Ways You Can Spend Life Wisely

Personal growth March 20, 2020 By Paige Smith

At First United, our purpose is to inspire and empower others to spend life wisely. In order to truly spend life wisely, we must have a holistic approach to life that encompasses faith, financial well-being, health and wellness, and personal growth.

We wanted to share some ideas that we hope can educate, empower, and inspire each of you to spend life wisely.

Faith

  • Spend time in the Word – Start a daily devotional or a daily reading plan (like on the YouVersion app), or simply just reading the Bible and spending more time in the word each day. 
  • Attend services or watch via recording and/or live stream – Since the start of the pandemic, many places of worship are now offering services via recordings and/or live-streaming.
  • Volunteer/help others in need – Consider ways you can help those in need. Offer to grab something at the grocery store for your elderly neighbor, donate clothes, goods, etc. to local closets or food bank, etc. A little help can go a long way.
  • Prayer – “When in doubt, pray it out!” There are so many people who could use our prayers. Take time each day to pray for people who are ill, first responders, people working in the healthcare industry, the leaders of our nation, etc. This is also a great time to say a prayer for the health and safety of yourself, your family and friends, and each of our communities.

Financial Well-Being

  • Create a budget – Did you know that only 1 out of every 3 Americans prepare a detailed budget each month to track their income and expenses? Maybe you haven’t had time to sit down and work on it, or maybe you haven’t had a reason to create a budget yet. Well now is the perfect time! First United offers a free online budgeting tool within your online banking account. 
  • Find ways to make extra money – Think of some ways to use your talents to make a few extra dollars! Maybe you could offer to babysit while kids are out of school, offer to do things for others like mow their lawn, grab groceries, etc. You could also use your talents to craft/create things to sell or, in a time where everyone is cleaning, clean out those attics or closets and find items that you no longer use that you could sell.
  • Make simple cuts – Another way to find and save money is by making small changes to the way you spend money. Making simple cuts like adjusting the thermostat or opening the curtains and using natural light during the day could help you save on bills at home. You could also consider cutting subscriptions or services that you don’t need.
  • Free Financial courses on spendlifewisely.com – First United offers free online financial well-being courses for children, teen, and adults through our partnership with Banzai. There are more than 50 illustrated, in-depth articles, each addressing important financial topics such as: budgeting, managing debt, retirement, insurance, etc. There is also content to help with being out of work, receiving government assistance, tools like financial calculators, etc. 

Health & Wellness

  • Boost your immune system – Check out our article "Quick Tips to Boost Your Immune System" with sleep, exercise, and food suggestions.
  • Enjoy the outdoors more and screen time less – Put away the electronic devices and enjoy some time outdoors! Encourage the kids to play in the yard, go for a family walk or bicycle ride, or maybe enjoy a picnic outside for lunch or dinner!
  • Plan meals together – Prep a meal for yourself and/or create a meal plan for your family. You can also get creative and try making some new dishes or meals out of what you already have in the pantry. Then take time to sit down and enjoy dinner together as a family.
  • Focus on your mental health – Life can be stressful at times and fear and anxiety can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions. Find things that you enjoy doing to help you cope. Also, consider using technology like Facetime or Skype to help you stay connected to your family and friends that you may not get to visit with often.
  • Cleaning – At the beginning of the pandemic, we learned a lot about the opportunities within our homes, places of work, etc. to stop the spread of germs and infection by keeping things as clean as possible. Starting with yourself, the CDC recommends washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using a hand sanitizer that is 60% alcohol or higher. Not just because of Covid, but it's a good practice for every day life! We also have "New Year cleaning," "Spring cleaning," etc. Instead of doing one day-long deep clean, try searching for free “home cleaning schedules” on Google or Pinterest to help you tackle different areas each day.

Personal Growth 

  • Reading – There is a quote by Joseph Addison that says, “Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.” In order to continue learning, developing our individual talents, and doing what we can to reach our potential, we have to exercise our minds, too! One of the best ways we can continue learning is through reading, even if it’s just one chapter a day. 
  • Learn something new or do something you’ve never tried before – One of the best ways to use your spare time is by learning or trying something new! Learning is a gift that is made available to us each day. Whether it is through experiences, relationships, opportunities, or taking in new knowledge, we should always embrace the chance to learn.
  • Work on goals or projects – Did you set any goals or resolutions this year? Have you started a project that you haven’t gotten to finish? Take time to review/refresh, refocus, and maybe even reset, as it relates to your goals or projects. Checking in throughout the year will help you to stay on track with what you planned to accomplish. Haven’t set goals or started any projects yet? Now is a great time to give it some thought!
  • Find joy/gratitude journaling – You’ve probably heard the saying “start each day with a grateful heart.” Do you know how many benefits are tied to doing just that? Gratitude increases happiness and boosts our moods, helps with our overall physical and mental health, and so much more. Each day, write down or take a mental note of all the things (small and large) that you are grateful for. Take time to slow down and focus on what you are thankful for or what brings you joy. Break up the negativity on your social media feeds by sharing pictures or thoughts around things that bring you joy. It would probably bring others joy, too!
  • Here are some free educational resources for adults and children:
    • Adults
      • TED Talks – Free online videos on a variety of topics such as technology, business, communication, personal growth, health, nature, etc.
      • Minute with Maxwell - An email subscription service by the John Maxwell team that provides a series of daily coaching videos facilitated by John Maxwell.
      • Marcus Buckingham video blog
      • Spotify podcasts like “Jay Shetty: On Purpose,” “Personal Growth Magazine Podcast with Daryl Daughtry,” or “At the table with Patrick Lencioni”
      • Another free resource would be all the social media outlets that offer free content such as Linked In and the opportunities to follow key leaders that speak to you such as Simon Sinek, Marcus Buckingham, the Dave Ramsey team, etc.
    • Kids

By Paige Smith

Spend Life Wisely Coordinator, First United Bank - Durant

Paige joined First United in May 2013, serving in various roles which have included work in Human Resources, Organizational Development/Training, Executive Management, and Spend Life Wisely.

Paige has a Bachelor's degree in Organizational & Strategic Communication from Southeastern Oklahoma State University. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, teaching dance classes, and watching the Texas Rangers and OU Sooners. She resides in her home town of Durant with her husband and son.