If you find yourself regularly over spending your budget, it can be hard to get that spending under control. One of the ways we try to address this is with what we call a cleanse month.
Once per year, usually in February because it’s short, we’ll do one of these cleanse months. The idea is pretty simple: spend as little as possible for the entire month.
Not only does this help us stay under budget for the month, but going a whole month saying no to purchases as often as possible will really help to break that habit of spending money.
It sounds like a ridiculous and entitled problem to have, and it is, but there is absolutely such a thing as falling into a habit of spending money. You might be in one now and not even realize it. It looks like buying a snack or a soda when you get gas, getting a cheap 4 for $4 meal at Wendy’s when you just don’t feel like cooking dinner, that sort of thing. It can sneak up on all of us, and it likely does.
It’s the sort of small time, almost inconsequential spending that you don’t even think about, but that adds up over the course of the month, and it may be ruining your budget.
I’m not suggesting you don’t spend any money, although if you can pull that off, even better. We all need groceries, right? But a cleanse month can really help cut down on the extra spending, the unnecessary spending, that you might be doing without realizing it.
You don’t need to wait for February, you can start right now. Or, start next month. If you’ve never done this, I think it would be a great exercise to go through.