Financial IQ May 29 2018

Eagle's 30-Day Financial Cleanse

What is the 30-Day Financial Cleanse?

It’s simple. For 30 consecutive days, you will make small changes to your lifestyle to help you save money. If you commit to this financial cleanse you will save money, enhance your credit score and start saving for dream purchases.

Day 1: Download a budgeting app.

Many free budgeting apps can be found in the Apple Store on your cell phone. Apps like Clarity and The Mint will send you updates on your budget in real-time so you can learn where you need to make changes.

Day 2: Check your credit score.

You can view your credit score easily on a phone app or ask a real Credit Specialist to pull your score. A little credit education will help you polish up your credit score in no time.

If you're looking to purchase a home but need a little help with your credit, we can help!

speak to a mortgage credit specialist

Day 3: Unsubscribe from all store emails.

Unfollow your favorite brands on social media and opt out of any consumer related email newsletters. You might find that you actually have time to start a new hobby instead of online shop.

Day 4: Make a list before you go grocery shopping.

Nothing good ever came from grocery shopping on an empty stomach. Instead of coming home with mismatched food items, buy only what you need. Save some money and also realize how much food you waste on a normal basis.

Day 5: Try not to spend more than $20 today.

It is really easy to spend $5 on a Starbucks coffee run, but it isn’t necessary for your survival. It is more fun to save your money for things like dinner with a friend!

Day 6: Buy a water filter or a reusable water bottle.

A Brita water filter or a reusable water bottle will keep you hydrated and curb those tendencies to stop for expensive snacks. You are also reducing your carbon footprint!

Day 7: Set all of your bills to autopay.

Save a little brain space and avoid late fees each month by setting all of your bills to autopay. Knowing that your finances can keep moving without you is a great feeling.

Day 8: Evaluate your monthly subscriptions.

Never forget about those free 30-day trials you subscribe to. It’s all fun and games until you realize you were accidentally subscribed to a random $50 membership for three months.

Day #9: Pack your lunch every day this month.

A little turkey sandwich and a note from Mom never hurt anybody. Add a food item to your lunch that will make you excited to eat it, like your favorite drink, so you don’t fall off the wagon.

Day 10: Round simple purchases up.

The loose change in your jeans does not count. Round every purchase you make up one dollar with automatic savings withdrawals. Meet the grown-up equivalent to a piggy bank.  

Need a little help pinching those pennies?

6 Simple Ways to Save Money

Day 11: Have a game night with friends.

Instead of taking your friends to a trendy new eatery, remember that real friends don’t care if you are fancy. A good heated game of Taboo is worth more than all of the craft burgers in the world.

Day 12: Create a capsule wardrobe.

A timeless wardrobe is something you should aspire to, but it is not something that can be accomplished in one day. When you go to the store, ask yourself if the quality and style of the item will last for at least three years for ultimate savings.

Day 13: Make your coffee at home.

Give up something you purchase every day (it doesn’t have to be coffee) and find a way to do without or get creative and find an alternative. Buying an espresso machine will actually save you money in the long-run or see what kind of coffee bar your office has!

Day 14: Don’t spend more than $10 today.

Instead of thinking about the things you can’t buy, remember all of the things you can still do without money. Take this time to explore a park and rent some city bikes. Put this money to good use!

Day 15: Make a homemade gift for a friend.

Even if your craft skills are subpar, there is still something for everyone. Opt instead for an easy do-it-yourself project like a bath scrub or a transferred photo on wood.

Day 16: Turn off lights and appliances before you leave the house.

Taking extra time to monitor your electricity usage will enlighten you on how much extra wattage is wasted daily. Keep your electricity and your bill to a minimum.

Day 17: Recite your money mantra.

A mantra is just a fancy word that means to remind yourself why you started. Take time today to remember why you are participating in this financial cleanse. Are you saving up for a new home or does that dream trip to Italy keep you going? Whatever it is, never stop reciting your mantra.

Day 18: Turn your A/C up a few degrees.

Save big on your monthly utility bill by turning your air conditioning up a few degrees when you leave your home. Get a temperature setting with an automatic timer, so you never have to remember to set it ever again.  

Budgeting can be tricky. Check out these tips on how to get started!

How to stay on track with your budget

Day 19: Use coupons at the grocery store.

You don’t necessarily have to cut coupons before you go to the grocery store. Either download the store app and use digital coupons or use the coupons you find in the store aisles. This is also another chance at sticking to your list and only buying what you need.

Day 20: Try to make four meat-less meals this week.

Even if you are not a vegetarian or vegan, meatless meals are less expensive. Meat can range from $5-$15 per entree at the grocery store and by widening your dietary horizons you could cash-in on some savings.

Day 21: Sneak some snacks into the movies.

Leave this one to the professionals! Pick the perfect bag and pack some cheap snacks.

Day 22: Make the world your gym.

If you’re running low on cash, it is okay to opt out of a gym membership. Remember that fresh air and sunshine are always free.

Day 23: Switch to Uber Carpool.

Ride-share apps can cost a lot of money, but you can share a ride with another person. It can get a little awkward, but think of all the money you will save!

Day 24: Learn to groom your pets by yourself.

You can rack up a hefty bill if you take your pet to the groomers. Spend a little extra time learning how to give your pet an amateur haircut and save the trip to the pet salon.

Day 25: Don’t spend any money today.

Spending no money can be tough. Just remember all of the free things you can do. Try going to the bookstore today to leaf through some magazines (you didn’t hear that from us) or watch a movie at home.

Day 26: Make an itinerary for an upcoming trip.

Knowing which activities you will be doing on your vacation will help you create and stick to a budget. Maybe you need to consolidate some activities or switch to a hotel with a lower rate. Always know before you go.  

Need a vacation but need to stick to your budget?

Save Money with a Staycation

Day 27: Put $50 towards an investment.

Add $50 to your savings account today to put towards an investment purchase, like a couch or a new car. Always remember that no amount is ever too small.

Day 28:Use cash only when you go out.

Drive to the bank (ew, what’s a bank?) and get some cash out before your next outing. Those $12 drinks add up and it’s important to know exactly how much money you typically spend in one night.

Day 29: Stick to your budget even when you go on group outings.

Your friends may have a bigger financial budget than you (and that is okay), but if you can’t afford that weekend brunch outing this weekend, go ahead and opt out.

Day 30: Start planning your budget for next month.

Map out your expenses for the next month and determine how much money you will save. Try using the 50/20/30 saving method to get started and establish the right expenses to savings ratio.   Just because the Financial Cleanse is over, does not mean budgeting stops. Budgeting is a practice you should keep with you the rest of your life. If you find yourself falling back into your old financial habits, feel free to rinse and repeat with this 30-Day Financial Cleanse until it sticks!  

So, you're a budgeting master? It may be time to purchase your dream home!

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