5 Ways to Improve Your Finances With A Spending Cleanse

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A spend cleanse works in the same way that a 30-day detox plan. The aim is to eliminate ‘toxic’ spending habits such as spending mindlessly, emotionally and/or wastefully. We need to be more mindful of our spending patterns and eliminate everything that doesn’t serve us and our goals.

A spending cleanse serves as a quick financial fix as it seeks to reset our financial habits. If you find yourself spending more than you would like on things you don’t really need and struggling to find cash to pay your bills and debt, recognizing and curbing  this behavior is important to ensure you succeed financially.

Going through a financial cleanse can be just as painful as a juicing cleanse. The first week will be rough and you may find it difficult to adjust. Remember, that the purpose of this is to set yourself up for sustainable financial success by replacing your bad habits with good habits.

So, how can you cleanse financially? Here are five ways to go about this and they are:

1 – Go On A Spending Fast

Instead of gradually easing into this, start off quick with a fast. You’re going to stop spending money on anything that isn’t a need. Doing this for just a month will send serious shockwaves across your entire financial system. The whole goal is to get your spending back on track by locking down your spending on unnecessary items and creating cash to save or pay down debt.

2 – Stop Borrowing

This is going to be very difficult for most, especially those of us who rely on credit cards or simply borrow to move from month to month. By avoiding those cards, m-shwaris or whatever else is out there for a month will force you to use cash and be more mindful of what you spend your money on. The finite nature of cash will hit home and as you watch it leave your hands, it will make you more conscious of your actions and change your way of looking at money.

3 – Assign Your Income

Once your pay hits the account, assign it to a task i.e. bills, food, rent, savings, mortgage repayment etc. Ensure you don’t have any free cash and all cash has a job to do. Allocating your income will help you track spending and create a more solid financial game plan for yourself based on mindfulness.

4- Find Alternative Activities

For those of us who like to go out all the time on weekends to bars and restaurants, consider finding alternative activities. This will considerably be beneficial if you spend a great portion of your income buying food and drinks. Try to find a simple yet inexpensive way that will leave you feeling great instead, such as picnicking, walking, running, cooking, baking etc.

5 – Wait 24 Hours

If you can’t cut back on your spending – completely – consider waiting 24 hours before you purchase something you want. Giving yourself that time might make your think and perhaps, realize that your money would be better spent elsewhere. Once the 24 hours have lapsed and you find yourself still itching to have it, then go ahead and just buy it. At least in the end you didn’t purchase on impulse.

Reboot

Doing a financial cleanse next month will help you reset and recharge your financial life.

Try some of the ways to cleanse financially and try to hang on to them if you see great progress by the end of the month. Also, don’t limit yourself to only these – get creative, have fun and importantly, improve…improve every day on your financial habits.

Image: Top by Raw Pixel via, Pexels.

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Irene Makanga
Irene has an MBA in Finance and is an avid businesswoman, passionate about financial literacy.

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