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Top 10 Tips for Living Smarter

This year, we are striving to live better lives, improve our work, be there for our families and friends, and find ways to live smarter.

At First Source, we want to do everything we can to help you do the same. Though most of our assistance is by necessity financial, we’ll be offering up advice and tips for living smarter in many other ways. From living healthier, to finding peace of mind, finding happiness, helping others, and living a life of gratitude and joy—as well as insider tips on savings and loan strategies to make life easier—we want to help our Members, staff, and neighbors in our community live, well...smarter.

We’ll be using our hashtag, “#LivingSmarter” whenever we post ways to live smarter, and we encourage you to use it any time you do as well.

To kick off the year, here is our Top 10 Tips for Living Smarter:

  1. Refinance at a lower rate. Have a loan you’re not paying down as quickly as you’d like? We may be able to refinance at a lower rate to help you save every month! Start by learning about mortgages.

  2. Spend more on experiences and less on stuff. Evidence shows that people who spend their money on experiences (like travel, trips, and visits to parks) are much happier in the long run than those who spend on buying material goods. It’s all about finding a balance.

  3. Plan ahead to finance that big vacation. It’s amazing how much better prepared you can be, both financially and otherwise, when you plan ahead. Saving money, learning tips from seasoned travelers, and arming yourself with all the resources you need to make travel easier, can turn a vacation from a nightmare into a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

  4. Save a little more, spend a little less. This simple but powerful advice can change your life. Saving just a little more each week or month, and finding little ways to spend less—yes, they can go hand-in-hand—can add up to enormous progress in your nest egg, vacation fund, and peace of mind.

  5. Make small, healthy changes. Following the same philosophy as saving and spending, you can improve on your health by making small changes. Big changes can be traumatic, while small changes are much more manageable, and easier to stick with. Soon you’ll see the changes add up in a positive way! Need help to afford what you need? Here’s a great place to start.

  6. Save time and money by asking for buying tips—and pre-approval—before shopping for a new vehicle or home. When we need a new vehicle, we usually start by shopping, and often find ourselves sitting in the salesperson’s hot seat before we know it. That’s a formula for spending more than you need to. Visit us before you start, and we’ll help you map out a strategy for shopping smarter, and apply for a loan before you start, so you’re in the driver’s seat when it comes time to buy. Already thinking about a new vehicle?

  7. We live in one of the world’s most beautiful areas. Spend more time outdoors and enjoy it! Following this advice may give you the most surprising benefits of any recommendation on this list. Research has shown that spending time in the great outdoors can improve our physical and mental well-being enormously. Start by taking walks, and finding beautiful places to explore. Make it a part of your life.

  8. Support local causes that make a difference in our community and beyond. Studies have shown that the most beneficial ways to spend our money and time is…by spending it on others. People who spent their money, time, and effort on helping others were much happier than those who spent only on themselves. Make charity a part of your life, both financially and time-and-effort-wise, and you will not only make others’ lives better, you’ll make your own better as well.

  9. Make someone’s day…with a smile, a favor, or just your time. In addition to giving to those less fortunate, set aside time to spend with a friend, loved one, or even stranger. Everything from a quick smile for a frazzled clerk, to an hour visiting someone in a nursing home, will make the world a better place. Like so many good deeds, a little can make a big difference.

  10. Save energy—and money—at home and at work. This is another win-win strategy: the more energy you save, the more you’ll improve our environment, and your own life. From energy saving improvements to your home, to a more efficient vehicle, to more efficient use of all the resources you use every day, every time you save, you’re making the earth a little more livable.

Whether you start a new habit (or keep up a good one), come up with a great idea, or live in a smarter way that works for you, tag it with #LivingSmarter! Let’s all share the love (and great ideas), and support each other by living smarter.