Purchasing a home can be an exciting experience, but real financial consequences that can arise if you don’t compare lenders before you apply for a mortgage. On top of costly closing costs and higher fees, some mortgage lenders cannot offer the lowest mortgage rates available today. If you wind up with a subpar loan because you failed to shop around, you could easily spend thousands of extra dollars in interest for no reason at all.
Since your mortgage will likely be around for at least 15 to 30 years, comparing mortgage rates and terms is essential. We compiled a list of the top mortgage lenders and rates for this reason — to help you figure out which lenders are reputable, and which offer the lowest mortgage rates available in your area.
Which Lenders Offer the Best Mortgage Rates of 2019?
Before you move forward with a home loan, take the time to compare interest rates, fees, and customer service ratings among the top lenders in the market today. The following lenders made our list of top mortgage lenders based on the rates they offer, their reputation and ratings, and their online loan platforms and features.
#1: Quicken Loans
Quicken Loans is frequently considered one of the top mortgage lenders nationwide, and it’s easy to see why. Not only does Quicken Loans offer some of the most competitive interest rates borrowers can find today, but they also offer a fully online mortgage process that lets you avoid visiting a local branch to get your loan processed and underway.
Quicken Loans even offers a feature called RateShield, which locks in your mortgage rate for up to 90 days while you shop for a home or finalize your home loan. You can apply for your home loan online, but you can also call into their 1-800 number for help. Quicken Loans even offers a helpful online chat feature that lets you get all your questions answered before you apply.
While Chase is known for its popular credit cards, checking accounts, and savings accounts, they also offer a competitive mortgage product.
Chase even lets you get prequalified online without a hard inquiry on your credit report, which makes it easy to see an estimate of the mortgage rates you’ll qualify for — and how much you may be able to borrow —before you move forward with a full application.
Like Quicken Loans, Chase offers a wide range of mortgage options consumers want including 30-year and 15-year fixed-rate mortgages as well as adjustable-rate mortgage options. Chase also offers valuable tools that can help you determine your new home loan payment, figure out how much you can afford to borrow, and more.
#3: Bank of America
Bank of America promises a “digital” mortgage experience that’s more convenient than working with a brick and mortar bank. You can get prequalified online without a hard inquiry on your credit report, and you an also access valuable tools that can help you figure out the right loan for your needs.
Bank of America offers fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgage options, so they’re bound to offer a home loan that suits your needs. They also offer closing cost discounts and other perks for existing Bank of America customers who belong in their Preferred Rewards program.
Amerisave is an online mortgage lender who promises amazingly low rates and a simple digital mortgage process. You can complete an application and upload all the documentation required for your mortgage online, and Amerisave will even send a representative to your home to complete the closing process at the time and date of your choosing.
Amerisave offers fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgage loans with every timeline you can imagine, and all with some of the most competitive rates available today.
#5: Veterans United Home Loans
Veterans United Home Loans connect veterans, active military, and qualifying spouses to VA loans with low rates and easy borrowing requirements. Since Veterans United focuses solely on VA loans, however, this lender isn’t an option for consumers who don’t meet eligibility requirements based on military activity.
VA loans can be very attractive for those who can qualify since they come with easy credit requirements and you don’t have to put any money down. You do have to pay an initial funding fee, but VA loans also come without burdensome private mortgage insurance or PMI.
Since Veterans United Home Loans focuses on VA loans, they’re one of the best lenders to consider if you plan to choose this option.
Consider loanDepot if you want to compare loan products and get prequalified online in a matter of minutes. This mortgage lender offers access to mortgage loans for a new home purchase or a refinance, and you may be able to qualify for extremely low rates depending on your creditworthiness.
If you’re looking for a more personal experience, keep in mind that loanDepot will connect you with an individual loan counselor that can help you find the best loan for your needs.
#7: Huntington Bank
Huntington Bank also offers a robust online mortgage platform that makes it easy to compare loan options online. They offer fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgages to meet a variety of needs, and interest rates can be extremely competitive based on your creditworthiness and other factors.
Consider Huntington Bank if you want to purchase a new home or refinance an existing mortgage but you want the option to speak with a local mortgage counselor in your area.
How to Get the Best Mortgage Rates
The best mortgage rates typically go to borrowers who have excellent credit, a stable income, a long history of employment, and the ability to put down a large down payment. This means that, if you want to qualify for the best mortgage rates available today, you may need to take some steps to improve your situation before you apply.
Here are some tips that can help you become a more attractive borrower or alter your home loan to secure the lowest rate possible:
Shop Around with Multiple Lenders
Shopping around with several different lenders is the best way to ensure you’re getting the lowest rate you can qualify for. You can do this by comparing several different lenders and their loan offerings, or by applying for a new mortgage with a loan aggregator like LendingTree so you can compare multiple loans and rates in one place.
Shopping around is crucial since individual lenders set their own criteria to determine who can get approved — and since rates can be higher or lower for you depending on how attractive they find you as a borrower.
We always suggest comparing mortgage rates with at least 2 to 4 lenders before you apply for a home loan. In addition to mortgage rates, make sure to ask about and compare closing costs and fees along with online account management options.
Consider Working with a Credit Union
In addition to traditional banks and online lenders, you can also compare mortgage rates and loans offered by credit unions in your area. While you typically need to be a member of a bank at a credit union, these institutions are not-for-profit, meaning they’re often able to offer lower interest rates than for-profit lenders and banks.
Also, remember that you may be able to join a credit union with ease if you aren’t a member already. Credit unions may charge up to $25 to join, but it’s possible you could be eligible for a membership-based on where you live, which communities you’re involved for, your job, your military service, and other factors.
Look at Government-Backed Mortgage Programs
Also check into government-backed mortgage programs like FHA loans, VA loans, and USDA loans. Since the federal government guarantees these loan programs, you may be able to qualify for lower mortgage rates and better terms even if your credit is less than perfect.
Just remember that there’s usually a tradeoff to be made with government loan programs — even if they let you secure a lower interest rate.
FHA loans, for example, let you get started with a down payment as low as 3.5% of your loan amount if your credit score is at least 580, but they also charge upfront mortgage insurance and ongoing mortgage insurance premiums that cannot be canceled during the life of your loan — even after you have more than 20% in equity built up.
Take Steps to Boost Your Credit Score
Another important factor that determines your mortgage rate is your credit score. While 680 or higher is typically considered a “good” FICO credit score, you may qualify for better rates with a traditional home loan if you can find a way to boost your credit score to greater heights.
While there are many factors that influence your individual FICO score, keep in mind that the two main factors that determine your score are your payment history and the amounts you owe in relation to your credit limits. As a result, paying all your bills early or on time and paying off debt can make a significant impact on your credit score in a hurry.
Save Up a Larger Down Payment
Another factor that can impact your mortgage rate is how much money you can afford to put down on your home. Most traditional lenders prefer borrowers to put down at least 20% of their home’s value when they buy, and they often extend the best rates to buyers who can reach this threshold.
If you don’t have a down payment or your down payment is minimal, you may also find your home loan options are limited. Many lenders require you put down 5% at a minimum and even FHA loans require 3.5%, so you should start saving until you have enough money to secure the loan you want with a rate and payment you can afford.
Get a Shorter Mortgage
The most popular type of mortgage is the fixed-rate home loan, mostly because the interest rate and mortgage payment (including principal and interest) will never change. However, you don’t have to go with the traditional 30-year home loan if you prefer to pay off our home faster. Many lenders offer 20-year loans, 15-year mortgages, and even 10-year home loans with a fixed rate.
Even better is the fact that most of the time, fixed-rate mortgages with a shorter repayment timeline come with lower mortgage rates. This means you’ll pay your home off faster and pay less in the interest all along.
Consider Alternative Mortgage Loan Products
In addition to fixed-rate mortgages, many lenders offer loans with an adjustable rate. Adjustable-rate mortgages, also called ARMs, typically let consumers pay a lower fixed rate for an introductory period before resetting to market rates once the introductory offer is up.
Where fixed-rate home loans are usually best for consumers who plan to stay in their home for a long time, adjustable-rate mortgages can be a good deal for people who want an initial low rate because they plan to move or refinance within a few years after buying their home.
Pay for Points
Mortgage points, which are also called mortgage discount points, let consumers pay a flat fee to secure a lower mortgage rate on their home loan. One point, which typically translates into a .25% discount off your rate, normally costs 1% of your mortgage amount or $1,000 for every $100,000 you borrow.
While paying for points may not make sense if you only plan to own your home for a short amount of time, the savings can be significant if you plan to remain in your home for the long haul.
Join a Bank-Based Loyalty Program
Finally, don’t forget that some mortgage lenders offer preferable rates and terms to consumers who use their own banking and loan products. This is the case with Citibank and Bank of America, for example, since both banks offer mortgage rate discounts or a reduction in closing costs for customers who bank with them and meet other criteria.
If you participate in the Bank of America Preferred Rewards program, for example, you can earn a higher rate of rewards with their rewards credit cards and get a reduced origination fee on your home loan.
What Are The Best Mortgage Rates
While mortgage rates may be somewhat out of your control, there are steps you can take to improve your chances of qualifying for superior mortgage rates and loan terms. You can shop around and compare lenders for starters, but you should also try to improve your credit and financial situation so you’re a more attractive borrower overall.
The lenders on this list offer some of the best mortgage rates and loan terms available today, so make sure to consider them first as you look for ways to get into the best loan possible.
First-time home buyers: Advice in a high COL area. Do I have my ducks in a row?
Quick intro and thanks: I have been following this sub since 2012 when I turned 21 and I am sincerely grateful for the plethora of individuals who take time out of their day to educate those who browse this sub. All constructed criticism is welcomed and thank you in advance for a sanity check before our largest financial decision in our lives.
I (28M) and my long-term girlfriend of 5 years (26F) are aiming to close on our first house/townhouse in the greater Denver area this spring. We aim to live in the unit for a few years while building up equity and then rent it out while we move on to our next property. We plan on getting engaged this year and married next year. All the units we have looked at are near downtown, right next to public train transit centers, and have seemingly high ROI rental opportunity. We have no issue with living in a 1,300 sq/ft townhouse and for now don’t have a need for a larger house; we would rather pick an area with high growth potential. No kids and no plans for children until mid-late 30’s.
Townhome we are looking to put an offer on is listed at $499,000. Comp’s in the area seem to be around $525k but have a bit better of a view. Rent in identical units in the small complex are between $2,600-2,700 a month for future cash flow estimates. Area has high growth projections.
I qualified for a 30-year VA loan @ 3.000% (3.281% APR) w/ no PMI @ 0 down. I am debating on if we should put any money down and cut into my liquid cash savings. They qualified me for up to $548k but I don’t feel comfy with spending more than 500k. Calculator's online say our mortgage after property taxes and insurance will be between $2500-2650 a month on the quoted townhome above.
Income: $159,800 pre-tax combined yearly income. $9,850 a month post tax combined income
Current savings: $34,500 in an Alley high-interest savings account
10k in a checking account @ a credit union
$2,500 in an HSA
Investing/Retirement: $18,500 saved in a lifestyle fund 401k. Currently contributing 10% pre-tax income with an additional 4% company match.
$10.2k of Cryptocurrency @ current market value I purchased back in college.
Dept: Neither of us have student loans or any CC dept. We have 2 car loans. My car has 9k left to pay off @ 1.8% interest and a payment of $385 a month. Car’s current trade in value is 27k and has 2 years left of full warranty. Her car has 8k left on a loan @ 2.1% with a $310 a month payment. Her car’s trade in is valued at 18k and has 3 years left of full warranty.
Both of our credit scores are slightly above 800.
Current rent is $1,750 a month but we have longer commutes than if we were to live closer to downtown. We have been living together in our current rental for 3 years.
Am I missing something major here? My calculated mortgage with property taxes and insurance included @ 0 down would be right around 26% of our post-tax monthly income. Including our only other dept (2 car payments) our total dept payments post-tax would be 32.4%. We could shop for a cheaper house or townhome farther from downtown but older homes seem to be in the 430-470k range and need some updating/new appliances or have an older roof. Projected rents in those homes farther from downtown seem to be lower than the unit we are looking at that is next to a main st district and public train transit center.
Do these numbers check out or should I continue renting/searching for cheaper places? Are we in a good position to be purchasing our first house in a high COL area? The sticker shock of spending half a million on a townhome is a tough pill to swallow but I have been dreaming of being a homeowner since I got out of the military and made it one of my young-adult goals to start acquiring property to generate a cash-flow rental LLC. Any and all advice is welcome!
Practical Strategies for Gratitude, Mindfulness and Financial Success
When I think about my worst spending mistakes, when I abandon all sense of frugality and damage my financial success by spending a lot of money on something wasteful, there’s almost always one big element that those mistakes have in common. They always happen at a moment when I feel really negative about myself and my life.
If I feel really good about things in my life, the things, the relationships that I have and all of the things going on, then I’m far less likely to make spending mistakes, particularly big ones. It’s only when I’m feeling as though my life isn’t very good and I’m missing out on things that I find myself spending money recklessly.
For me, perhaps the most powerful tool to avoid spending mistakes, stay frugal in my spending habits and keep heading toward financial success is to simply have a positive attitude about my own life and the various elements in it. As I noted, if I’m feeling good and feeling content about what I have, I’m less likely to spend recklessly to try to fill some emotional hole, and the less likely I am to spend recklessly, the easier it becomes to achieve all of my financial goals.
How do I really do that, though? I’ll be the first to admit that I find this approach to life easy at times and hard at others. There are times when I find it quite easy to feel good about myself and what I have, and there are other times when I find it very hard to feel good about things and find myself thinking very negatively about some elements of my life. That latter mindset almost always leads to big spending missteps.
I am never going to be a perfect person with a permanently sunny outlook and positive perspective on my life. I don’t think anyone is. Even though I know it’s foolish and it feels bad and it almost always causes financial and health missteps, I still sometimes fall into negative feelings and discontentment with my life.
Instead, what I aim for is a life that’s a little more positive overall than it used to be, with a set of tools I know I can use to make negative thoughts a little less likely and to help myself get out of a rut of negative thinking. These tactics aren’t like some kind of magic switch that transforms everything. Rather, they move a mind that might be, say, 60% positive and 40% negative to something like 70% positive to 30% negative. That might not seem like much, but it’s actually quite huge. That simple switch means my negative thinking is 25% less frequent than it used to be, which means 25% fewer spending mistakes. (It’s actually bigger than that, because I find that my spending mistakes get worse and worse the longer I dwell on negative thoughts, and these approaches help to stop long runs of negative thinking.)
Here are 10 techniques that work well for me in terms of cultivating a persistently more positive mindset, which not only helps me feel better but also helps me spend less money, eat better, and be more active.
Write down, in your own handwriting, five things you’re grateful for each day.
In the past, this was something I did in fits and starts. I’d do it for several days, then stop doing it, then pick it up again for three weeks, then drop it. It was only over the last year or so that I’ve really started doing it consistently, day in and day out, as part of a morning routine.
I try really hard to think of ordinary, little things in the last day that really made me feel good. In the last month or so, I wrote down things like “the enchiladas we made for supper last night,” “my youngest getting excited about figuring out a good move in a game,” and “curling up in the big blanket on a really cold day.”
What I’ve found is that the process of reflecting on my day and intentionally looking for those positive little things makes it easier to see those little things throughout the day. I’ll see one of my kids laughing, our family dog will curl up next to me when I’m reading a book or I’ll smell apples baking in the kitchen and I’ll think, “Man, life is pretty good,” and I’ll try to remember to include it tomorrow.
The thing is, when you start to see those kinds of things popping up all the time, you begin to not just see those little things, but also see that life as a whole is pretty good. Yes, there are things that aren’t perfect and there are things that are uncomfortable and difficult in life, and this doesn’t make them disappear. Rather, this is about getting your mind to notice more of the flowers in the field, not pretending that there aren’t weeds.
Challenge your own negative thoughts, particularly ones about yourself.
Everyone has a monologue of thoughts going on in their head most of the time. It’s a mix of hopes and plans for the future, reflections on the past, things that need to be done, reflections on yourself and people in your life, and all kinds of other stuff.
Depending on your mood, that monologue of thoughts can have a positive tone or a negative one. I find that, for me, when it’s positive, it tends to focus on things I like about myself and my life and optimistic things about the future, whereas when it’s negative, it’s very self-critical and gloomy. It’s that sense of self-negativity, doom and gloom that often drives me to spend foolishly, as I’m much more easily swayed by product pitches, marketing and the idea that I can buy something that will fix it.
A much less costly solution, albeit one that can be sometimes hard to remember when you’re in a funk, is to push back on those negative thoughts and question them fiercely. When you think that your life is terrible, push back on it. Is that really true? What about all of these good things in your life? When you envision failure, ask yourself if that’s really going to happen, particularly if you put some actual effort into making it not happen.
This doesn’t mean that you should be converting every critical thought into something positive. Some level of self-criticism is good, as it drives you to do things and to make yourself better, and some self-criticism is justified.
Pushback merely separates the meaningful and useful self-criticism, the stuff that should translate into action to fix it, from the stuff that just tears you down for no good reason.
It’s never a perfect filter, of course, but every step you can take to separate some of the useful things from some of the trash in your internal monologue is a step in the right direction.
“Pre-load” decisions when you’re in a good mindset so you can do less damage when you’re in a negative mindset.
Whenever I’m feeling good about myself and my life and the things I’m doing, I try to pre-load as many decisions as possible so that I can keep the good things rolling. I’ll do things like making an extra contribution to my Roth IRA or adding some extra money to our vacation savings. I’ll do a big frugality project. I’ll dig through the pantry and organize it for meal plans for the next few weeks.
The point is that I’m trying to reduce the space for bad decisions later when I’m in more of a bad spot mentally. If I’m feeling down but I know that I have supper planned out and all the stuff is already bought and ready to go for it, I’m much less likely to just order food from somewhere. If I’m feeling down and want to buy something foolish, I’m less likely to do so if I know that I’ve already “spent” that money on Roth IRA contributions.
At the same time, I try to delay big decisions if I know I’m in a bad spot. If I’m about to spend money (or eat something or waste a lot of time or whatever) when I’m in a negative mood, I try to tell myself not to do it and just to wait until I feel a little better. Again, this doesn’t work all the time, or even most of the time, but it pops up often enough make a difference.
For me, this type of thing works best when I use some visualization. I actually think about myself in a funk and then visualize myself giving that kind of pushback. I do this kind of visualizing when I’m driving somewhere, waiting for my daughter to get out of choir practice or sitting in the dentist’s office. I just visualize myself doing things the right way in the near future, and more often than not, I end up actually doing things in that “right way.”
Practice mindfulness meditation every day for 15 minutes or so.
One of the most influential books I’ve read in the last ten years or so was 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works — A True Story by Dan Harris. For those unfamiliar, Dan Harris was a news anchor for ABC News who had a panic attack on-air during a newscast. His stress level was through the roof and he was having a hard time dealing with the number of things he was juggling in life.
The thing that helped him more than anything else was discovering basic mindfulness meditation. Basically, he spends about 30 minutes a day over two sessions simply sitting in a chair, closing his eyes and focusing his thoughts on his breathing. If his mind wanders and starts monologuing, he brings his attention gently back to breathing. That’s it. It seems comically simple.
I read this book when I was struggling with a lot of things in my own life. I had tried meditation a few times in the past, but not as an ongoing, consistent thing. After reading the book, I started practicing it on my own, about 15 minutes a day. I’d just sit in a chair, focus on my breathing with my eyes closed — breathe in, breathe out — and if my mind wandered, I’d bring it back to breathing.
What I found was a lot like what Harris found: it was at the same time life-changing and not at all life-changing. That might seem self-contradictory, but you might get a clue from the book’s title, 10% Happier. Basically, as long as I keep doing that practice every day, I find that I’m consistently calmer and less anxious and better able to focus on the moment. My resting heart rate is lower (seriously), as is my blood pressure (seriously). I’ve had a lot of other nice effects, too, but they seem to vary a lot from person to person.
My own practice is about 40 minutes a day, split into two sessions. I’ve tried lots of meditative practices, but honestly, the simple practice of focusing on the breath for 15 minutes really works incredibly well. It will not be life-changing, but it is noticeable if you stick with it for long enough, and the time I put into it has paid off many times over.
When things inevitably go bad, look for humor in them.
Sometimes, life doesn’t go the way you want. You or someone you care about gets sick. You don’t get the promotion you want. Your car breaks down. Your furnace stops working on one of the coldest days of the year when you have several houseguests (I’m speaking from recent personal experience on that one).
It’s easy for those moments to nudge you into a negative mindset, one that can stick with you for a while. One of the most powerful antidotes for that is to simply find humor in the situation. Make a joke about it.
Whenever someone in our family is sick, we play up humor about how everyone else is their “servant” or how badly they’d do at a normal activity, for example. I almost always follow any bad event by saying, “It could be worse…” and suggest something comically awful that’s far worse than what’s happening.
Even with something like the death of a loved one, I’ll try to find really good stories to tell about them — funny, lively ones that make people (including myself) remember the good times rather than dwelling on the loss.
Look for humor in your current situation rather than despair. It’s a spectacularly powerful way to take the edge off of negative thoughts about it, and that almost always indicates the start of a turnaround in one’s mindset.
Hang out with positive people and dial down the time spent with negative people.
If you surround yourself with people who are generally negative in their comments and attitudes toward others, you’ll find that you begin to be negative in your own attitudes and comments and those begin to shape your thoughts. The reverse is true with more positive people — if you’re mostly around people who are generally positive in their comments and attitudes toward others, they’ll shape your attitudes and thoughts in that direction as well.
Thus, one easy solution for nudging your thoughts in a more positive direction is to simply spend more time engaged with people that have an overall positive perspective on life and spend less time engaged with people that have an overall negative perspective on life.
If you have a friend that mostly just complains about everything and sees the worst in everything and makes fun of people in a cruel way, then time with that person is likely to shape your thoughts in a negative way toward the world and toward yourself, so dial down your time with that person. The reverse is true: if you know someone who largely talks about people and things he or she likes and reacts to you in a positive way, that person is likely to shape your thoughts in a positive fashion both toward the world and toward yourself, so increase your time with that person.
How do you “dial down” your time with negative people and “dial up” time with positive people? Intentionally choose to do social things with the more positive folks. This doesn’t mean that you start avoiding the more negative person, just that your calendar is more filled with time with positive people.
I should also note that I’m not talking necessarily about people who are cloyingly positive. Rather, I’m referring to people who don’t react in a negative way toward news of your life and don’t spend their time talking down and ridiculing others. Rather, they talk in a positive way about things of mutual interest.
I’ve spent a lot of time cultivating my friends toward the more positive folks, not in an effort to cut my friendships with the more negative folks, but just to put myself in a better place, and it pays dividends.
Spend less time on social media.
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and all of the other social media sites can be a useful way to stay in touch with people, but they can also be incredible hotbeds of unnecessary negativity.
All of those platforms encourage people to share only unrealistic highlights of their life — causing you to feel negative by comparison — or to spur people into extremely critical and negative discussions about the issues of the day, cutting people to shreds for simply having a different viewpoint.
That’s not a healthy way to interact, and it doesn’t reflect real-world, face-to-face interaction very well. It also strongly encourages negative thinking, even when away from social media. Dial down your time on social media and find other things with which to spend your time.
Spend less time with entertainment that makes you feel bad; spend more time with entertainment that makes you feel good.
There are some books, movies, television shows and other forms of entertainment that leave me feeling emotionally cold afterward. That can be fine in small doses, particularly considering how many great works do have a negative tone to them. However, the reverse is true: if you primarily dwell on and consume content that has a negative perspective to it, it will begin to shape your thoughts in a negative direction.
I’ve witnessed this often in my own life. For example, if I spend a lot of time watching 24-hour news channels, I often end up with a more negative perspective on life and the world around me. I’ll view people, particularly politicians, as being far more crooked than they are (on average) and that large swaths of people are lacking any recognizable personal values.
Yet, when I interact with people in real life, the vast majority of people are good people. They might have differences of opinion, but they’re almost all working to make a better life for themselves and their family or, at the very least, trying to get by. A very small percentage of people are out to genuinely cause harm or to rip off others. I’ve witnessed astounding kindness and generosity from people time and time again, with comparatively few acts of cruelty in the big scheme of things.
Spend more time with people and less time with media, particularly media that presents humanity in a negative light. While you don’t have to exclusively choose positive entertainment, use that as a consideration when choosing what to watch. For me, the best switch I made was to stop watching 24-hour news entirely.
Go outside and move around.
A few years ago, I spent a bunch of time doing mood tracking. I wanted to figure out what things I did during a day would shape my mood in a positive and negative way. It was hard to really find consistent patterns in all of the data, except for one thing: almost always, the higher my step count was on a given day, the better my mood was on the following day.
Basically, the more I walk, the happier I feel for the next 24 to 48 hours, and it’s very consistent over time. It’s not something I consciously notice at the moment, but if I step back and look at the big picture of my life, it’s pretty consistent. If I’m outside and walking a lot and moving around a lot, I tend to feel good about things. If I stay inside and barely move around, my mood will start to decline, my thoughts will grow more negative.
Again, when I’m in a negative mindset, I’m much more likely to spend unnecessarily on things that don’t really matter in the long run, whereas if my mindset is positive, I’m far less likely to fall into that trap of overspending.
Focus on the best you can do in this moment, above all else.
This final tip is perhaps the most universally useful of all: focus on the moment and making the best of that moment.
For example, if you’re having a conversation with someone, put your phone on “do not disturb” and focus on that person. Make that conversation amazing.
If you need groceries, make a thoughtful grocery list, go to the store, and focus on getting the items on that list.
If you have a huge project at work, think about what you can be doing right now to move that project forward effectively, then focus intensely on that task.
Whatever is going on in your life, whatever you’re doing right now, aim to do that well. Aim to do it the best you can, with the best long term outcome.
If you do that consistently, you’ll find that you’re not only proud of your efforts in that moment, but you’re also going to be happier with how your life goes in the long term. Your relationships will improve. Your finances will improve. Your career will improve.
Focus on the moment, make it the best you can, and aim to make choices that improve your long term prospects. You’ll feel better in the short term and in the long term.
The thing is, you’ll never do this all the time. The key is to do it just a little more than you do it now, taking a step in the right direction.
The path to success isn’t perfectly even.
People often buy into the idea that if they just nail this one project or do this one thing right or buy this one product, the success they want will just magically appear.
In truth, success at anything involves a lot of little steps forward, a lot of failures that knock us back a few steps, and then some luck on top of that.
A lot of the time, the difference between success and failure is that you took a few more little steps forward and a few less little steps backward. It’s consistently making little decisions and taking little actions and being a little more positive that makes the difference. It’s about moving from 60% positive steps to 70%, and that’s really what all these strategies are about.
Success is often found simply by making a few little decisions each day a little better than before, having a slightly more positive attitude about life, and looking at things from a “glass half full” perspective a little more often. Do that day in and day out and before long your trajectory is heading in a much better direction.
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CVS: Deals for the week of January 26-February 1, 2020
Looking for all the best weekly CVS deals? Check out this list of the hottest deals you’ll find in-store this week!
Here are the best deals at CVS this week, with a big thanks to Passionate Penny Pincher for her help in compiling them:
Buy 2 Crest Pro Health or Complete Toothpaste 2 pk at $4.99, Get $3 ECBs (Limit 2)
Use $2/1 coupon from the 1/26 P&G insert
Pay $5.98 out of pocket, Get $3 ECBs
$1.49 each after coupon and ECBs
Buy 2 Dove Hair Care at $4, Get $2 ECBs (Limit 1)
Use $3/2 coupon from the 1/26 RMN insert
Pay $5 out of pocket, Get $2 ECBs
$1.50 each after coupon and ECBs
Buy 2 Crest 3D White Brilliance or Whitening Therapy at $6.99, Get $4 ECBs (Limit 2)
Use $3/1 Crest CVS App coupon and $3/1 coupon from the 1/26 P&G insert
Pay $7.98 out of pocket, Get $4 ECBs
$1.99 each after coupon and ECBs
Buy 2 Crest Pro Health 16 – 32 oz or Scope Mouthwash 1 L at $4.99, Get $3 ECBs (Limit 2)
Use $1/1 Crest CVS App coupon or $1/1 coupon from the 1/26 P&G insert
Pay $7.98 out of pocket, Get $3 ECBs
$2.49 each after coupon and ECBs
Spend $12, Get $4 ECBs (Limit 6)
Buy 2 Revlon Liquid Eye Liners – $8.49
Use Buy One Get One Free Revlon Lip or Eye Cosmetic (Max Value $12.99), exp. 11/2/19 (SS 10/06/19 R) or $5/1 Revlon Face Cosmetic, exp. 11/2/19 (SS 10/06/19 R)
Pay $6.98 out of pocket, Get $4 ECBs
$1.49 each after coupons and ECBs
Spend $20, Get $10 ECBs (Limit 1)
Buy 1 Aleve Pain Reliever 100 ct – $11.79
Buy 1 Aleve Pain Reliever 50 ct – $8.49
Use $4/1 coupon from the 1/26 SmartSource insert
Use $2/1 coupon from the 1/26 SmartSource insert
Pay $14.28 out of pocket, Get $10 ECBs
$2.14 each after coupons and ECBs
Spend $30, Get $10 ECBs (Limit 1)
Buy 3 Bounty Paper Towels 6 Huge Roll or Charmin Toilet Paper 8 Mega Roll – $9.99
Use $0.25/1 Bounty CVS App coupon or $0.25/1 coupon from the 1/26 P&G insert
Use $0.25/1 Charmin CVS App coupon or $0.25/1 coupon from the 1/26 P&G insert
Pay $29.22 out of pocket, Get $10 ECBs
$6.40 each after coupons and ECBs
Buy 2 Tide Pods 12 -16 ct – $4.94
Buy 2 Tide Laundry Detergent 50 oz- $5.94
Buy 3 Pantene Hair Care – $4
Use $2/1 Tide CVS App coupon or $2/1 coupon from the 1/26 P&G insert
Use $2/1 Tide Pods CVS App coupon or $2/1 coupon from the 1/26 P&G insert
Use $3/3 Pantene CVS App coupon
Pay $22.76 out of pocket, Get $10 ECBs
$1.82 each after coupons and ECBs
Buy 3 Pampers Diapers Jumbo Pack – $9.99
Use $1.50/1 Pampers CVS App coupon and $1.50/1 coupon from the 1/26 P&G insert
Pay $25.47 out of pocket, Get $10 ECBs
$5.15 each after coupons and ECBs
Other Deals In Ad
Arizona Tea – $0.50
ERA Laundry Detergent 40 oz – $1.99
Use $0.50/1 coupon from the 1/26 RMN insert
$1.49 after coupon
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