Being that it is the season of Lent, there is a lot of talk about giving something up for 40 days. We are not Catholic and don’t practice a strict policy of Lent, but for several years we have used this season for a Financial Fast. This is something that can be done at anytime.
Here are the basics:
Pay your regular bills. Don’t ignore any of your regular monthly obligations.
Commit to not spending any money other than essentials – groceries and gas – for one month (or 40 days). This means no clothes, toys, items for the house, eating out…nothing that isn’t food to be cooked at home or gas to get you to work and activities to which you are already committed. Don’t schedule doctor or other appointments with co-pays during this time unless someone is sick. Of course, if there is an emergency, spend the money. But clothes, shoes, and accessories for people or homes are not an emergency!
Spend time that you would have used shopping and spending money praying and investing into your family with fun, free family activities. At the end of your fast period (21, 30 or 40 days) count up the money you have saved and put it into a savings account. At that point you will likely have a significant amount of money and a whole new perspective on what is a need versus a want.
Have you tried a Financial Fast with your family? What did you do and what were the results? Share your experience in the comments!