10 Simple Steps to Financial Health

In today’s economy, many of us are feeling worried and stressed about money. Financial stress can take a toll on your mental and physical health. Taking action to improve your own financial situation can help you de-stress, protecting your health as well as helping your wallet.

While we have all heard about the benefits of sticking to a budget and creating an emergency fund, it’s sometimes hard to make the little steps that help get there. Try these simple money-saving steps to improve your financial health:


Match funds—next time you make a fun purchase, such as a $30 pair of flip flops, add the equivalent amount to your savings account. If you can’t match the amount, you shouldn’t make the purchase.


Know your style—whether you’re a little bit country or a little bit rock n’ roll, knowing your style preferences will help you avoid impulse purchases that you’ll later regret.


Bake a cake—skip the high-priced bakery and make your kid’s next birthday cake at home.


Forget about it—open a savings account that you can’t easily access with checks or a debit card, so you’ll be less likely to use what you’ve saved.


Barter—your friends are likely a talented bunch. Consider trading yard work, mending, childcare, haircuts, and other services.


Use a piggy bank—make purchases only with paper money, and add the remaining change to your piggy bank. You'll be surprised by how quickly it adds up.


Throw a game night—invite your friends for an evening of board games. Ask each to bring a snack to share instead of going all out on appetizers.


Rent—try out expensive video games and DVDs before you commit to purchasing them at the full price.


Memorize this question: "Is this a future garage sale item?" Ask yourself this question and answer truthfully before you make an impulse buy.


Write it down—note every purchase you make for a week to find out where you can make budget cuts.

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Last updated 4/1/2015