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7 Tips to Improve Financial Health

The COVID-19 pandemic is not only an eye opener when it comes to health, but even for financial health. Now that the situation is starting to be better, it's also highly time to start checking on how our finances are doing in order to improve it. Don't let a situation similar to the new corona virus (knock on wood of course) catch you financially unprepared. 

tips to improve financial health

Change Your Paradigms and Perspectives

First on the list is having a bank account for saving. Even if you're in a no work, no pay situation and is only earning enough to pay the bills and serve food on the table, there is always something you can possibly think of to spend less or earn more in order to stash cash on a bank. Opening an account is also easier now as there are banks which require low initial deposits (i.e. ₱500) and sometimes with no maintaining balance. 

Choose Your Spending Strategies Wisely

One way to look at this strategy is to find out where you can save more in the long run. An example will be buying grocery items in smaller versus larger packaging. If you compare the price per millilitre or gram, the cost per volume or weight is often cheaper for larger packages. You can save money from buying refills instead of purchasing the same item and discarding the container over and over again. 

The same strategy applies to choosing high quality (albeit a bit more expensive) products which lasts longer versus low quality ones which won't last long. You may have already replaced the latter several times yet the former still works. 

The strategy is only applicable of course if you do have the budget to purchase higher priced goods.

In some countries, there are coupon moms or ladies who cut and clip coupons for free items and discounts. I'm sure there are versions of this anywhere around the world. You may have received coupon-like offers via marketing SMS, emails or even in social media. While these are definitely good buys, they're only valuable if you do need them. Don't just avail of discounts and sale items for the sake of availing, make sure they will be useful. 

Rebates and cash back options can also be included. While most require membership and/or a specific amount spent before rebates can be redeemed, it's still worth it if you are already spending money at the participating merchants in the first place. 

Monitor Your Spending

This is not about being aware of what you did with your money every month. It is all about hidden spending. It's the reason why despite religious implementations of a budget plan, you still end up being overdraft.  Some examples of hidden expenses are not paying bills ahead of the due date (hence overdue or penalties incurred will need to be paid on top of the bill) and availing of discounts, sale events, and rebates for items you don’t really need (see previous tip). 

Practice Delayed Gratification

If you have saved money to purchase something, then you definitely know how it feels once you have purchased it. You can practice delayed gratification without depriving yourself of a well deserved reward; you're only postponing it until you have enough money to afford it. Don't borrow or kaskas (bill it on a credit card) if it's not really a necessity. 

Don’t Keep up with the Joneses

Following the trend for smartphones, dining out and traveling is a financial danger. Don't pursue a lifestyle that you cannot keep up with financially. 

There's one Instagram user who have accumulated $10k in debt in order to reach and keep up with the IG influencer level lifestyle. Her come back is awesome at least, as she was able to deal with debt and have became even more influential afterwards, in a good way. 

Money isn’t the Root of all Evil

We have been told by most elders about that ageless mantra that "money is the root of all evil." But it's Biblical origin has been misquoted. It's actually, "For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil," - 1 Timothy 6:10. 

While contentment and humility are ideal traits, it becomes a deterrent to improving one’s life when you don’t even try. There are also certain culture or religion which propagate the notion that the rich are evil and greedy and wanting to become one is similarly wicked and the devil’s work. In contrast, richness can be used for good such as to finance charitable work and help the needy. This recent new corona virus outbreak is a testament to that when you see huge corporations, rich personalities and  the like donating millions of money in order to help.

Guilty by Association

Tell me who your friends are and I’ll tell you who you are. Associating with the rich and successful doesn’t always equate to being a social climber. Just hearing them speak about money and life in general can already be motivational. Thus, don’t be intimated to network with affluential people for the wisdom they can share and the motivation you get just by looking up to them. In contrast, hanging around people who spend too much (beyond their means) can also subtly influence you or directly force you to live a similar life.

Keep safe from COVID-19 and try to work on financial health as well. 👍

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