Our Favorite Financial Life Hacks
The journey to financial wellness is one filled with all sorts of new discoveries. Once you commit to turning your financial life around, you’ll discover more about yourself, such as your true needs and wants.
You’ll also figure out some interesting and simple cost saving strategies—or life hacks—that you can carry with you for life. We’ve learned a lot of tips over the years through talking with clients. Here are some of our favorite things you can do to improve your financial life.
Clear browsing history when buying airfare online.
When you start searching for flights, airlines leave a digital trail in your cache that alerts them that you are in the market. When they know you are searching, they raise the prices. By clearing your cache, you can save as much as $50 per flight on the exact same day.
Carry larger new bills to curb impulse spending.
One of the downsides of debit and credit cards is that it makes spending completely seamless. This makes impulse buying that much easier, which can prevent you from keeping up with your financial goals. Studies have shown that people spend less when they carry cash, particularly bills that are hard to break, like $50s and $100s. To kick it up a notch, make sure to ask for new bills. The crispness makes you less likely to want to spend on unnecessary items.
Delete your credit card from online stores.
Speaking of impulse shopping, part of the reason why online stores are so successful is because they have figured out ways to make your purchasing experience as frictionless as possible. One way hey do this is by storing your credit card information so you can “one-click” purchase. By deleting your credit card, you create an added barrier to impulse shopping that will make you less likely to spend unnecessarily.
Carry your groceries.
One place where we can overspend without thinking about it is the grocery store. You may go to the store just to pick up a few things and end up with a cart full of groceries. This is because the size of the cart creates a psychological desire to fill it. To prevent this, opt for the basket rather than the cart. You’ll be less tempted to overspend.
Use health plan gym discounts.
Many health insurance companies try to incentivize healthy behavior by offering benefits for healthy lifestyle choices. Check to see if your health insurance offers discounts or reimbursements for gym memberships. Some insurance providers will reimburse you as much as $240 per year.
Switch your light bulbs to LED.
Some people may be intimidated by the higher upfront cost of LED light bulbs, but you also have to think about the long-term energy cost savings. LED light bulbs last 10 times as long as incandescent and they use about 20% of the energy. You may end up saving $100 per bulb over its lifetime.
Ditch the book store for the library.
If you are a bookworm, one way to save is to make your hobby completely free. Rather than spend $25 per book, you can check it out from your local library. Many libraries will even order the book you want for their permanent collection. Libraries also offer free, family friendly programming that you can take advantage of for family entertainment.
Pack a lunch
One place where people consistently overspend is by going out to lunch on their work break. Instead of spending $10-$15 per workday on food, pack your lunch instead. You’ll save big bucks, particularly if you use leftovers from the night before. Packing a lunch can save you nearly $1,000 per year!
You are not alone Remember, there’s no single way to achieve financial wellness. It’s a journey as unique as each individual. However, there’s a lot you can learn from people who have been in your shoes before. By taking advantage of these tried and true tips, you will have a new set of tactics you can utilize.
Through our credit union’s partnership with GreenPath, you have access to financial counselors who can help you with financial wellness no matter your stage in life. To learn more or talk to a counselor for free, call 877-337-3399 or visit www.greenpathref.com.