Has this ever happened to you? You could swear you had x amount of money, then you check your wallet to make a payment and you realise the money has disappeared. Or maybe you presented your debit card for payment and the transaction got declined because you do not have enough cash in your account. You are not alone as this has happened to me times without number. In the past, one of my frequent quotes was ‘money is a spirit’. I was always wondering if my money suddenly grew wings and flew or if someone stole my money?
The truth is, in all of those times, no one actually stole my money but I unconsciously spent the money. Spending money unconsciously and without control is a bad financial habit. To break out of a bad habit, you can simply replace them with good habits. Unfortunately, some people lack that discipline and would require a money cleanse.
A money cleanse is simply getting back to the basics so as to eliminate unnecessary financial baggage. Do you need a money cleanse? Here are 8 simple steps to follow while embarking on a money cleanse. Not sure if you need a money cleanse? Read here the 10 signs that shows you need a money cleanse.
Step 1 – Write your money goal and make it plain. Your money goal during the cleanse could be to save xxx amount by the month end. However, make sure it is a realistic goal.
Step 2 – Know yourself and what triggers your bad spending habits and try to avoid them. For me shopping when hungry triggers impulse buying. For some people, when they are bored, they go to the mall and indulge. Once you have figured out what triggers your impulse buying, replace them with new habits. E.g, eating at home before shopping, going for a walk when bored.
Step 3 – Change your mindset and know your wants versus your needs. A need is something you have to have , e.g a black hand bag, a want is something you will like to have, e.g a black channel hand bag. Stick to your basic needs during the period of your money cleanse.
Step 4 – Ensure you meet your savings goal before you start spending for the month. Don’t save what you have left because most times, you have nothing left to save.
Step 5 – Draw up your monthly budget / spending list. Remain focused on your shopping list and no impulse buying. Stock up your house with the basic grocery need that you will require during the money cleanse.
Step 6 – Drop your debit card and convert to cash. Using cash makes it easier for you to control and track your expense. However, with a debit card it’s easier to out-shoot your budget since the card is linked to your bank account. So if you have allotted N20,000 as your expense amount for the month,withdraw the cash and hide your debit card .With cash only, you will be forced to stick to what you have.
Step 7 – Track your spending by preferably recording down every amount you spend either in a book, or on a spreadsheet. Tracking your spending will help you see where your money is going to.
Step 8 – Go on a spending fast. Yes, just stop spending and let the cleansing begin. Lock up your debit card, buy your basic food needs, fill up your car tank/withdraw cash for your t.fare and start your spending fast.
Remember, remain focused during the period of your fast and refuse to be tempted.