There’s nothing better than a good detox for your health and well-being. Whether you meditate to restore your mind, whip up green smoothies to cleanse your body, or practice yoga to renew your spirit, we all detox in one way or another. Similarly, it’s a healthy exercise to hit the restart button for your financial well-being. If you’re still suffering from a holiday spending binge or your money resolutions fell off track, a financial detox is a restorative way to repair any damage. Here are some simple ways to get started.
1. Kick your guilty spending pleasure
We all have a few of these. Whether you savor an overpriced latte every morning or dine out more than you should during the week, try weaning yourself off. Replace your Starbucks trip with a home brew. Venture to the local farmers’ market and prep meat and produce for the week. Unsubscribe from any retailer newsletters that may tempt you. While you’re at it, gather all the cash you’re saving and put it into your emergency fund.
2. Stick to cash
Swiping a credit card is easy…dangerously easy. Most of us are guilty of spending frivolously because a credit card eliminates the emotional tug of cash leaving our pockets. If you’re prone to overspending every so often, challenge yourself to use cash for a week. How does it feel? Did you spend less than you did the week before? Having a finite resource makes us more thoughtful and prudent in our spending. Using cash will get you back in the mindset of treating your credit like it’s limited.
3. Create a plan to pay down debt
There’s one uniting factor preventing many of us from reaching our financial goals: consumer debt. Whether you took on student loans to get through school or swiped your card a few too many times, you’re not alone. Last year, Americans owed over $2 trillion in student loans and credit card debt. The first step to paying it down is coming to terms with what you owe. Then, channel your energy into resolve, and follow these steps to pay down your debt once and for all.
4. Boost your income
Increasing your income doesn’t have to mean asking for a raise or applying for a second job. After all, we’re in the age of technology-enabled side hustles! To get started, consider selling some of your old clothing or jewelry with Tradesy or Poshmark. Or earn cash and gift cards for taking surveys on Swagbucks. Sell your unused gift cards on Raise. Collect unclaimed money from old security deposits, uncashed payroll checks, or any other missing funds you never knew you had. If you’re a dog lover, sign up to walk some furry friends on Wag or Rover. With minimal effort, anyone can make some extra cash to replenish a hole left from a spending hangover.