Your 30-Day Financial Cleanse
Bad financial habits tend to creep up on us until they compound into big problems. It’s only when we can’t keep up on our debt payments or during an embarrassing situation, that we take notice and decide to do something about it.
A financial cleanse is a great way to make lasting changes.
By cleansing your finances, you can level the playing field, develop some better spending habits, and create short-term, obtainable goals to change your financial perspective. Specifically, a cleanse can help you reassess how you spend, how much debt you have, how you can save, and how to build good habits that promote financial health.
Choose Your Cleanse
There are five different cleanses outlined here. Simply choose the cleanse that will be the most beneficial to you, but don’t do more than one per month. By doing just one cleanse, you can accurately track the results and make lasting changes.
Cleanse #1: Limit Your Credit Card Use
Without realizing it, we all tend to spend more when using a credit card. In this cleanse, you won’t use your credit cards for 30 days, even if you pay off your balances each month. Using cash makes you more responsible and focused on spending money on things that are necessary. Yes, you can still use your debit card, but debit cards can be very easy and tempting to use as well. To ensure you don’t use that debit card mindlessly, fold a sticky note over the card that covers the magnetic strip and the chip. To use the card, you will need to physically peel the sticky note off, making each transaction a choice and not a mindless habit.
Cleanse #2: Stop Eating out
Eating out can take a huge chunk out of your paycheck every month. Don’t believe us? This cleanse will show you the light. To complete this cleanse, you cannot eat out for the full 30 days – that includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even trips to get coffee. No takeout. No delivery. No quick trips into the minute-mart at the gas station.
If you want to be successful with this cleanse, plan your lunches each week and also do weekly meal planning for your dinners. Having an idea of what you will make throughout the week will make it easier for you to shop at the grocery store and make meals for yourself and your family.
Cleanse #3: Track Every Penny
Tracking and reducing your spending, as well as sticking to your budget has gotten easier with Online and Mobile Banking. There are even apps that provide convenient budgeting tools and allow you to manage your finances in one place. By tracking every penny, you’ll see where you spend the most money. Once you know where your spending is out of control, we offer Balance to help you reach your financial goals. It’s 100% free and available at rivermarkcu.balancepro.org.
Cleanse #4: Pay Down Debt
The point of this cleanse is to understand how much debt you have, create a plan to tackle it, and then execute your payment plan for long-term financial health.
First off, figure out how much debt you have by sifting through all of your statements for every loan, credit card, etc. Once you have your total, use the Accelerated Debt Payoff calculator to determine your monthly payments and which debts you should pay off first. It will also show you how a consolidation loan can help you save money.
Cleanse #5: Cut Expenses
Month after month expenses add up and paychecks dwindle away. For a lot of Americans, there usually isn’t much left over to save. But by carefully examining all of your bills, subscriptions, and other monthly expenses, you can find ways to cut costs and put some money back into your budget (and savings). Places to look for cost and money savings include: car and home insurance, monthly subscriptions (gym, television providers such as Netflix, etc.), wireless services, and internet services.
Start Your Cleanse
Change can be difficult to manage, especially when it comes to saving money, debt management, and budgeting. Whether you do one or all of these cleanses, Rivermark is here to help you save more, consolidate debt, and achieve your financial goals. Visit our Financial Wellness page, stop by any branch, or give us a call at 503.626.6600 or 800.452.8502.