Creating Positive Financial Habits

Habits aren’t something that form overnight. It usually takes about 60 days to change a behavior and create a habit. Last month SEFCU’s Institute for Financial Well-Being provided tips for healthy holiday spending live on Facebook, but the tips can actually be used year-round to help you develop healthy spending habits.

10 Tips for Healthy Spending

  1. Know your spending habits. Use the good ones and put the risky ones on the shelf.
  2. Make a list and stick to it. 
  3. Create a clear plan and budget.
  4. Start a debit diet vs. credit card spending or move to a diet of “cash only.”
  5. Focus on budgeting with available funds, rather than incurring new debt. 
  6. Use an app to track your spending. This will keep your spending front of mind and within your budget.
  7. Avoid expensive traditions that put you into debt. Visit with loved ones far away with video calling and sharing photos in real time by text, if you can, instead of spending thousands to travel. Make that party a pot luck instead of footing the bill yourself. Create your own cards, and re-use items for gift wrap or tags.
  8. Fight the urge to apply! Encounters at the register with offers to apply for store credit cards are tempting but may not be worth the long-term risk of increased debt.
  9. Get the best of both worlds! When using store cards, take advantage of discounts and other rewards but make sure you pay the bill before you leave the store.
  10. Cash back rewards can be your friend. Just be sure to only charge what you can afford to pay back right away. 

Need more advice on saving, budgeting, or eliminating debt?  View upcoming seminars.