A popular trend in the health community is cleansing – setting aside a week to 30-days dedicated to reigning in bad eating habits, losing weight, finding energy, or maybe just feeling better. Cleanses can help people reach short-term health goals faster, change their eating habits, and find new motivation to turn short-term discipline into a long-term lifestyle.
Imagine what could be done if more people applied this concept to purging out the bad things “feeding” their finances – a financial cleanse, if you will. Setting aside time to focus on money habits can make a huge impact on short-term financial health and provide just the motivation to kick bad habits, get your finances in order, and keep them that way. Here are a few tips you might want to try if you’re considering taking a summer financial cleanse.
- Clean out your financial refrigerator: identify and eliminate spending temptations.
One of the first steps people take when starting a cleanse is to get all the junk or off-limit foods out of their refrigerator and cupboards. By removing these immediate temptations, you’re showing you mean business and intend to stay on track. This same concept can be applied to your finances – specifically, things you have ready access to that tempt you to spend wastefully, compulsively, or out of boredom (just like a refrigerator full of junk food).
For me, one of the greatest spending temptations is getting emails with coupon codes from my favorite stores. Just when you find something you ‘need’ to use one of them on, they send you another coupon. Hitting unsubscribe, unfollowing, or even turning off your social media can help you purge these sources of temptation.
- Keep a food diary: record everything you spend.
Just as someone who goes on a cleanse might record everything they eat during the day to keep themselves accountable and reveal things that are sabotaging their goals, recording everything you spend can offer the same accountability and insight into your unconscious financial habits.
Using cash is one of the best ways to do this, but if you use a credit card for the points and rewards, you can still track your spending with an app, spreadsheet, and other tools. The idea is to get a better idea of where your money is going. You might be surprised to find that you’re spending way more than you realized in a specific category.
- Cut the calories or carbs: focus on one category you need to correct.
Cleanses are often focused on cutting…