If you’ve started 2023 with existential dread over status of your bank account, maybe consider the new TikTok trend of undergoing a “financial cleanse.” 

Money-saving tips don’t have to be a source of paralyzing anxiety, according to financial literacy TikToker Seema Sheth, who created the “30-day financial cleanse” on her channel, @bobeema. Designed to get people off to the right start to the year, she offers a range of advice to level up your savings and spending. These aren’t get-rich-quick schemes, or investment hacks to lift you into the next tax bracket but, she claims, tangible ways to gain control of your money over the month of January.

In her first video in the series, which now has half a million views, Sheth says her mantra is that every day, we could all do one small thing to help get our finances in order. “I’m introducing you to the building blocks of financial literacy,” she states.  

Day one’s video saw her advising users to grab a notebook, create three columns, and break down their subscriptions—i.e. Netflix, the gym, etc.—into what it is, the cost per month and then cost per year. “And today we’re going to decide if that’s worth it, and if it’s not, today we’re going to cancel it,” she says. The exercise drew her attention to the fact she’d been subscribed to Kindle Premium for months despite never having used it.  

Julie from @youneedabudget, meanwhile, suggests starting the new year with a 30-day challenge that involves setting financial goals and intentions for the year. “The first thing you want to do is pick a theme or a word for the year,” she says—for example “grow”—to guide your focus. The next step is setting a measurable goal such as paying off credit card debt, or saving a set amount of money within a timeframe. Then you need to set even smaller goals, things you can incorporate daily, to help you achieve these first two (e.g., spending five minutes a day budgeting). The final step is setting an emotional goal tied to how you’ll feel once the measurable goal is achieved.

Samantha Absher, or @wtf_is_a_budget, recommends breaking down big savings goals into monthly pay check chunks. If your goal is to keep three months of living expenses for emergencies, that figure is daunting. But seeing it as $150 each month—or whatever is manageable for you— for however long it takes can be much more motivating. Once you’ve established the figure you need, make sure you immediately put that money into a separate account or pot once you’re paid. You’re much less likely to spend it then.

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