“It’s never too late to be what you might have been.” Whether its life, money, or running, we’ve all been there. For the majority of the past decade, I’ve been the person that many would recognize first and foremost as a runner. Yet, after ten years of year round double training days, nobody was as surprised as me when a two week break turned into a ten month break.

Now, I find myself dusting off the Garmin and lacing up the Hokas putting one foot in front of the other unsure yet humbled and excited for a fresh outcome. Rebuilding a base in running and fitness is in many ways similar to rebuilding those three to six months of emergency savings. While both can feel slow-moving and stagnant to start, here is what worked for me.

  1. Let go of the guilt.

Guilt is a poor motivator and often a barrier to getting back into something, fitness, savings etc. So a situation arose and you had to use up your emergency fund. That’s alright! The savings cushion fulfilled its purpose. No shame in both games. The key is to keep moving forward.

  1. Assess your situation and make a budget.

It is important to be realistic when determining where to begin. If you start somewhere too aggressively, it can lead to disappointment. Remember to pace yourself through the process. As I ease back into running, I find that putting a piece of tape over my watch helps reel me back into the slower more practical pace range. The same mindset applies to rebuilding an emergency savings. With budgeting, determining your expense to income ratio can provide you with a leftover amount to put towards your emergency savings. Savings goals can be easily achieved by setting up a separate checking or savings account and having your employer allocate that leftover percentage or amount each pay check to the new account.

  1. Weed out the needs from the wants

When rebuilding in running or fitness, you may want to do one workout but need an entirely different approach. So keep it simple to start and cut out the fluff. Likewise, cutting out extra expenses and keeping it simple for a period of time can be highly profitable when rebuilding your emergency savings. Do you need all of those TV streaming accounts? Even the ones you haven’t logged onto in quite some time? The reality is, probably not. You never know, you may even realize you don’t miss some of those extra wants.

Of course, always remember to stay patient, positive, and celebrate even the little victories. Rebuilding in life, savings and running can take weeks even months to start seeing the benefits and results come full circle.

If you find yourself in a situation where you need guidance in helping rebuild your base, I invite you to reach out to our team here at JGUA!