MONEY: Financial Fitness Bootcamp Challenge

Sammie Ellard-King racked up 24K debt in his early 20s and cleared it in 18 months and now he’s started his own company called Up The Gains to educate others who need financial support.

He’s put together a Financial Fitness Bootcamp Challenge to help people feeling the pinch after Xmas get back on the road to being physically and financially fit. The idea is simple –  set aside 10 minutes a day, either by yourself or with your family, to improve your overall physical and financial health by the month’s end. The idea is to foster good financial habits that will set you up nicely for 2024. 

He’s also shared some January financial survival tips too if those are of interest.

Sammie Ellard-King 
Financial Fitness Bootcamp Challenge:

Week 1 – Box Fit 
Exercise: “Box Your Way Out Of The Boxing Day Sales”
Duration: 10x minutes 
Description: With many Boxing Day sales now running throughout the whole of January, take 10 minutes to complete some crossbody jabs in a bid to outmanoeuvre any impulse spending triggers you might live to regret later along the line. Use this time to step away from temptation, improve your heart health, and bank balance by assessing whether you actually need to get sucked into that so-called sales “deal” before making a purchase in the heat of the moment. 
Week 2 – Budget Balance 
Exercise: “Budget Balance Workout”
Duration: 10x minutes 
Description: Each day, perform a balancing yoga exercise, such as standing on one foot or doing a yoga tree pose. While balancing, review one aspect of your budget you’d like to improve on in your mind’s third eye. The goal is to hold the pose for a longer period each day, symbolising the strengthening of your financial stability.

Week 3 – The Savings Step Up
Exercise: “Savings Step-Up”
Duration: 10x minutes 
Description: Use some stairs for this exercise. Each step-up represents a small, manageable amount to save (e.g., 10p or 20p). Set a daily target for step-ups within a 10 minute time frame and match this with the same amount in savings. As the week progresses, aim to increase your daily step-ups and savings amount, encouraging gradual financial growth.
Week 4 – Pay Rise Push Ups
Exercise: “Push Ups for a Payrise”
Duration: 10x minutes 
Description: Get yourself into a pay rise mentality by stimulating the blood flow to your brain and challenging yourself to do as many push ups as possible. Use your time during push ups to prepare yourself mentally for a much needed meeting with your boss or client, listing all the reasons as to why you deserve a raise then go for it! What do you have to lose?
Week 5 – The Supermarket Sprint 
Exercise: “Sprint for Supermarket Own Brands”
Duration: 10x minutes 
Description: Before leaving the house to complete that all important food shop, jog or sprint on the spot while going through your shopping list. Make a list of all the items you could switch out for supermarket own brands (I can vouch for Aldi’s Bramwells Beans. Peng!) and make a sprint for it. This is a great way to save money on your food shop as own brands will often save you at least a third of the cost in comparison to other leading brand names. 

​​Sammie Ellard-King, Up The Gains Founder comments: “Brits are really feeling the pinch right now and it’s important that people understand how crucial it is, now more than ever, to look after their money and look for ways to ensure their money is looking after them. Whether it’s sprinting for supermarket own brands or motivating yourself through push ups to ask for that all important payrise, you can use this January to work on getting yourself both physically and financially fit.”

Six money focused survival tips for January from Up The Gains UK:
1. Conduct a Financial MOT
Kick off the year with a complete check-up of your finances. Review your income, expenditures, debts, and investments – just like an MOT for your car. This annual review can help you spot any financial ‘leaks’, adjust your budget, and reassess your financial goals. It’s a crucial step in ensuring your finances are in good health and will help you to get on track for the year ahead. Find a free version of our budget calculator here 
2. Execute an Energy Audit
With energy costs on the rise, conduct a home energy audit to identify ways to save on utility bills. Simple actions like fixing leaks, adding insulation, or switching to energy-efficient appliances can result in substantial savings. Contact your local energy provider to see what help is available via grants and energy-saving products that can help you to see a reduction in the cost of your bills. You can also check out the government’s Green Deal scheme to review energy saving improvements to your home. 
3. Invest in yourself. Ask for that payrise 
Did you know that 53% of full-time employed individuals have never asked for a pay rise despite there being a 68% chance of success (YouGov)? You can push up your wages if you prepare yourself for a much needed meeting with reasons why you deserve a raise. Check job boards for what other companies are paying for your role and make a list of examples to show how you’ve been performing well. 
4. Switch bank accounts for up to £200 in cashback
With the recent changes to CASS (current account switching service) there has been a land grab from most of the major banks. You can get up to £200 depending on the provider and the switch takes 7 working days. All your direct debits, including your salary, are taken care of for you and any money paid into old accounts is automatically forwarded on for 3 years. Each provider has different T&C’s so it’s important to check these out. The current best switch offers are with Nationwide and First Direct.
5. Start A Side Hustle 
For some, having a side hustle on the go in 2024 could be an essential part of living and there are many different types of side hustles you can tailor to suit your lifestyle and needs. You could start earning straight away via referral links, online surveys, website testing, focus groups and mystery shopping for example. Or you could turn your hand to some higher effort side hustles that could generate substantial income but often require longer to get going – these include blogging, podcasting, tutoring and picking up freelance work through sites like Fiverr. 
6. Set up Round-Up Pots
Transform your everyday spending into a savings tool. Use banking apps that offer a ’round-up’ feature, where your purchases are rounded up to the nearest pound, and the difference is automatically transferred into a savings pot. For instance, if you spend £2.80 on a coffee, 20p goes straight into your savings. It’s a painless way to save, and those pennies can quickly add up to a substantial amount over time.

Find out more about Up The Gains here.

Author: minervadigi