Money problems can be one of the biggest contributors to stress and anxiousness. In this post I’ll share some of my personal tips to ease the stress on your wallet, while helping your health and the environment too.
1. Take a look at your banking plan(s). Check with your bank and make sure you have the right account plan and the right credit card for your buying habits. Banks change plans and fees all the time, and you might find you can reduce your monthly fees just by switching plans.
2. Reduce your car useage. If you can consolidate trips and coordinate household schedules, you may be able to use your car 10% or even 20% less. Do the math and see how much this will save on gas alone, plus wear and tear. Besides, it’s good for the environment.
3. Cold-brew ice tea instead of buying pop and juice. There are so many teas to explore, you may find a tea that’s just right for you, with no (or less) sugar than store-bought drinks. Get the kids involved with trying different ice teas too! Lately I’ve been cold-brewing a peppermint matcha at home that is perfect without sugar.
4. Eat meals together, in a screen-free zone. Eat as many meals as possible together with family or invite a friend or two over. No TV or phone, just conversation and a good meal together. How does this help money management? I’m not sure. But I feel so strongly about this one that I thought I’d throw it in here anyway!
5. Slash credit card interest. If you carry a balance on one or more credit cards, switch the balance over to a lower-interest loan with the same monthly payment. Talk to your bank about this, they can sit down with you and show you on paper how much money this will save you every year. You’ll wish you did this sooner.
6. Follow the care instructions on expensive clothes and linens, and don’t use fabric softeners. I’m not exaggerating when I say that doing this can double the life of fabrics. While on this subject, try experimenting with using less laundry detergent. Chances are you’re using more than is needed, and this can also wear out fabrics faster.
7. If you drink, try reducing alcohol consumption. This could mean occasionally drinking a 12oz beer instead of a pint, or having an alcohol-free day. Figure out your monthly alcohol expenditure, and calculate how much a 20% reduction would equal. It could be half the cost of your gym membership, or more.
These are just a few ideas. What are some of your tried-and-true ways to reduce your financial stress?