Take the financial detox to help you to flush out bad money habits and adopt healthy ones.
Break old money habits with our seven-day financial detox. By gradually making small changes, one step a day, your improvements will likely stick.
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
Financial Detox Day One – Ditch unwanted subscriptions and other recurring costs.
It’s one thing to identify and eliminate the expenses you know about, but what about the ones you don’t even notice?
With automatic recurring costs, like subscriptions, it’s often a case of out of sight, out of mind – but the charges do add up, especially over time.
Do a spending audit. Examine past bank or credit card statements with a sharp eye – just like you would read food labels closely to zero in on hidden sugar and fat in your diet.
You can catalog unwanted subscriptions manually and then personally contact each company, one by one, to cancel the subscriptions you no longer want.
You can also use the Track My Money feature in Sum180 to link your everyday accounts and identify those recurring charges that might need trimming.
Day Two – Renegotiate your cable and phone bill.
Your cable and phone may be necessities for living in the 21st century, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t overpaying for them.
Utility contracts are not a “set it and forget it” situation – utility companies regularly reformulate their cable and phone plans, so be sure to check in once a year to be sure you are on the most cost-effective plan for your particular usage patterns.
Customer service will be happy to help you switch to the right plan because it boosts customer loyalty. In addition, changing plans is usually free, and you could save hundreds of dollars a year.
Another way to lower your cable or phone bill is: Renegotiate.
Believe it or not, many people have successfully negotiated a lower cable bill simply by asking for it. Here are a few tips:
1. Be clear about what you want. Be clear if you want a lower monthly bill rather than more channels for your current price.
Establish a rapport with the customer service rep before you start negotiating. Chances are, the person on the line with you has dealt with many challenging customer issues today and will welcome the opportunity to help a friendly customer.
2. Do your homework. If someone you know got a price break from the same company last week, mention it. If you know of a current promotional offering from a different company, be ready to cite those details.
Day Three – Eat all three meals from home today.
Many of us habitually grab meals on the run, especially during the busy work week.
We think we’re saving time, but our budget takes the hit instead.
A little planning and time management can make all the difference. Get up ten or 15 minutes earlier to prepare breakfast and a sack lunch – even dinner if you plan to work late at the office.
When you estimate your savings at the end of the day, you may discover that you had your least expensive and healthiest eating days in a while.
Day Four – Cut up all but two credit cards.
Carrying many credit cards makes tracking your spending hard and can lead to unmanageable debt. Just because you qualify for more cards doesn’t mean having them is good for you!
Simpler is often healthier, and that applies here too – so ditch all but two cards, one tied to your bank and one with a great points system. You’ll be better able to monitor things, make your payments on time, and still build rewards.
On the other hand, if you are loyal to a particular store, and there are benefits to that card, such as a deep discount on purchases or rewards you value, keep it and use the Track My Money feature in Sum180 to help you keep tabs on your overall spending – link all your cards there so you can see, all in one place, where your dollars are going.
Day Five – Add to your 401k contribution.
The more you contribute to your 401(k) and the earlier you do it, the more you’ll have when it comes time to retire.
So, if you aren’t already contributing the maximum every year, bump up your contribution by 1%. Chances are, you won’t even notice – and it will be easy to contribute another 1%.
Please do it! Your future self will thank you.
Day Six – Make a weekend entertainment budget and stick to it.
When it comes to money, “detoxing” can be as simple as being mindful of the small ways we “leak money” unnecessarily.
Entertainment expenses can be a big culprit here, especially during the weekend when we’re relaxing and inclined to treat ourselves or our families.
A simple fix: decide on a weekend entertainment budget and stick to it.
Your entertainment budget may mean that movies are okay this weekend, but big concert tickets will have to wait until you’ve “banked” several weekends’ worth of entertainment funds.
Balance expensive weekends with low-cost or free weekends at the local aquarium or a public park.
Financial Detox Day Seven – Clean out your clothes closet and delay new clothes shopping for a season (or two).
Bonus points for listing clothes in great shape on a local marketplace to earn a little extra $!
There are more ways to stretch your clothing budget than bargain hunting. (Although that’s fun too.) Many of us have closets that are overstuffed with clothes we rarely wear.
Do a closet purge – be ruthless and ditch anything you haven’t worn in a year or more. Paring down your wardrobe to fewer items you genuinely want to wear will make dressing easier and more enjoyable every day.
You may find yourself rediscovering classic, high-quality pieces, making it easier to eliminate impulse buys and delay your next wardrobe refresh.
Begin by overcoming short-term financial challenges and then work toward financial wellness.
FlexWage OnDemand Pay gives employees access to earned wages to overcome short-term financial challenges. Once out of crisis mode, employees can gain financial wellness with Sum180, the FlexWage financial education, budgeting, and planning solution.
Sum180 provides step-by-step support and insights to employees on their journey to improved financial wellness.
Financial Detox: A Helpful Tool In The Sum180 Platform
A seven-day financial detox is just one of the helpful tools in the Sum180 platform. An engaging, personalized mobile experience, Sum180 gives users an immediate budget, educational how-to’s, the ability to link and view all their accounts, and access to a live coach for questions and planning support.
Keep exploring and learning >>>>> Learn how to create a competitive advantage by offering financial wellness benefits.