There is something about a Michigan Summer with its green grass, blue skies, and sunshine that always reminds me of the John Fogerty Song, "Centerfield". I think my affinity for baseball has something to do with it, regardless it reminds me that managing your finances is quite relatable to the sport of baseball. Let me explain. According to Wikipedia, a center fielder (CF) is the outfielder in baseball who plays defense in center field- the baseball and softball fielding position between left field and right field. Just like the center fielder in baseball we need to be on the defense when it comes to protecting our assets.
1st Base- Create an all inclusive budget. Make sure to track your expenditures and create a game plan just like a baseball coach creates a lineup for the game. List your Income/Fixed Expenses (Rent, Mortgage, Insurance payments, Vehicle Payments)/ and Flexible Expenses (Utilities, Food, Clothing, Charity Donations, Childcare, Medical Expenses). Know what percentage you are saving after expenses and what percentage you can use for leisure activities and spending. Preparation via budget is key to staying in the financial know and planning accordingly.
2nd Base- Use workplace incentives, such as 401K retirement plans, matching programs, and flexible spending accounts for health benefits to your advantage. Baseball players have access to athletic trainers, special teams, and top of the line coaches and mentor-ship programs. Similar to athletic programs, these workplace incentive programs exist to benefit those of us in the workforce, if we use them.
3rd Base- Set Goals. Whether it's paying your bills on time to avoid late fees and penalties or having someone help to hold you accountable. Maintain the course and keep your eye on the ball, as they would say in baseball!
Home Plate- If you have questions or concerns talk to your advisor. Athletes turn to their coaches for advice and consultations both on and off the field. Similar to coaches, advisors are able to assist you with preparation and best practices in order to help you grow and preserve your assets.
That completes my baseball/financial planning analogy, which I hope helped you to visualize a game plan for your finances and maybe next time you hear John Fogerty's "Centerfield" you'll remember this advice.
*The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. All investing involves risk including loss of principal. No strategy assures success or protects against loss.