If your golf clubs have been under wraps or your tennis racquet has been tucked away for some time, it could be worth dusting them off. Research by AMP found Australians who play sport regularly are 64% more likely to achieve their financial goals than those who don’t.
With the weather warming up, plenty of us will be thinking about getting in better shape. That can mean heading outdoors for a round of golf, a dip in the ocean or just kicking a ball around the local oval with the kids. The health benefits of physical activity are well documented, but AMP’s study also found a clear link between our sportiness and the way we manage our money.
Link between sport and money management
According to the survey, playing sport on a regular basis makes us more likely to think about our long term financial wellbeing. As a guide, people who frequently play sport are 66% more likely to make extra contributions to their super fund, and more than twice as likely to own an investment property as less active people.
If you ride a bike or play netball, take a bow – the AMP survey found you’re likely to be among the nation’s most financially savvy thinkers. Cricketers are most likely to have a financial advisor, and golfers top the league table for personal savings – with one in three having more than $50,000 in savings.
When you think about it, these results aren’t all that surprising. Keen sportspeople often achieve success by setting personal or team-based goals. So it’s a natural step to set goals in other areas of life like money management.
A number of overseas studies confirm AMP’s findings that physical and financial health often go hand-in-hand.
One group of US researchers explained the link, saying that people who make healthy choices today to enjoy good health tomorrow, are also more likely to regularly put money aside to achieve greater financial security in the future.
I freely admit I’m no sports scientist, but it’s fair to say there’s another link between physical health and fiscal fitness – both can be achieved when you make it part of a regular routine.
Getting in good habits
Getting physically fit involves taking the time to exercise regularly. It may not happen overnight but your fitness should improve over time.
The same applies to financial security. It’s all about developing and sticking to good money habits – like using a budget to gain control of your cash, spending less than you earn, and saving and investing for the long term. It’s not hard and it delivers great results without working up a sweat.
People who take their sport seriously use a coach for help lifting their game, and you can think of us like a mentor for your money. It could even be worth thinking about having your next review meeting over a round of golf, and achieve two goals at the same time.
– by Paul Clitheroe AM
Paul Clitheroe AM, co-founder and Executive Director of ipac securities limited, Chairman of the Australian Government Financial Literacy Board and Chief Commentator for Money magazine.
First published October 2017