If you’re like me, some of the transactions you are NOT making during the Cleanse are simply delays. But others are items or services you will never end up buying. There was a time and a place for that purchase, and once it has passed, the money simply won’t be spent. What if, just like traditional budgeting, you capture the value of this non-transaction by saving or investing it towards some cherished goal, instead of letting it get absorbed back into the pool to be spent?
For example, if I had been able to resist that chocolate sauce-covered scoop of Bailey’s ice cream I bought on Sunday, that would have been ~$5 not spent. Today, I decided to change the flat tire on my bike instead of coming up with some excuse to let the bike shop do it. Estimated savings (even after I blew a tube testing it – doh!): $20. Small potatoes? Maybe, but if I took the sum of all the things not bought over this month (many!), I could estimate a surplus in my account, which should then be available to save or invest instead of getting lost in the ether (read: spent) like this kind of money usually does.
Granted, this might be a bit cumbersome for a long term strategy, but every little bit counts and it is yet another great way to increase money awareness. Plus, it sure would be a nice little bonus for a Transaction Cleanser. Even better, it might inspire you to free up some surplus cash on an ongoing basis and set up a simpler system for capturing it before evaporates.