Strategically planning ahead goes a long way with running and finances. Time after time, Boston University’s David Hemery Indoor Invitational was always by far my favorite meet to go to in the long track season. With over 5,000 entries, the two day event is where many special BU magic moments happen for runners from all over the country: colligate, unattached, and even the pros. It was certainly the most humbling of experiences chatting with the Villanova girls on the line as we waited for officials to kick things off. Keep in mind though, racing in a place like Boston doesn’t go without a plan or a strategy.

Competing in the 3k on a 200 meter banked track, I knew I had to get off the line aggressively, tuck in the front of the pack letting the field pull me through 2k, before putting the screw in the last 800 meters. The loud echoes in the overflowing dome made for a day without counting lap splits. There was no time for quick math, just pure whole-hearted racing. My only two goals were to: qualify for the championships and not trip and fall in front of the huge crowd that was lined to the railings. Don’t worry, I didn’t fall, but I did get the qualifier.

It’s safe to say in the sport of running, many different factors affect the race plan and strategy chosen for each competition moment. But what about the strategies you take with your finances in your twenties, thirties, and even in retirement? Do you have a plan? If not, why not? You wouldn’t get up to the start line without a race plan, so why go through life without a financial plan. Like Boston and every other race, it is a must to have a strategy to execute the most favorable outcome. Similarly, within your personal finances there are many different strategies and paths to reach your optimal level of savings. Without strategically planning ahead, it can be hard to find a focal point to move towards.

When gearing up to stride towards enhancing your savings, think about reducing those discretionary expenses without giving up the standard of living or quality of life. As we pace on to the end of tax season many look forward to the extra spending from tax refunds on consumer purchases, but they may not add to overall financial wellness. It is easy to overlook the concept that a tax refund is not a bonus. So why do we get excited as if we’ve just won the lottery when in reality the IRS is just giving back our hard earned money? Switching perspectives and committing those irregular sources of income such as tax refunds, inheritances, and even bonuses towards savings and investments can contribute to the potential of growth overtime; replenishing those long-term goals without affecting your current state of living. Contributing to an emergency fund, saving a little more for retirement, and paying off debt, the options for making financially sound decisions with your tax refund are endless!

It is easily said, the approaches to running and personal financial savings are limitless, but the key takeaway to remember is patience. Having the humility to hang back in a race, conserve, and not be front and center can be highly profitable by the time that bell lap rolls around. Just as having the tolerance to strategically build up your savings over time can be highly profitable as well. If taking a look at your financial strategies sounds captivating, we’d love to help you through the planning process.