How to do a money cleanse to get your finances under control
You may have heard of ‘cleanse diets’, where you eat certain foods to ‘cleanse’ your body of ‘toxins’. A money cleanse works with the same idea of ridding your life of toxic habits — and if you stick to it, it’ll help you feel more stress-free and be in control of your finances.
If you’re not sure how to get your finances under control, a money cleanse or 30 day money challenge might be the perfect solution to spur you into action. Future you will thank you for it!
Here are 10 ways to do a money cleanse:
1. Beat the 30-day money challenge
Buy only essential items for one month. That means saying no to things like take-away, morning barista coffees, and random online purchases. At the end of your 30-day money challenge carefully consider the items that you want to reintroduce.
Tune out the temptation! A money cleanse is hard enough without sales reminders! Unsubscribe from retailer newsletters, throw out junk mail, and disable food/shopping app notifications on your phone.
While you’re at it, go through your apps and write a list of what you’re paying monthly subscriptions for. Do you still listen to that podcast show? Was that language app actually helping? Chances are you’re passively paying for a few unnecessary apps every month — get rid of them today.
3. Master patience
A money cleanse requires discipline and patience. Add a waiting period to online spending. You know that item you just placed in the shopping cart? Leave it there and check back in a day or two. Chances are, you’re less likely to still have the intense urge to buy it.
Bonus: Some web retailers take notice of abandoned shopping carts and will email you a discount code to entice you to finish the purchase. If you reeeeaaaally wanted the item after 24-48 hours, why not use the discount too?
If you’re wanting to get help with money problems because you’re spending uncontrollably, do go too big too early. Allocate yourself cheat days. Here’s the thing… why do most fitness resolutions and weight loss goals end up failing? It’s because it’s too restrictive and it’s not sustainable in the long term. Good intentions alone aren’t enough motivation to stay on track financially — it’s because humans love the feeling of getting a reward. Allocate savings for a great night out fortnightly or for small holidays every quarter.
5. Rethink conveniences
A lot of people who want to get help with money problems turn to ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ schemes like AfterPay. These make it too easy to pay for items that you most likely don’t actually need. Pay with cash when buying extras to feel the pain of paying (it’s not self-torture… okay kind of, but not really). However, skip the pain when paying for essentials such as council rates and utility bills with online banking.
Did your 30-day money challenge help you rethink your spending? Keep going with these kinds of experiments. Try 1-week spending experiments. Check out your credit card and bank statements for the last few months and find items that you buy frequently. Pick one item and try avoiding purchasing it for one week, and then try a different item next week. E.g. instead of buying a morning muffin & coffee every day from the cafe near work, choose to bring in breakfast from home.
Get help with money problems by automating. Start with a small habit. Try putting away $10 every week and see if it affects your day-to-day spending. If it doesn’t impact you too much, try increasing the amount by $5 every month or so; the idea is that soon your weekly spending habits will naturally adjust to accommodate this. The money saved should be untouchable and a goal associated with it, such as ‘$2000 holiday fund’.
For MyBudget clients, these automated savings are called ‘streams’ and seeing the numbers increase overtime on the MyBudget app is super satisfying!
8. Check it, before you wreck it
If you’re needing money cleanse motivation, try taking a quick look at your budget or bank balance before making larger purchases. Most of the time, this just serves as a reminder that you have a plan to stick to (like that awesome vacation you could be saving for!) and the item that you want to buy isn’t really needed and would be much better to work towards your goal. If you haven’t got a budget yet, try this personal budget template.
9. Create accountability
When it comes to how to get your finances under control, accountability is key. Solidify your dedication to your financial goals. Write it down in your diary, create an Instagram post about it, discuss it with a supportive circle of friends, pin it on a vision board, or any way that will help you stay motivated and accountable.
10. Swapping expensive habits
As part of your money cleanse, swap expensive habits for savvier choices. If you need some clothes for an upcoming job interview, try checking out op-shops like Savers or Vinnies. Most have a wide variety of cheap (and sometimes new with tags!) clothing to choose from. Another example is when grocery shopping, try only buying meat, veggies and canned food marked on special and work your weekly cooking around these purchases.
Keen to see how a money cleanse could change your life?
If you’re unsure how to get your finances under control and you’re ready to get help with money problems and regain your financial fitness, book a free consultation with one of our money experts. We’ll create a customised budget for you! The session is free, without obligations, and the plan is yours to keep.
Ready to find out more?
Call 1300 300 922 or get started today
All customised budgets and consultations with money experts are subject to MyBudget’s qualification criteria. We recommend that you read and consider our Product Disclosure Statement.