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Sometimes managing your finances is like trying to keep an oversized beach ball under water because, no matter how hard you try to show it who's boss, it keeps popping back up. Focusing on just one small tactic could make your budgeting struggles drift away so that you can spend valuable time enjoying the waves of life. 

Here are some simple money hacks that can help you make a splash.

Pay Yourself First

This is one of the easiest money hacks around, but it's also one of the most powerful. Here's how it works: pay yourself a percentage of your paycheck before paying your bills. Set up an automatic transfer from your checking account to a designated Logix Savings Account so you won't be tempted to spend it on anything else. Watch your savings grow as you prioritize saving over spending.

Only Carry Cash in Your Wallet

If you find yourself overspending with credit cards, remove them from your physical and digital wallets. When you treat a credit limit like disposable income, you could quickly find yourself drowning in debt. In contrast, handling physical cash allows you to feel the money leaving your possession, making you conscious of how spending affects your budget in real-time. It is much easier to swipe your credit card than to hand over a bill. Such awareness could help reduce the tendency to add that "something extra" to your shopping cart.

Follow Grocery Store Sales Cycles

You don't have to be an extreme coupon clipper to lower your grocery bill. Figure out your grocery store's sales cycle in order to optimize your buying power. Typically, a sales cycle for a major grocer is every six to eight weeks. For example, shopping every six weeks for paper products and baked goods could mean you'll find lower prices on your favorite brands. Weekly ad flyers hold the key to figuring out sales frequencies. Collect at least eight of them from a single grocer to help figure out when your favorite items go on sale.

Track Your Spending

If you’re serious about keeping your budget under control, you need to know where every penny is going—and that means tracking your spending. Free apps like PocketGuard or EveryDollar can help you do just that without needing to log into your bank account each day. Plus, having a written record of every transaction keeps it out of your head, where unnecessary worries can turn simple purchases into money-wasting guilt trips.

Create a Splurge Account

If you have cash left over after you've paid yourself and your bills, designate a portion for fun. Some people call it a "mad money fund" or a "play money fund". Whatever you call it, put some cash aside for things like going out with friends or taking an impromptu vacation. You're less likely to feel restricted when you allow yourself an occasional splurge.

Ditch Cable Subscription Services

Cutting cable or other paid entertainment services may seem like a scary idea, especially when that's the only way you can watch your favorite reality show. But most major networks allow you to watch shows within 24 hours of their original airing for free. All you have to do is download their app. You can also watch shows and movies for free on streaming apps like Pluto TV and Crackle.

Don't let this seemingly oversized task tide you down. Gaining control over your finances isn't as overwhelming as it might first appear. Remember that focusing on one tactic at a time can make your budgeting troubles drift away and put you on track to achieving your financial dreams quicker.

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*Logix Federal Credit Union is not affiliated with any outside sources, and is a separate entity. Please contact Logix at (800) 328-5328 or visit www.lfcu.com if you have any questions about this topic or would like to consider opening an account. 

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