Wrestling with Financial discipline

By: Michael Buchmeier

October 26, 2017

Over my years of working at the credit union I’ve had numerous people say they don’t keep money in their checking account because if it is there they will spend it. I once had a friend ask me how I stay disciplined. A lot of it I can draw comparisons to when I wrestled in high school. It’s a lifestyle.

My first year I went 11-20 (8 wins were by forfeit). I wasn’t naturally talented but I enjoyed it. After the high school season, I practiced with the middle school. After the middle school season, I did freestyle wrestling. After the school year, I weight lifted and went to the open gym to wrestle with my brother. During my sophomore year I went 28-4, placing 2nd in conference and sectionals. Before wrestling I was pudgy, weak, and lazy. Wrestling got me in shape, made me stronger, and changed my work ethic to this day. It may not feel natural to save money but if you want to it may take practice and effort to change.

My discipline mostly comes from dieting correctly. As a wrestler I would have to watch my weight every day. A daily target goal (calories or money) can help you keep in line. Internet banking, mobile banking, and phone banking allow you to watch your account every day, all year long to keep your spending and saving in check. Even in the off-season, I wouldn’t want to get too heavy because I would have a harder time when the season started. Don’t let yourself get too far in debt.  Good debt, such as a mortgage, can help build credit. Too much debt can prevent you from getting a loan or buying something you need. So throughout the year I would watch what I ate, not just during the season. Choose the pasta instead of the pizza, cut out the cookies, take the white milk instead of chocolate for lunch, etc. I could look at food and want to eat it but I had to have the will power to deny myself what I wanted. The reward at the end outweighed the present desire. Setting a budget is one way to know what you can spend from your daily target goal and stay on track for your future goals.

Wrestling turned my life around. I use the principles I learned in my daily life not just financially. If you describe yourself as “financially inept” then reflect on your life. There may be an experience that can guide you in your own way to your financial goals.

Need help setting up a budget or assessing your financial situation? Check out our free SAVVYMONEY program, talk to our Financial Advisor Paul Gregory or stop by any of our branches. We’re happy to help.