Do you have what it takes to attain financial nirvana in just 15 days? Let’s find out.
Two months into 2019 and you already feel the initial enthusiasm wearing off? Relax, it’s not too late to get back to your resolutions again. If pruning your debt is on your mind, we have a few tips in store to help you make the most of 2019.
We’ve designed these steps to help you get back on the financial track in less than a month! What are you waiting for? Read on to know more about how to detox and cleanse your money matters!
Day 1: Start by tracking your current savings and expenditures
Group your income into two categories. One is the ‘fixed costs’ which you can’t do without. This includes rent, food expenses, water and electricity bills. Under the second category, list your discretionary costs including those expenses that you may or may not incur.
Try limiting your overall monthly expenses to not more than 50% of your monthly income. This is a great way to cut down on additional spends.
Day 2: Create a master archive
While this may initially seem quite tedious, maintaining a record of big-budget purchases or noting down payment deadlines is a great way to document your financial activity.
Over time, when you get into the habit of recording your monetary activities, try identifying patterns such as missed payment deadlines or impulsive purchases.
Additional Reading: In Your 20s, 30s or 40s? Here’s A List Of Financial Goals For You
Day 3: Put an end to those unused subscriptions
Whether it is your library membership lying unused for more than a year, a gym membership that you’re no longer in need of or subscription to a magazine that you don’t enjoy reading anymore, it’s time to stop these from draining your money bit by bit. Cancelling your unused subscriptions is a simple way to start saving.
Day 4: Skip the takeaway and cut down on ordering in
This has a two-fold impact. As you stop eating out, you not only save money but also cut down on sugars and processed foods. If you have no other choice but to order food online most days of the week, try cooking your own meals on weekends at least.
Day 5: Zoom in on your groceries
Most of us purchase groceries on a weekly basis and forget about the bills the minute after. And then, we often find heaps of unused groceries at the end of the month. And if they are past the expiration date, we have no choice but to throw them out. Sounds like something you do?
Avoid this by making a grocery list before you step inside the store. This way you’ll know exactly what you need!
Day 6: Look away from store-bought stuff and switch to DIY
Do-It-Yourself (DIY) activities are quite satisfying when you put your mind into it. Why pay a hefty sum when you can fix it yourself? This applies to anything that you can handle on your own instead of hiring help to get it done.
Don’t limit yourself to household repairs. Apply this to regular everyday stuff. For instance, when you purchase coffee from a high-end café, you end up paying three times of what it would actually cost if you made yourself a cup at home.
Additional Reading: Stuck In Debt? Here’s How To Get Out Of It!
Day 7: Embrace a money-free weekend
The rule is you’re not allowed to spend any money on anything, no matter what. More simply, you can’t hit the local restaurant to pack a meal or you can’t go for a movie. We know it’s difficult! Hold on to the grocery shopping and try making the most of whatever you’ve got in the refrigerator.
The real challenge is to come up with things to keep boredom at bay without spending a single rupee on anything. We’ll give you a few ideas, for starters. You could take a long walk with your dog, spend the day tending to your backyard garden, play board games with your family, listen to podcasts, watch television, bake a cake, clean your car or your bookshelf… the list could really go on! Come on, it’s not as bad as you think.
Day 8: Track your monthly payments
Well, a week is already over. Start this week by zeroing in on your finances. While last week’s tasks were directed at saving money, today is all about planning your payments. It’s common knowledge that missed payments pull down your Credit Score, thereby hurting your financial profile.
Start by making a note of the bills that are due in the latter half of the month. As a way to ensure that you’re always on time, you can try making two payments every month. That way you’re a lot less likely to forget your dues.
Additional Reading: Align Your Needs With Your Financial Goals!
Day 9: Ditch the cult favourites
It’s time to go generic. When you go shopping, try opting for local sellers than brands in order to save big bucks. Sometimes, generic products are made by the same organisation that produces high-end products.
You can also purchase locally-sourced vegetables instead of buying processed varieties at the supermarket. Not only will this support community traders, but will also boost your savings!
Day 10: Examine your cellphone and data packs
Most of us overestimate our data requirements. Often, you may be paying for more data than you use. If you find such hidden expenses that you no longer want to continue paying for anymore, reach out to your provider and shift to a pack that offers you data as per your requirements. Bundle plans are some of the best ones out there as they offer a mix of services at a great cost!
You may also be able to save more money by cancelling your cable connection and switching to online streaming. This way, you’ll be able to watch your favourite shows anywhere and anytime, besides saving money on cable.
Day 11: Donate what you don’t need
Besides freeing up space in your closet, a little decluttering goes a long way. Whether you want to lighten your bookshelf or give away the old toys that your kid has outgrown, purging your home of clutter is a great way to hand in these items that you no longer have any use for to various charities and non-profit organisations.
Check if your neighbourhood library accepts pre-owned books. Even furniture such as couches and beds can be given to someone who needs it.
You could also consider hosting a yard sale or a garage sale and make a few bucks by selling anything from jewellery, collectables, paintings, books or clothes that you haven’t used in a year.
Additional Reading: Minimalism: The Key To Sprucing Up Your Personal Finances
Day 12: Reduce your Credit Card interest rate
It’s time you called your Credit Card provider today and negotiated for a lower interest rate. If the issuer is not willing to lower the rate, consider transferring your balance to another card that comes with a lower rate. You could also switch to a card that has zero annual fees!
Pro tip: If you’re on the lookout for a card that’s heavier on rewards and comes with a lesser interest rate, we’ve got plenty of options for you to choose from. Click here to get exploring!
Day 13: Map your retirement portfolio
It’s never too late to begin. If you don’t have a retirement fund in place, it’s time to set one up. Having enough assets to retire well is one of the toughest challenges one has to deal with.
Your retirement corpus should be at least 10 times your annual earnings. It’s important to have a retirement fund in place so that you can fulfill your goals even after you retire, maintain your financial stability, and also have a cover for medical emergencies.
Positioning your retirement portfolio in a way to address the threat of inflation is another factor that you must bear in mind.
Additional Reading: How To Set Achievable Financial Goals
Day 14: Re-evaluate your insurance coverage
Re-examining your insurance coverage can fetch you more benefits than you get today. When it comes to insurance, it’s important that you keep checking for better coverage and more security from time to time. This also helps to chuck outdated plans out of the window and switch to plans that offer better financial protection against mishaps.
In addition, there are chances that an insurer is providing the same policy as your current one at a lower price.
Day 15: Rejoice and reflect!
Pat yourself on the back as you’ve done quite a lot in the last 14 days! Your 15-day financial cleanse is finally over. So, it’s time for you to reflect on each of the challenges you undertook and take stock of what you gauged from them.
Today is also the potluck day! Invite your friends over for a potluck at your place. This is how it goes. Everyone is supposed to bring a favourite dish to share with others, and that way, you all save money by splitting the expense. You can also use this as an opportunity to celebrate the completion of your challenge. Share the lessons you’ve learned with your friends.
Additional Reading: Crucial Money Lessons The Yoga Way
While you move from one day to the next, it’s essential that you track your progress. This will not only help you take stock of the difference you’ll have made but will also keep you motivated to keep you financially stable throughout the year!