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10 steps to an effective financial detox
By MyBudget Editor

You may have heard of terms like ‘10-day health detox’ or a ‘detox diet’, where you eat certain foods to ‘cleanse’ your body of ‘toxins’. Financial detoxing works with the same idea of ridding your life of toxic habits -- and if you stick to it, it’ll help you feel more stress-free and be in control of your finances.

Future You will thank you for it!

Here are 10 ways you can effectively detox your finances:

1) Beat the 30-day challenge

Buy only essential items for one month. That means saying no to things like take-away, morning barista coffees, and random online purchases. 

2) Unsubscribe

Tune out the temptation! Unsubscribe from retailer newsletters, throw out junk mail, and disable food/shopping app notifications on your phone. 
While you’re at it, go through your apps and write a list of what you’re paying monthly subscriptions for. Do you still listen to that podcast show? Was that language app actually helping? Chances are that you’re passively paying for a few unnecessary apps every month -- get rid of them today.

3) Master patience

Add a waiting period to online spending. You know that item you just placed in the shopping cart? Leave it there and check back in a day or two. Chances are, you’re less likely to still have the intense urge to buy it. 
Bonus: Some web retailers take notice of abandoned shopping carts and will email you a discount code to entice you to finish the purchase. If you reeeeaaaally wanted the item after 24-48 hours, why not use the discount too?

4) Indulge

Allocate ‘cheat days’ for spending. Here’s the thing… why do most fitness resolutions and weight loss goals end up failing? It’s because it’s too restrictive and it’s not sustainable in the long term. Good intentions alone isn’t enough motivation to stay on track financially -- it’s because humans love the feeling of getting a reward. Allocate savings for a great night out fortnightly or for small holidays every quarter. Here are some Australian weekend escape ideas.

5) Rethink conveniences

Try to avoid using services like Google Pay on your phone and ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ schemes like AfterPay which make it too easy to pay for items that you most likely don’t actually need. Pay with cash when buying extras to feel the pain of paying (it’s not self-torture… okay kind of, but not really). However, skip the pain when paying for essentials such as council rates and utility bills with online banking.

6) Experiment

Try 1-week spending experiments. Check out your credit card and bank statements for the last few months and find items that you buy frequently. Pick one item and try avoiding purchasing it for one week, and then try a different item the next week. E.g. instead of buying a morning muffin & coffee every day from the cafe near work, choose to bring in breakfast from home.

7) Automate

Start with a small habit. Try putting away $10 every week and see if it affects your day-to-day spending. If it doesn’t impact you too much, try increasing the amount by $5 every month or so; the idea is that soon your weekly spending habits will naturally adjust to accommodate to this. The money saved should be untouchable and a goal associated with it, such as ‘$2000 holiday fund’. 
For MyBudget clients, these automated savings are called ‘streams’ and seeing the numbers increase over time on the MyBudget app is super satisfying!

8) Check it, before you wreck it

Take a quick look at your budget or bank balance before making larger purchases. Most of the time, this just serves as a reminder that you have a plan to stick to (like that awesome vacation you could be saving for!) and the item that you want to buy isn’t really needed and would be much better to work towards your goal.

9) Create accountability

Solidify your dedication to your financial goals. Write it down in your diary, create an Instagram post about it, discuss it with a supportive circle of friends, pin it on a vision board, or any way that will help you stay motivated and accountable. 

10) Swapping expensive habits

Swap expensive habits for savvier choices. If you need some clothes for an upcoming job interview, try checking out op-shops like Savers or Vinnies. Most have a wide variety of cheap (and sometimes new with tags!) clothing to choose from. Another example is when grocery shopping, try only buying meat, veggies and canned food marked on special and work your weekly cooking around these purchases. 

Would you like to see how a budget can help change your life? Please give us a call on 1300 300 922 to speak to a caring money management expert who will put together a customised budget for you. Remember, we’re always here to help!

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