Why Financial Wellness is a Form of Self-Care
Self-care provides people with a chance to tend to themselves and keep tabs on their health all at the same time. People often practice self-care by taking yoga classes, signing up for a day at the spa, or going for a hike. But, have you ever considered your financial wellness as a component of self-care? The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau defines financial well-being as someone who can meet current and future financial obligations. This allows people to recover from large emergency purchases and still have savings for the future.
Saving has become difficult recently due to the economic impact of inflation, which is leading to plenty of financial uncertainty heading into 2023. For example, common mainstays such as food are predicted to rise another 3-4%, making prices unstable. So, heading into these unknown times, it's important to assess your resources and see where you stand so you can start the new year strong! By including financial wellness within your self-care routine, it'll help you continue to live stress and anxiety free!
Understand Your Financial Responsibilities
There are some common recurring expenses we’re all personally responsible for paying at one point or another. These expenses include your mortgage, car payments, groceries, and other regular necessary purchases. Once you determine where your money is being spent, you can start to find out where you can cut corners and save:
- Don’t Go Through a Drive-Thru: We understand you need that kick of caffeine to get your day started, but do you make your coffee at home or get it on the go? If you get your coffee from your favorite shop on a daily basis, it can add up to a hefty monthly sum. For under a dollar a day, you could brew your coffee at home before you leave for work. You'll still get the same burst of energy needed to jumpstart your morning, without overspending.
- Don’t Overspend at the Grocery Store: The average American family wastes about 250 pounds of food per year. Avoid overbuying at the supermarket and stock up only on food staples week-to-week. That way you’ll be able to keep your family fed and not spend on food you’re likely to throw out.
- Choose Your Streaming Service Subscriptions Wisely: Streaming services provide an affordable alternative to cable. However, depending on the number of services you sign-up for, they can be very costly. A lot of these services are raising their prices. so they’ll end up costing you more in the long run. Try unsubscribing from some services you don't use regularly to keep that money in your pocket.
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Explore Healthcare Plans
Staying healthy can be expensive, especially when you factor in monthly insurance premiums and other associated costs. A recent study showed that employees who opted for a high-coverage plan overpaid by $1,700 a year for health insurance. With the new year approaching, now is a great time to explore other plans that can provide you with affordable options and benefits suitable to your needs.
Health insurance is a necessary investment and you shouldn’t go without it. A great supplement to this is setting up a Health Savings Account (HSA) or a Flexible Spending Account (FSA). HSAs are only for people with high deductible insurance plans that’ll cover any out-of-pocket medical expenses. On the other hand, FSAs are owned by your employer and unlike an HSA, these funds do expire at the start of the new year with most employers. A perk of these accounts is that this money is not taxed and automatically taken out of your paycheck. This saving grace can help cover co-pays, prescriptions, and other over-the-counter supplies:
- If You Prefer to Wear Contact Lenses: Contact lenses can be a pricey alternative to eyeglasses, but are also convenient. Fortunately, plenty of eyewear brands allow you to apply your HSA/FSA dollars with this type of purchase. Try researching different types of contacts that can better suit your lifestyle, comfort level, and budget. If you’ve only ever worn daily contacts, consider switching to biweekly or monthly contacts to save some extra money and not buy them as frequently.
- If Your Prescriptions are Becoming More Expensive: Prescription drugs from major manufacturing companies can cost a pretty penny. But, that doesn’t mean you should submit to paying those high prices for your medications. Ask your doctor if they can prescribe you the generic version of the medicine you take to avoid paying more. The unique availability of an online pharmacy can also make it easier for you to get more lower-cost generic medications than you normally could in person. Generic options are formulated with the same ingredients and have the same effects, but without the large markup up factored in.
Determine the Best Savings Route
Now that you’ve taken some steps to save more money, it's time to invest it somewhere where you can see your share grow. At Citadel, we offer a variety of savings options where you’ll see a generous return. These investments are federally insured, and easily accessible anywhere and at any time. If you're nervous about investing for the first time, we’re here to help make the process easier and you can take comfort in knowing your money is in good hands.
Learn more about some of the savings options we have: