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 personal financial hacks—that you can carry with you for life. Here are some of our favorite things you can do to improve your financial life and save money.
1. 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.
2. Carry larger new bills to curb impulse spending
One of the downsides of debit cards and credit cards is that it makes spending completely seamless. This makes impulse buying easy, 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 will make you want to keep it longer rather than spend it.
3. 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 they 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 that will make you less likely to spend.
4. 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 a basket rather than a cart. You’ll be less tempted to overspend.
5. Use health plan gym discounts
Many health insurance companies try to promote 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.
6. 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 times as long as incandescent and they see about 20% of the energy. You may end up saving $100 per bulb over its lifetime.
7. 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 on an eBook, 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.
8. Pack a lunch
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!
9. You are not alone
Remember, there's no single way to achieve financial wellness. It's a journey as unique as each individual. There's a lot you can learn from people who have been in your shoes before. By taking advantage of these tried and true financial hacks, you will have a new set of tactics you can utilize.
You are definitely not alone because USCCU has your back! Education is an important aspect of financial wellness. So, in addition to these tips, you should learn more about things such as credit scores and loan options to save more money in the future! Sound complicated? Don't worry; we make it easy for you.