At Limeade we know that your financial well-being has a direct impact on your overall health and well-being. So we’ve launched quarterly challenges to our own employees to help improve everyone’s financial awareness.
One of our most popular challenges is “Where’s Your Money Going?” The challenge asks people to track at least one expense per week for a month. This simple challenge allows you to be more mindful of your daily expenses – whether it’s your morning coffee or weekend streaming movie rental.
To help you form better financial habits, we’re passing along our favorite apps and tips that Limeade employees shared in our “Where’s My Money Going” challenge.
By far the most common suggestion from employees was to use the budgeting tool Mint. Available at Mint.com and as an app, Mint allows you to track and categorize your expenses in an easily way. Personally, I’ve created budgets for restaurants, gas, grocery shopping, entertainment, travel, etc. It allows me to check how I’m trending against the budgets I set throughout the month, and adjust them accordingly. There’s also an option to receive email reports so you’re always in the know about your spending habits.
A few people recommended giving the app Digit a try. The premise of Digit is a compelling one: automated savings without having to think about it. Every few days, Digit checks your spending habits and saves a few dollars from your checking account if you can afford it. In fact, they tout a “no overdraft guarantee.” If you’re someone who struggles with saving money and want to get started, give Digit a shot.
If you’re a Bank of America or Wells Fargo customer, you’re in luck! Bank of America’s “Keep the Change” program is an easy route towards saving some change on everyday debit card purchases. For example, if you buy your Starbucks drip coffee for $2.65, it’ll round it up to $3.00 and put $0.35 difference into your savings account. Alternatively, Wells Fargo’s “Way2Save” program features a “Save As You Go” option that transfers $1 from your checking to savings account each time you swipe your debit card.
Have an impulse control issue? Can’t avoid making splurging on a new release? Try following the 30-day rule. Wait 30 days after you first lock eyes on the item and see if your desire to purchase has died down. Use the time to do a little research and allow yourself to decide “Do I need this thing or is it just a passing desire?” Usually with enough time and distance, you’ll end up realizing that actually don’t need that hoverboard.
And if you haven’t already, check out this blog post for additional seasonal tips to avoid debt this holiday season.