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:

1.

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.

2.

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.

3.

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

4.

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.

5.

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

6.

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.

7.

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.

8.

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

9.

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

10.

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