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Danica Patrick Talks Fitness—and That Means Being Financially Fit, Too!

Fitness touches so many aspects of our lives—mind, body and we like to think, finances. What’s your view of fitness?
When you’re taking care of yourself, whether it’s your health or what you eat or your finances, it’s about self worth. Either you’re worth taking care of in all aspects, or you’re not. So developing more self worth is something everyone—including myself—can do.

What does financial fitness mean to you?
There’s the obvious, which is that you have to have enough to support yourself and have financial stability. But then there’s the other side of it and that’s just being OK with less, so knowing no matter what happens you’ll be OK.

“Then there’s the other side of it and that’s just being OK with less, so knowing no matter what happens you’ll be OK.”

I’d also say it’s about not viewing finances as always the driving force, and trying to do things that make you happy and coming to the conclusion that while money can make you happy on a certain level, ultimately your true happiness—your soul happiness—doesn’t come from having a bigger bank account.

How did your parents shape your views on finances?
We didn’t have a lot growing up. We didn’t go out to eat a lot; we didn’t take vacations; we wore the same clothes a lot. But I feel my parents did a good job prioritizing what was important. They raised two kids, and we didn’t feel we wanted for anything. Just cutting out the unnecessary is part of the necessary when you don’t have as much. But they also made it fun. When they bought our house, they spent their last $100 on a picnic table—which is pretty much the same price it still is today!

I also think learning how to do things on your own is part of financial fitness, and that’s something I learned from my parents. If something breaks, you can fix it. If you don’t have food, you can grow a garden. If you’re looking to save money, you can cook dinner at home, which might cost you a few dollars, versus going out, which might cost you $50.

What role does life insurance play in a fit financial plan?
I think part of being fit, in any aspect of your life, is about reducing stress. Life insurance is something you can do that can take a stress out of your life instantly. When you’re younger, you’re spending, and those bills and your mortgage or rent wouldn’t magically go away if something happened to you. If you weren’t around, who’s going to take care of those bills? That’s what life insurance is for.

Life insurance is one of those things that you can completely customize to meet your needs and your ability to pay, so it can be as big or small as you need it to be. Once you have your life insurance in place, it’s pretty straightforward—you just update it every so often to accommodate your needs.

“Life insurance is one of those things that you can completely customize to meet your needs and your ability to pay.”

But so many people procrastinate getting life insurance. What do you think can get them over the hump?
We tend put things off that we don’t know how to do. It’s about asking for help and not assuming you know the way. I didn’t have the answers, so I asked for help. And if you ask for help, there’s always somebody who’s willing to offer it. I also think that whenever you ask for help, you tend to get a better result than if you just decided to go and do it on your own.

Then, write it down. It sounds remedial, but if something’s written down, I tend to do it. Put it on your calendar or to-do list and have that meeting.

We love your Instagram feed and all the fitness photos you post. Any health hacks you’d like to share?
Put yourself first—take care of yourself. Put food in your body like you care about it and want to take care of it not just for today, but 20 years from now. That means eating real food. If it can sit on your shelf for a long time, there’s probably a reason you shouldn’t be eating it.

And second, I’d say do something that pushes you; do something that’s difficult. From a fitness perspective, if you work out and you get done and someone asks, “Was that hard?” and you say, “Not really,” well, then why’d you do it? Do something that pushes you, because you get out of it what you put into it.

You have a book coming out: “Pretty Intense.” Anything you can share with us today?
Live your life with purpose, and have some intentions. So if your intention is to be around for a long time and not have stresses in your life, then limit the stresses as much as you can.

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