Starting something new is rarely easy. The first time you do something, there are bound to be a few bumps along the path to eventual success. So, it’s not surprising that when real people undergo a financial cleanse, they encounter some challenges. Just because something is hard at first doesn’t mean it will stay that way. Think of your first day at a new job or even the first day back at the gym after a long vacation — a little rough, right? But in time, you learn how to navigate challenges, overcome obstacles, and eventually, you get the hang of things.
What inspires real people to do a financial cleanse?
One of the most common reasons to start a financial cleanse is the desire to save more money. That might mean saving money to build an emergency fund or to become debt free, but when more money is what you need, a financial reset may be in order. For Nick Valentino, the VP of Market Operations of Bellhop, it was the decision to start saving to buy a house.
“I got my career off and running out of college and focused mostly on paying my bills each month and paying off my student loans,” he tells Credello. “I managed to be pretty aggressive and get them all paid off, then I just kind of…drifted. I wasn’t saving much for retirement beyond my 401(k), and I spent most of the money I earned each month.”
Not unlike many Gen-Zers today, at the time, Valentino lacked direction in life and in finances. “This went on for a few years before I decided to do something about it,” he continues. Enter: a financial cleanse.
James Allen, founder of Billpin.com, is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Certified Financial Planner (CFP), and Certified Financial Education Instructor (CFEI) — but even with his deep background in finance, he still found a complete financial cleanse beneficial.
“It was not prompted by a desire to start a business or a struggle with overwhelming debt, but rather a realization that my financial habits had become cluttered, much like a closet that hasn’t been organized in years,” Allen says. “The catalyst was a simple question: ‘Am I making the most of my money?’
It was not prompted by a desire to start a business or a struggle with overwhelming debt, but rather a realization that my financial habits had become cluttered, much like a closet that hasn't been organized in years. The catalyst was a simple question: ‘Am I making the most of my money?’
Some people are inspired to start a financial cleanse out of sheer necessity, Raymond Quisumbing among them. “I became stricter about doing a financial cleanse when I accepted the reality that my business and career income had shrunk over the past months and may not go up yet,” he explains. “Hence, to avoid a very bad cash flow situation, a financial cleansing is necessary so that savings do not get depleted.”
Quisumbing is a registered financial planner affiliated with Bizreport.com, and his day-to-day work means he has a thorough understanding of many intricate financial topics. But you definitely don’t have to be an expert to undergo a cleanse and see the benefits of doing so.
By scrutinizing your spending habits and creating a budget during a financial cleanse, you’ll finally be the one calling the shots with your money — whatever that looks like for you. If you’re attempting to pay down student loan debt or deal with credit card debt, a financial cleanse can help.
Do you know what else can help? Credello’s debt payoff calculator. It’s a simple way to help see clearly the amount of money in your budget that can realistically be allocated to debt repayment each month. Use it for any type of fixed loan to compare debt repayment plans like the debt snowball and avalanche methods.
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A real financial cleanse is not without challenges
So, what about the hard parts? They exist. But, like anything worth doing well, those challenges can be overcome with a bit of troubleshooting and perseverance.
“It’s akin to going on a diet; you’re aware of the benefits, but the process can be grueling,” Allen explains. “I had to confront my spending habits, which was akin to looking in a mirror and not liking the reflection. It was a challenge to break free from the comfort of familiar patterns and venture into the unknown territory of financial discipline.”
One obstacle Quisumbing encountered on his cleanse is certainly relatable — giving up modern conveniences to save money. He says, “It can be difficult to let go of usual habits such as dining out or ordering from online platforms.” Especially when you’ve become accustomed to using them, forgoing your usual subscriptions or service upgrades is a bummer. Thankfully, the end result is typically worth it.
The rewards of a financial cleanse outweigh the challenges
As Allen puts it: “the rewards were well worth the effort.” The clean slate that a financial cleanse provides can be a sort of springboard to overhauling your finances and, in turn, your life.
“By starting fresh, I was liberated from my own beliefs that I needed to earn this much in order to have a comfortable life,” says Quisumbing, explaining that you “can still earn comfortably without sacrificing quality of life.”
Another surprising perk of Quisumbing’s cleanse? More nutritious — and delicious — cooking skills! “It also taught me new skills that made me more self-sustaining, such as learning how to cook better at home, instead of relying on food made by fast food joints and fancy restaurants.” When a financial cleanse means cutting down on your spending and getting creative with your grocery shopping — a tried and true inflation hack — benefits abound.
Valentino’s journey through a financial reset to purchasing a home mirrors that of Quisumbing’s, and it was not a quick process. “I ended up rebuilding my budget from scratch, starting with food. I focused on eating out and getting delivery much less and cooking much more. From there I went after my streaming services, my clothing budget, and my hobbies, focusing on being deliberate and controlled with my spending so that I could afford to save money for a down payment,” Valentino says. “It took me about five more years, but I pulled it off.”
A financial cleanse can improve financial health once and for all
The long-term benefits of a financial cleanse can lead to improved financial health and wellness.
“The financial cleanse was like a spring cleaning for my wallet. It allowed me to clear out the cobwebs of bad habits and make room for healthier ones,” says Allen. “The result was a sense of financial wellness that permeated every aspect of my life. It was as if I had been carrying a heavy backpack and was finally able to set it down. My financial cleanse didn’t just improve my bank balance; it improved my quality of life.”
You know that constant, nagging voice in your head that says Am I spending too much? Or, Do I have enough saved for emergencies? A financial cleanse will alleviate those lingering thoughts. You’ll have less stress and a clear plan to pay off debts, save for the future, or accomplish any other financial goal you set your mind to.
Just like these stories from real people who have been through it illustrate, a financial cleanse can be a transformative experience that positively impacts various aspects of life. From feeling empowered about your money management skills and reducing stress to developing sustainable money habits, the benefits are undeniable. While challenges may arise, with determination and discipline, achieving true financial wellness is well within your reach.