At times like these, we could all use a little self-care. Things like getting a massage, maintaining good sleeping habits, eating a vegetable or two, curling up with a good book, and sticking to some regular exercise could all be good for us.
Ah, but what about financially Self-sufficiency? We are always reminded to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health. But what about your financial health?
We all need that too, because we are all financially stressed. For example, a survey by the National Endowment for Financial Education found that a whopping nine in ten Americans say the COVID-19 crisis is putting a strain on their personal finances.
Financial self-care is about lowering your financial stress levels by throwing bad habits overboard and taking control of your money.
With this in mind, we have six strategies for your financial success:
1. Treat yourself – and earn money back
Get money back when you buy groceries. A free app called Fetch Rewards rewards you with gift cards just for buying toilet paper and hundreds of other items.
Here’s how it works: After you’ve downloaded the app, just take a picture of your receipt showing that you’ve purchased an item from one of the brands listed on Fetch. You can use receipts from grocery stores, convenience stores, drug stores, liquor stores, and more.
For your efforts, you will receive gift cards for places like Amazon or Walmart. Download the free Fetch Rewards app here. Over a million people already have it, so they have to be into something.
2. Set goals for people who hate budgets with the budget
Part of financial self-care is building new and better habits – like sticking to a budget. Don’t want to budget? Try the budget for people who hate budgets.
The 50/30/20 method of budgeting is one of the easiest ways to get a grip on your spending. No 100-line spreadsheets or major lifestyle changes required.
Here’s how it works: every month, take all your after-tax income and divide it in half. This is your essentials budget (50%). Take the rest and break it down into personal expenses (30%) and financial goals (20%).
Let’s break it down: that’s 50% for things like utilities, groceries, medicines, minimum debt payments, and other critical expenses. Then there’s 30% for fun: Thai snack, your Netflix subscription, dressing up a skeleton on your lawn for Halloween.
That leaves 20% for your financial goals, such as additional debt reduction payments (anything above the monthly minimum) as well as retirement and investments.
3. Discount $ 489 / year on your auto insurance in minutes
Speaking of new habits, when was the last time you checked car insurance prices?
You should buy your options every six months or so – this could save you quite a bit of money. But let’s be honest. It probably isn’t the first thing you think about when you wake up. But it doesn’t have to be.
A website called Insure.com makes it super easy to compare car insurance prices. All you have to do is enter your zip code and age and you’ll see your options – and even discounts in your area.
With Insure, people saved an average of $ 489 a year.
Yup. That could be $ 500 in your pocket just to take a few minutes to consider your options.
4. Save an emergency fund
Here’s a real way to reduce the stress of the financial “what if”.
Last year taught us the hard way that everyone should have an emergency fund. You need a place where you can safely store your savings – and still make money from them.
Nothing will help you under your mattress or in a safe. And a typical savings account isn’t going to do you much better. (Ahem, 0.06% is nothing these days.)
But with a debit card called Aspiration, you can earn up to 5% cashback and up to 16 times the average interest on the money in your account.
Not too shabby!
Enter your email address here to receive a free Aspiration Spend and Save account. After you’ve verified your email, securely link your bank account so they can help you get extra money. Their money is FDIC insured and they use military grade encryption which is nerd talk for “this is perfectly safe”.
5. Reduce your fear of the future – by investing in the future
Stop worrying so much about the future and do something about it. You will feel better.
If you feel that you don’t have enough money to start investing, you are not alone. But guess what? You really don’t need that much – and you can even get free shares (worth up to $ 200!) If you know where to look.
Whether you have $ 5, $ 100, or $ 800 to spare, you can invest with Robinhood.
Yes, you’ve probably heard of Robinhood. Both beginners and professionals love it because it has no commission fees and you can buy and sell stocks for free – with no limits. Plus, it’s super easy to use.
What’s the best? When you download the app and add funds to your account (it won’t take more than a few minutes), Robinhood will leave a percentage of the free shares in your account. It’s random, however, so the stock can be worth anywhere from $ 2.50 to $ 200 – a nice boost to help you build your investments.
6. Leave your family up to $ 1 million
Here’s another reason to worry in the COVID-19 era: Have you considered how your family would do without your income after your absence? Chances are, your checking account balance won’t last forever.
If you want to leave your family up to $ 1 million, use what is known as term life insurance.
We propose a company like Bestow. You may have considered this before but thought it was only for rich or elderly people. But we hear people can get it for just $ 16 a month.
You can use Bestow up to 54 years of age, but the sooner you take care of it, the cheaper it can be.
You don’t even have to leave your home to get a free quote from Bestow – it only takes a few minutes. Instead of leaving your family with what’s in your checking account and a bucket of worries, they can afford the life you always wanted them to have.
To sum it up, we are a firm believer in self-care and it is always a good idea to take care of your mental, emotional, and physical health.
Also, don’t neglect your financial well-being.
Mike Brassfield ([email protected]) is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. He is a big believer in self-care.