Forget juice cleanses – TikTok’s financial cleanse will whip your bank account into shape. The 30-day personal finance challenge was made viral by TikToker Seema Seth, who coined the term “financial cleanse” to describe her method to help you get your budget under control.

How TikTok’s financial cleanse works?

“Maybe you spent more than you wanted to, inflation is high, life feels crazy,” says Sheth. “But don’t worry: You and I for the next month are gonna take every day step by step. Actionable steps you can do each and every day to make your financial life a little bit better.”

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The word “actionable” is key here. The month-long financial cleanse is about ripping the band-aid off and tightening your budget, one day at a time. Getting your expenses under control and making slow and steady progress towards paying off debt or hitting a savings goal is not sexy, but it works. No get-rich-quick schemes. No sketchy crypto investments. Just good-old discipline and baby steps.

Financial baby steps add up

For example, the first day of the challenge consisted of reviewing and tracking all your monthly subscriptions and determining which ones are worthy of keeping and which ones you could do without. Those subscriptions add up, and you’d be surprised at the fact that you’re probably paying for things you don’t even use because it’s so easy to forget that those payments auto-renew.

Seth also shared the concept of a “bucket budget” with her audience. The idea is that your expenses fall into three categories: fixed – say, your rent and cell phone bill, variable – what you spend on entertainment and travel every month, for example – and saving. Within your variable costs, there is discretionary spending, which can be the hardest to get under control, according to Seth. Those are the expenses that you can technically do without, and, if you’re doing the financial cleanse, you’ll want to tighten the belt and get rid of some.

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A tip for reducing discretionary expenses

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner, the founder of Making Sense of Cents, talks about her journey cutting down on discretionary expenses while she and her husband paid off $180,000 in student loans in four and a half years. “One of the first things we cut out was shopping for clothes multiple times per month. We’d still shop for clothes when we needed to, but we realized we were spending without much intention and using it as our entertainment,” she wrote on her blog. She and her husband used the following questions to determine which expenses were worth it and which ones were not, and you can borrow them to guide your own budgeting process:

  • Is this expense necessary or important to my personal life or future anymore?
  • Does this expense bring me peace or stress me out?

Financial literacy, the Gen Z way

Whether you join the 30-day challenge or not, Sheth’s financial cleanse is striking a chord because it makes personal finance accessible. While older age groups may scoff at the idea of getting financial advice on TikTok, Gen Z is ushering a new wave of personal finance experts and breaking barriers around money, a topic that can often be intimidating.

“I really appreciate that you’re making money seem less scary and more manageable,” wrote a TikToker under one of Seth’s financial cleanse videos. “I love the energy you’re putting on this project! Makes me feel supported on something I often think is not possible for me to do,” added another.

Bottom line

If you’ve made a New Year’s resolution to pay off debt, embracing the financial cleanse may just be the perfect way to take control of your finances and learn new habits. It’s simple, no-nonsense, and pretty timeless too – anyone can benefit from learning how to budget and manage their money, especially in this economic climate.