We drag ourselves out of bed at the crack of dawn to squeeze in a workout, even though we don鈥檛 always feel like being morning people. We try mysterious new drinks like golden milk even when we find them intimidating, simply because they promise health benefits. We take care of our bodies, even when it鈥檚 not fun or glamorous. Why? Because long term, we know we鈥檒l be glad we did it (and yes, with a line like that, we are all turning into our mothers).

The same is true for finances. Getting our money in order isn鈥檛 always a party (honestly, is it ever?), but it鈥檚 still a worthwhile investment in time. To celebrate #FinHealthMatters Day (June 27), Alexandra Taussig 鈥 SVP of Women Investors at Fidelity Investments 鈥 offered us 鈥渇ive money musts鈥 that will serve as the perfect starting point for your financial health exam. If the idea of overhauling your budget and bank accounts feels totally overwhelming, these suggestions are a perfect big-picture road map for assessing your current financial status and figuring out how to get where you want to go.


1. Makeover your budget. Put down your phone, grab a glass of ros茅, whip out the old calculator, and come face-to-face with your expenses by adding up how much you鈥檙e spending each month on rent/mortgage, utilities, transportation, groceries, and other necessities. Estimate how much your 鈥渇un spending鈥 (dinners out, entertainment, shopping, etc.) contributes to that monthly bottom line too. It鈥檚 not always easy to address your finances head on, but the only way to determine if 鈥 and where 鈥 you need to cut back on spending鈥 is to see how much you鈥檙e actually spending! Lay out the numbers in black and white, then roll up your sleeves and figure out what adjustments you can make in order to free up funds for chipping away at your student loans, paying back any old credit card bills, or saving for a rainy day.

2. Get a credit check-up. 鈥淵our credit health can affect your financial options in the future, so it鈥檚 important to do a credit check-up once a year, or when you open a new line of credit,鈥 Taussig says. There are plenty of tools available online to help you access this information on your own time 鈥 which will save you a lot of stress and nervous waiting next time you apply to lease an apartment or buy a new set of wheels.

3. Ditch the debt. Once you鈥檝e wrangled your budget, it鈥檚 time to figure out how to tackle any outstanding payments on your record. Can you pay off a big chunk of that debt immediately? Great! Do that. If not, commit to giving up your daily coffee habit or putting a pause on your love of shoe shopping so that you can re-route that discretionary spending toward your debts. Once that鈥檚 done, Taussig suggests you get proactive and make a plan for avoiding future debt. Fidelity鈥檚 money map tool, she says, is one helpful resource.

4. Grow by investing. 鈥淛ust like results at the gym don鈥檛 happen overnight, investing is one of the best ways to help reach your long-term financial goals,鈥 Taussig says. You don鈥檛 quit on your cardio (we hope), and you better not quit on growing your wealth with investments! If the concept of investing feels intimidating, don鈥檛 stress. There are plenty of resources online and in your community that can help you get the answers you鈥檙e looking for and advise on the best ways for you 鈥 specifically 鈥 to go about this process (for one, check out this investment-savvy #girlboss!).

5. Set goals for retirement now. Retirement may seem like it鈥檚 a million years away, but it鈥檚 never too early to start planning. Consider starting with a retirement calculator that will help you lay the groundwork for your golden years.

Are there other key financial rules you live by? Tweet us @BritandCo!

(Photo via Getty)