Money Makeover: How to Start a Financial Cleanse

"Exactly how many pairs of Louboutins did I buy last month?"

“Exactly how many pairs of Louboutins did I buy last month?”

When you’re looking to detox your body there are a plethora of options out there to choose from. There’s the Master Cleanse and various juice cleanses that promise to purge your body of undesirable toxins. While taking care of our bodies is important (health is the most valuable asset we can have, after all), we need to dedicate time to other aspects of our lives if we want to take care of our overall well-being. As we all have learned by now, the best things in life are free but the Beatles got it wrong when they claimed that “all you need is love.” Love isn’t going to put a roof over your head, a steak in your belly and your ass in an Audi, unless the person you love is filthy rich and you have no problems with digging until you strike gold. Like Mrs. Carter aka Beyoncé says, most of us have bills, bills, bills to pay. But with all those bills, bills, bills that keep stacking up, sometimes we rack up a bit too much debt.

It’s okay, you can admit it. We’ve all gotten ourselves into a bit of financial messiness at some point in our lives. We just had to check out that new restaurant or splurge on that pair of Louboutins. And there are some days that if we don’t meet up for cocktails with out friends we may just blow someone’s brains out. But all of those happy hours don’t always lead to a happy financial life. And apart from the shoes and dinners and drinks with friends, there’s student debt: that mind-numbing, crippling weight affecting more than 37 million people today estimated at a total of roughly 1 trillion dollars. Yup, trillion. That amount is significantly higher than national credit card debt, which only comes in at 854 billion dollars. According to Nerdwallet (where the previous figures were also taken from), the median debt for a student at graduation is $23,300 dollars. That’s a hefty chunk of change, and one that should definitely influence the ways we spend our money.

Here’s a cleanse you never knew you needed but desperately do  – a financial cleanse. Let’s be honest: who couldn’t use a nice purge of all of their bad spending and money-managing habits (for those of us who even have “habits”)? A cleanse to start anew. Financial troubles are one of the biggest factors in breaking couples up and are often associated with suicide – RIP L’Wren Scott.

According to the blog, here are twelve steps to helping you on your financial fast:

  1. List Your debts and their interest rates
  2. Ask your creditors for lower interest rates
  3. Picture the life you dream living
  4. Make the commitment to be done with debt once and for all
  5. If you’re partnered, try to get them to do this with you
  6. Set a time-frame for your spending fast
  7. Make a public declaration of your desire to become debt-free
  8. Create a “wants and needs” list
  9. Spend money on the “needs” side of the list only
  10. Think about what you can buy rather than what you can’t
  11. Become immersed in a community of like-minded people
  12. Attack your debts

Let’s be real here. This is no fun, especially if you’re one of the increasing number of people who have to deal with a huge amount of debt at a relatively young age. But, you know what’s even less fun? Avoiding taking stock of your personal finances and having to get a complete money makeover in the future, AKA declaring bankruptcy and starting from scratch. So get to figuring out these figures. Your wallet (and your “future you” when you want to retire) will only thank you.

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