How To Manage Your Money Like An Athlete

Managing your money well requires the same level of control and discipline that you would apply to your fitness. We all know that sustaining your fitness requires purpose and regular effort and your finances are no different.

When I am trying to adopt a new skill or way of thinking I often think about how easy training comes to me and how I can apply the same concepts to anything in life.

By following these simple tips, you can develop great habits and exert a much greater control over your financial house and your life.

Here are my 5 tips to manage your money like an athlete:

1. Spot the challenge

A big part of my life is keeping fit and playing competitive tennis. With tennis there are many different degrees of talent which is why the ATP ranks the top 2,000 tennis players in the world. Pretty much no matter how good I get, I am always faced with the challenge that someone is better than me, either in their first serves or return from serve.

Most people think their biggest financial challenge is paying off a house but it’s not, it’s losing their income.

For most, losing your income happens when you retire and this is when you need a much bigger financial commitment, to cover off any loss in your income, than buying a house. To have the same lifestyle, you may need at least 15 times your family household income and you aren’t able to borrow it when the time comes.

2. Put a plan in place

Much like any fitness program, once you define the challenge you need a plan that’s achievable to help get your best results.

Just like your fitness, you can’t eat as much as you like or have an unhealthy lifestyle and expect to reach your goals. Especially on the tennis court if you are not light on your feet or have power in your serve it’s difficult to have the upper hand in any game.

When you are looking ahead to your figure out your retirement income, instead of thinking you’ll need to find it by the time you retire and giving up because it seems all too hard, think about how much money you can put aside week by week or month by month and your pot will grow.

As Roger Federer has always said ‘He has learnt to be more patient’. In life and tennis which shows how he has followed through on his own plan.

3. Avoid excuses

Stick to your plan no matter what. If the distractions from your daily life take over, talk to a financial coach or a trusted friend to help steer you back on track.

Sometimes we take whatever road is slightly easier but taking the easy route can lead to more excuses and not getting everything you want out of life.

Similar in fitness, common excuses like feeling too tired or saying you’ll go tomorrow, don’t fly because tomorrow can always bring new excuses. Having a trainer or gym buddy helps to follow through because you know there is someone there next to you expecting you to do your part.

In my fitness routine, I have a weekly tennis lesson and several mates who I train with and this is by far my best advice in avoiding excuses.

4. You are never too late

It’s never too late to be the best you can be. Money and fitness are the same.

If you asked me, should I be planning for retirement from the age of 30, I would say yes because you can save over a period of time and your retirement nest egg will happen naturally with little work from you or impact on your life. If you’re 50 and you’ve missed 20 years of saving, you will still be better off at 60 if you start saving now than if you didn’t.

The same applies to fitness if you haven’t exercised regularly in the past there is no time like the present to start. You will be surprised how good you feel instantly with a little bit of movement to break up your normal day

5. Do the work and things will take care of themselves

If you make the sacrifices today to do all the things you have agreed to do just like Roger Federer the rest will look after itself.

To me the bigger the challenge is, the more it attracts me. If everyone thought like me, there is no doubt we’d all be millionaires in retirement or perhaps tennis champions.

What’s your next challenge?

Mike Sikar

Founder & Principal Advisor

I’ve been a leader and innovator of the financial services industry for almost two decades, as a stockbroker from 1997 – 2007 and as a financial advisor from 2008.

Managing money comes down to basic psychology-understand how it works, know what you want it for and consistently apply the key principles to get the most out of it.



“The best way to measure your investing success is not by whether you’re beating the market but by whether you’ve put in place a financial plan and a behavioral discipline that are likely to get you where you want to go.”

~Benjamin Graham

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