ConsumerWatch: Family Goes On ‘Financial Cleanse’ To Curb Spending

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(CBS 5) – Whether it’s a $3.75 latte at Starbucks for or a $3.00 bottle of water at the airport, making small purchases throughout the day can quickly become a habit that’s hard to break. Some financial planners recommend a remedy – going cold turkey for a few days with a financial cleanse, a temporary ban on spending.

Kathryn Amenta and her family decided to try one last week. Amenta, a financial planner, estimated she and her immediate family spend about $60 a day on coffee, bagels, magazines and the like.

“I’m probably spending money that I’m not conscious of,” Amenta told ConsumerWatch, “Piddly things.”

To prepare for the cleanse, Amenta stocked up her refrigerator and cupboards with $230 worth of food and paid her bills in advance. Her family didn’t set ground rules, but as the week wore on they imposed a few, including one that it would be okay to spend money on emergencies and not okay to use gift cards that were purchased in advance.

One Week Later

So how did it work out?

“It was difficult,” Amenta said.

She admits she didn’t have an “aha moment” that she hoped would lead to a new behavior around money.

“For me, the goal was just to have the experience,” Amenta said.

But her brother-in-law, Anthony Liccardo, who also participated in the cleanse, did.

“I’m spending a lot more money than I have,” Liccardo said. “I plan to live more modestly in the future.”

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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