Working in finance I literally think about money, budgeting and smart spending ALL day EVERY day, yet it is still so easy for me to mindlessly spend my own money! Last month I really started paying attention to how much frivolous spending I was doing, and I was rattled. So rattled that for the month of July I’ve decided to do a spending detox.
You always hear about detoxes. How many times have you heard one of your girlfriends say something like this over brunch? “I’ve been having to much booze lately, so I’m going to detox” “I’ve been eating too much sugar lately, so I need to detox” “I’ve been eating so bad lately, I’m going to detox”. I could go on and on… We always think about detoxing when it comes to our physical health, so why not when it comes to our financial health?
So, I’ve committed to July to get my financial health back on track. It is not realistic for me to say that I won’t spend at all for an entire month, so I’m setting some ground rules for myself. My biggest spending vices are buying clothes & accessories and spending too much going out. So my detox will focus on curbing these areas. My goal is to have ZERO fashion related spending in July (time to get creative in reusing items I already own!), and to limit my going out spending (not completely cut because I will go INSANE if I stay in for an entire month!).
Not all detoxes have to be alike. Make a plan that fits you and your goals. The key is to make a spending detox plan, and actually stick with it!
I’ve outlined my plan below.
- Commit to a spending detox time table: For me my time table will be the month of July, but you can always do smaller detoxes (1-2 weeks) depending on your goal.
- Set a goal amount to save during detox: My goal is to save $1,000 dollars during this detox. After this month I may realize that this goal was a little high or a little low, which is the reason for number four!
- Take a break from all shopping that isn’t a necessity: For me this is shopping related to fashion (clothing, shoes, etc.) because this is my biggest frivolous spending area. I will also curb the amount I am spending going out. It is unrealistic to have zero spending on a detox because you still need to run a household, but you can cut out non-necessities entirely.
- Reflect on the impact of frivolous spending: At the end of a detox it is important to sit down and really see how much you’ve saved just by tuning into your finances. From there you can decide how to use those funds more wisely going forward. For example if you realize you spend $1,000 on clothes each month, maybe going forward put $500 of that in savings before you have the chance to spend it mindlessly! Use your detox to put your spending in perspective and use your findings to create a smart budget that works for you and your family.
- Put detox savings towards building savings, reducing debt or purchasing a big ticket item: Everyone’s goal for a detox is different. You may have student loans to pay off, home repairs that are needed or just want to be better at saving. For me, my home needs new kitchen counter tops so my detox savings will be going towards that big ticket item!
I am viewing my detox as a self challenge to be more mindful of my spending. I will check back in with you all in August to let you know how it goes!
Happy saving 🙂