A spending fast can be an excellent way to recover from a major purchase, or to get a jump start on saving. When I say fast, I mean it in the same sense as not eating… but not to that extreme. You’ll need to spend some money to fulfill your basic needs. I’m suggesting that you can limit your spending to just that. The fasting pertains to all the extras.
Even a week or two of buying only essentials can generate savings, curtail bad habits, and encourage contentment with what you have.
Tips for a successful spending fast:
- Plan ahead. Trying to fast right before a major holiday or vacation may lead to stress and frustration.
- Start small. Limit your first fast to a week or two. Once you get the hang of it, try increasing the length.
- Ask questions. Is this a need? Can it wait? Do I have something at home I can use in the meantime?
- Stay away. The best way to cut impulse buying is to stay away from the places where you are likely to be tempted.
- Simplify. Use up pantry items, plan quick and easy meals, and enjoy the time freed up by not running errands.
- Don’t stress. Unexpected expenses will come up. If you need to visit a doctor, or pay a parking ticket during your fast, do not throw in the towel.
A spending fast can help you find contentment in the things you already have while building up your bank account. Be creative and challenge yourself to find cost-free alternatives. You just may discover how rewarding fasting can be.