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Pattie Lovett-Reid: It’s time to detoxify your finances

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Pattie Lovett-Reid: It’s time to detoxify your finances

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January is known for its “dry January”. Some may have found themselves overindulging over the holidays and a logical reset is a rehab in January to bring a little more balance into your life.

In fact, a new study from the Angie Reid Institute has found that some families are finding it harder than ever to cope with the financial strains of the pandemic. Faced with the highest level of inflation seen in 30 years, 57% of respondents say it is currently difficult to feed their household. When asked the same question in 2019, only 36% answered the same.

All this makes me think that, for those who have abused their wallets, a little detox in February could do the trick to bring them back to financial balance.

I couldn’t help but think that for those who have abused their wallets, a little detox in February might do the trick to bring them back to financial equilibrium.

Now, to be fair, I get it. We cannot completely stop all spending. We have groceries to buy, rents/mortgages to pay, and utilities that cannot sit idle.

But what about discretionary, that is, non-essential spending?

There are great opportunities within your household to close it down and reap the financial benefits of giving your balance sheet a detox makeover.

In the interest of disclosure, I’m doing “Dry January” and I feel amazing and in control and in thought: why not extend the feeling of control to other areas of your life, especially in an environment where you sometimes feel like you have little control.

Here are some considerations. And remember, it’s not about doing a great thing well. It’s about doing a lot of little things well.

And a quick reminder – if you have a contractual agreement, I would consider this to be a fixed cost. You promised to pay and made that commitment.

So let’s go :

  • Cook at home and stop ordering for a month
  • Eat from your fridge and freezer and consider weekly meatless meals
  • Brown bag your lunch
  • Impulse purchases are frozen as well as your credit card
  • Walk instead of carpooling when you can
  • Stop online shopping
  • Stop downloading useless apps that cost money
  • Make your own coffee
  • Lower the thermostat
  • Shop your wardrobe and rotate your jewelry for a new look

Look for other ways to reduce your household expenses and break them down day by day. I would like to see families coming together to increase their savings. Every day, as a family, figure out what you could have spent, take the savings, and put them directly into a savings account. Don’t wait until the end of the week because just like “Dry January”, the temptation to capitulate and throw in the towel is too great.

At the end of the month, ask the family to decide how best to use the money: a family trip, paying off debt, or just putting it into savings or a rainy day fund .

The fact is that our finances are bloated and we need to get them under control. Only you can decide if you are committed to making a change and possibly creating a new habit.

Pattie Lovett-Reid: It’s time to detoxify your finances

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