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3 Ways to Increase Happiness by Decreasing Financial Stress
By Michael Colon, Community Relations Officer, San Diego County Credit Union
While money can’t buy happiness, it’s safe to say there they’re connected. Research shows financial security can lead to a positive outlook on life.
Here are three simple things you can do to reduce financial stress and live a happier life.
1. Stay Organized -- Whether you’re saving for a vacation, new car, or emergency fund, creating a budget and keeping track of your funds is the foundation for good financial health. Tracking your income and expenses helps you monitor your money and reach your savings goals. Decide what your long-term and short-term goals are. Try different saving and budgeting methods that work best for your lifestyle. Get a piggy bank, open a savings account or talk to your financial institution.
The important part is to start now, because financial health plays a critical role in overall health. Having your finances in order can decrease your stress levels and can empower you with options for spending your money and creating the life you want.
2. Eliminate Additional Expenses -- There are many ways to cut costs in our daily lives, and over time the savings can really add up. Whether you want to start cooking at home, cutting subscriptions and memberships that you no longer use, or find ways to save when shopping, here are a few tips:
Cooking at home can save you money and is also a healthier option than eating out. Whether it’s buying food in bulk or cutting coupons, you can eat healthy while helping your bottom line.
Consider purchasing the off-brand/store brand version of items. They are often the exact same product, materials, ingredients and taste -- just a different label.
Review subscriptions and memberships you are no longer using and close these accounts to eliminate monthly fees.
Set weekly or monthly budget amounts for groceries, entertainment and eating out to make sure you are not overspending.
3. Take Advantage of Free Activities -- Local no-cost activities allow you to put the cash you would have spent on pricey entertainment into your savings account instead. Many companies and organizations have transitioned to all-virtual platforms. For example, libraries allow you to rent books, including audiobooks and movies online or via an app. Social media has provided many avenues to participate in free networking events, concerts, Q&As, webinars and more. Gyms and fitness trainers are providing free online workouts, SDSU has a great list of virtual workout resources. Now is a perfect time to get outside, get fit and explore new areas in San Diego.
Remember, proper money management helps eliminate financial stress, puts money back in your bank account and gets you closer to achieving financial freedom, ultimately putting a smile on your face and increasing your happiness.