Financial Health Tips

1015_Boy with piggy bank_webThere are a lot of common tips for financial health, such as create a budget, establish an emergency fund, and save for retirement. These big-picture tips are great, but there are also little things you can do every day to keep on track. Try some of these tricks to stay financially healthy:

  1. Recognize needs vs. wants. Do you need that afternoon latte, or just really want it? Ask yourself before each purchase if it's a need or a want. If it's just something you want, do you have less expensive or free alternatives?
  2. Save your pennies. Dig your loose change out of your pockets at the end of each day, and toss it in a change jar-then stay out of it! You'll be surprised how quickly the savings add up.
  3. Fix broken items. Do you have chipped coffee cups, wobbly chairs, or a tear in your sheets? Try fixing broken items before spending money to replace them.
  4. Track your spending. For one week, write down everything you spend-down to the last penny. At the end of the week, add it up. How much did you spend on dining or recreation? Identify areas where you may be able to cut back.
  5. Have date night or family night at home. Instead of going out to dinner and a movie, try a new recipe and settle in with movies or board games at home. Schedule it ahead of time and make it something special to look forward to.
  6. Simplify your life. What are you spending money on that you can live without? Maybe you're paying for a cable package with more than 150 channels when you only actually watch three. Look at your expenses to see what you can cut back on or do without.
  7. Count your working hours. How many hours do you have to work to dine out two or three times a week or buy lunch every day? By thinking about your purchases in terms of work time instead of the dollar amount, you might rethink some of your buying decisions.
  8. Carry cash. When you use a debit card, it can be easy to lose track of how much you're spending.  When you use cash for day-to-day buys, you can actually see your funds diminish, and you might think twice about spending your last five dollars on something you don't need.
  9. Wait 24 hours. Impulse buys and the desire for instant gratification can get the best of us. The next time you see something you want to buy, but weren't planning on buying, wait 24 hours. Chances are it won't be worth going back for.
  10. Ask yourself if an item is treasure or trash. Before buying something, ask yourself if it would be a long-lasting, well-used item, or if it's likely to end up in the trash or in a garage sale.

Free Online Tools and Resources

As a PacificSource member, you can access CaféWell, an online health engagement portal. To get started, log into InTouch, and then click on the CaféWell button.

Visit CaféWell to:

  • Complete the health assessment to identify your potential health risks.
  • Get your health and wellness questions answered by an expert health coach.
  • Connect with family, friends, and others with similar health goals.
  • Access helpful tips and articles on health and wellness.

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Last updated 4/1/2015