Financial Literacy - Growing your bottom line
smart spending
Trim your bottom, increase bottom line

Fall is officially here. Leaves are falling, stocks are falling and even corporations are falling. Maybe Chicken Little was onto something. Everything around us seems to be in a downward spiral. Well, except for those few things going up, up, up. Gas prices are flying high, food prices are skyrocketing, and, if you're like me, even your waist size is hiking up a size or two.

Shaky markets can lead to more hours in the office, which can lead to less time for taking care of yourself physically and financially. Your hours at the gym are suddenly cut back because you're being overworked in the office. Weekend outings usually spent shopping for healthier food options take a back seat to the convenience of drive-throughs and delivery.

2 steps to fiscal and physical fitness
  • Step 1. Resurrect your resolution
  • Step 2. Take weekly bike tours

Simultaneously, the fall season begins with a bombardment of way-too-early holiday advertisements, making you impulsively hand over your money even when there are office layoffs happening all around. And if you're among the few lucky enough to be in a stable job situation, be aware you are most likely exchanging raises and year-end bonuses this year for better cubicle locations and title changes. As you know, having "Senior" added to your business card still doesn't help buy presents for Junior.

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So how do we grow your bottom line, without growing your bottom at the same time? With just two easy additions to your weekly routine, you can be a little bit wealthier and a little bit healthier for it. Who can say no to that?

Step 1. Resurrect your fitness resolution

OK, remember that New Year's resolution to save money and lose weight that you forgot all about by Martin Luther King Jr. Day? Well, let's breathe some new life into it. You'll need to double the effort to catch up on the last 10 months, but ending the year with a bang makes starting next year with a bang that much easier.

Getting back on track is as easy as a Sunday walk. From now on, this Sunday and every Sunday going forward, you have a new task. Take a run, jog or romantic walk with your wallet to your ATM. Skip the drive in the SUV to your bank. You need to get there using your legs. Keep moving past that doughnut and coffee shop. Stride strong past those closer, more convenient, banks that aren't yours so you can avoid those pesky ATM fees.

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