as much as all that training can teach someone about their physical fitness and ability to overcome adversity, that same type of preparation and focus can be applicable to their financial fitness.

Jon Hanai from HawaiiUSA Federal Credit Union has tips on starting your financial journey on good footing.

1. Set a goal

Everyone has a unique situation and may or may not need what someone else has.

Your reason for doing the things needed for your goal should be for yourself.

In a race, of course you have and want to beat your competitors.

But it’s that inner struggle and battle against your doubts that tests the limits of the human heart.

That’s why you shouldn’t feel forced into trying to make someone else’s goal your own.

Take a good, honest look at your situation so you can make an accurate assessment of your finances before jumping headfirst into anything.

And if you’re having difficulties with any of those things, come in to any HawaiiUSA and let our team help you to get an account of where you are and where you want to be because helping our members remember that life matters is our commitment. 

2. Develop a plan

It’s time to setup a plan to attain it.

In a marathon, this would include your training schedule.

You wouldn’t want to run your race without having properly prepared for the course or its distance.

That goes the same for your financial wellness journey.

Let’s say home ownership is your goal.

You shouldn’t plan to purchase a home without developing a sufficient savings plan, as well as determine a feasible price range.

Depending where you are in your career and family situation, a first-time or starter home might suffice.

In other financial and family scenarios that might not be enough. 

3. Go through your recurring expenses.

Unlike the previous two, this hiding spot isn’t necessarily one that’s going to be tangible, and it might be harder to find that Easter egg.

With the hustle and bustle of everyday life, autopay can simplify your bill-paying process so you don’t run into any unexpected penalties.

Also look for and eliminate expenses that you no longer need or use, such as streaming services or online music.

Those monthly payments may not seem like much, but they’ll add up to great savings in the long run.

4. Stay Disciplined.

You can’t expect to save your goal amount overnight, nor will it be easy to sacrifice here and there in order to save enough.

But whether you need to give yourself a pep talk every now and then, or maybe even create a dream board so you can visually see why you’re doing everything you’re doing, just keep your eyes and heart centered on your motivation.

And there may be ways to help you get there a little faster.

For example, maybe you racked up more than your fair share of credit card debt during the holidays on a high interest rate.

Instead of struggling to make minimum payments, which would take possibly years to payoff and add hundreds if not thousands of dollars in interest, you can take advantage of promotional balance transfers to transfer that balance onto a lower interest credit card.

Not only will that save you money going forward on the amount of interest you’ll have to pay back, it may also save you on your overall monthly expenses.

If finding ways to save like a credit card balance transfer sounds like something that interests you, that’s also something you’ll be able to find at HawaiiUSA