A healthy financial lifestyle can be difficult to execute. With all the distractions of life getting in the way, you might struggle to make the right financial decisions. Throughout this article, we will go over a few tips and tricks to help you live a healthier financial lifestyle.


Set Goals and Prioritize Your Spending

First, you need to set your priorities. One of the most common mistakes people make is not setting financial goals and priorities. Set time aside to tackle your financial issues in advance and this will take some stress off your shoulders down the road. Be specific about when and how you are going to spend your money. Write it down or put it in your smartphone. These small acts might give you the confidence and discipline to take more action to better your situation. Writing out your priorities might help you stick to them and keep you from making illogical financial decisions that do not align with your priorities. Lastly, make sure to periodically revisit your financial priorities and make adjustments as needed.

Be Careful About Scams

Scammers are lurking all across the web, trying to steal your hard-earned money. Online shopping has made this issue more prevalent and studies have shown that we are even more vulnerable to scammers while stressed. During the holiday season, we are at high risk of bad actors on the Internet taking advantage of us. If you are interested in learning more about protecting your online financial health during this holiday season, check out our ALLIANCE article here.

Avoid Loans with High Rates

Quick loans such as payday loans and car title loans might seem like an easy way out if you're already stressed over your finances. However, the interest rate these loans carry might end up doing more harm than good. 

If you think you might have difficulty making payments this month, contact your lender and see if they can work with you first. If you require a loan, look at borrowing from your home equity line of credit or try to secure a personal loan at a lower interest rate. Additionally, interest rates are currently at historic lows so it might be beneficial for you to refinance your existing loans at a lower rate. If this is of interest to you, visit our website to learn more!

Create a Budget

This one is simple, but it goes a long way. If you are spending more money than you make, you will never get ahead. Poor spending habits are a sure sign that your finances are heading towards trouble. Your budget doesn't have to be complex. The best way to start budgeting is to track your expenses for a couple of months to estimate how much you spend on different categories in a given month. Online banking is more accessible than ever before, and it is likely that you can access your account history and spending habits in seconds. Then, allocate a certain amount to different categories. Start by budgeting for necessities like rent, food, and bills. Next, your financial priorities and goals  talked about above come into play. Be realistic and try to minimize any unnecessary spending. While doing this take a hard look at your spending patterns. Do you need to stop at the coffee shop every day before work or can you make a pot of coffee when you get to the office? Small but frequent purchases can pile up and often lead to you spending more than is necessary. However, if your pre-work coffee is something you can’t live without, then you can account for it in your budget. You don't have to live a life completely void of those small purchases if you want to curb your spending. Just make sure you budget accordingly. You should allocate a certain amount of money to things you enjoy, like the movies or coffee. The most important part is to make sure those things do not exceed your set allotment for the month.

With the holidays around the corner, a lot of emphasis is placed on good financial health. Being smart with your money will go a long way, and it will also free up funds to spend on gifts for you and your family. Set realistic goals and plan out when you will accomplish them. Stay vigilant with your finances, watching for any potential scams or people trying to take advantage of you and your money. Be smart with your money and avoid getting stuck on a high-interest rate loan. Lastly, set a budget according to your financial priorities and stick to it. A few simple changes and you could see your financial health improve!