How to start a financial fast
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You might be sticking to New Years resolutions to improve your fitness and eating habits, but are you paying attention to your financial habits? If you are wondering how to pay off your debt and / or if you are looking to improve your spending and get on the road to financial success, a financial fast might be a good idea for you.
What is a financial fast?
A financial fast is a short-term “financial cleanse” that helps you get your finances back in shape. The idea comes from a book, The 21 Day Financial Fast: Your Path to Financial Peace and Freedom. Fasting lasts longer than 3 weeks, and some of its main points are that you should:
- Pay only for items in cash
- Buy only what you really need
- Keep an expense journal to track your purchases
- Choose a way to free yourself from your debt
- Learn how to avoid overspending for college
- Create an emergency fund
Advantages and disadvantages of a financial fast
Here are some of the pros and cons of a financial fast:
Benefits of a financial fast
The benefits of financial fasting include:
- Take control of your finances and save money
- Reduce your credit card fees and, consequently, the amounts owed in interest
- Become aware of your existing spending habits
The disadvantages of a financial fast
The downsides of a financial fast include:
- Serious debt problems cannot be solved in 21 days. If you immediately return to your old ways, you will be back to square one
- It takes a lot of changes in a short period of time, which could be overwhelming for some.
- It doesn’t focus on positive credit card habits, which have the ability to boost your credit score
4 tips for a successful financial fast
Here are some tips for getting your money fast:
- Have a support group: It is important to surround yourself with people who support you in your financial goals. So you might have to create some boundaries with this friend who is always trying to convince you to skip the gym and come and eat pizza and beers instead. Quickly talk to your friends and family about your finances and let them know how they can help you (ie don’t invite you to shop).
- Avoid spending triggers: Be careful to avoid any triggers that could cause you to spend frivolously. For example, if seeing influencers and ads on Instagram makes you want to spend with reckless abandon, consider removing the app for a few weeks or setting a time limit to reduce your scrolling.
- Create a budget: Compare your net income to your fixed and variable monthly expenses. Are you doing more than what you spend? Otherwise, you might want to change your spending habits and focus only on the essentials (see below). Budgeting is not a one-size-fits-all approach. There are several different budgeting methods, including the 50/30/20 rule, which suggests spending 50% on what you need, 30% on what you want, and 20% on saving and paying back money. debt, and the envelope system, which has you set aside money in different envelopes by category and only allows you to spend what’s in each envelope.
- Concentrate on the essentials in relation to the desires: Whatever approach to budgeting you take, you’ll want to minimize spending on wants rather than necessities. There is a big difference between what is essential and what is discretionary. Take the time to focus on the things you really need to spend money on, like groceries and rent, and things you could probably give up for awhile, like fancy dinners and lattes. extra foam. Get out that copy of The Joy of Cooking that your former colleague gave you for the holidays and work on your French press skills instead.
By Stefanie Gordon
Stefanie Gordon is a content strategist with over a decade of professional writing experience. She is a former financial journalist who has spent the last few years working in digital marketing. She specializes in strategy and content creation for large and small companies in finance and technology.