This Financial Trainer Can Kick Your Assets Into Shape This Financial Trainer Can Kick Your Assets Into Shape Everyone has financial troubles these days, especially millennials who are just out of college and trying to work while also paying off student debt. The question that needs to be asked in this situation is, “what are the everyday steps I can take to spend money in ways that’s beneficial to my goals?” Luckily Shannon McLay, founder of The Financial Gym, is here to help. “We’re more comfortable getting physically naked with people than financially naked with people.” Sitting down with a financial advisor to go over account statements and history is terrifying, and that’s what McLay is changing with her business. At the Financial Gym, the advisees wear t-shirts that say, “Financial trainer, kicking your assets into shape,” the conference rooms are dining room tables and events such as “Wine and Learn Wednesdays” are held weekly to make learning about finances fun and interactive. “Financial fitness is only two components – earn more and spend less.” Two very basic things, but it’s not easy. Life, emotions, and marketing get in the way. McLay aims to fix this problem instead of just working at a male dominated company helping wealthy clients. So how is one supposed to start saving when making $50,000 but living in the city and also trying to pay off student debt? People often tell McLay, “I know I’m supposed to save, but how am I going to save when I barely have money to pay the bills?” The solution? Side hustle. Shannon McLay, Level 3 Certified Financial Trainer The only way to get ahead is to make more money. Figure something out–take up dog walking or babysitting. Find something simple to do on the weekends. Side-hustling also keeps a person busier, and therefore unable to spend money as easily. Another suggestion McLay makes is to set aside a “no-spending” day two or three times a week. By not getting that morning coffee, or that afternoon sandwich, or even getting a drink just a few days a week, the money that isn’t being spent on those things will add up. Lastly, and the most important part to getting your financial ass into shape, is planning. “You can’t bet on the markets, but you can always bet on yourself.” Figure out a short term goal. Long term goals are often overwhelming and seem impossible. Instead of asking, “Where do I want to be 5 years from now?”, just think about 6 months from now. When a person has a direction to move in, planning is much easier. Financial fitness is equally as important as physically fitness–people don’t mind paying $70/year for a physical gym and the same amount of money can be applied to the financial gym. Doing well financially produces less stress, helps a person make better decisions, and keeps someone healthier overall. The financial gym is comparable to a regular gym in every way, and produces the same benefits. Colleen Minkewicz Colleen is a college student at SUNY New Paltz graduating in Spring 2017 majoring in English and Creative Writing. She aspires to become an editor/work in publishing in the future.