Wednesday, December 31, 2014

How to Prepare for a 3 Month Spending Fast

Talk to your spouse.  If you're married, this is a crucial first step.  Make sure you're on the same page.  Being forced into a spending fast will leave you both feeling resentful and likely cause you to fail. Thankfully, my husband was on board with starting our fast this December!

Set goals.  The main reason it was an easy decision for us is because we have a common goal: paying off my husband's student loan and becoming debt free!  What is the purpose of your fast?  Are you paying off debt?  Saving for a big purchase?  Having a common goal that you can look forward to will help you stay focused.

Create clear guidelines.  Your spending fast is your own.  You decide what you're spending money on and what's off limits during the fast.  For our fast, We're limiting spending to food from the grocery (no eating out), bills and gas.  Plan ahead as much as you can.  I decided in November to start the fast December 1st.  I cut the amount of money I usually spend on gifts in half and did all my shopping in November.  I knew I had a wedding reception coming up and would need something to wear.  I asked a friend if I could borrow something and she was nice enough to lend me a pretty dress for the event.   

Have a good attitude.  It really helps to stay positive and be resourceful.  I made a few Christmas decorations from things I already had around the house and baked all the Christmas gifts for my extended family.  The fast forced me to be creative and I've actually been surprised by how much fun I've had with it.

Throw a house party!  Being on a spending fast doesn't mean you have to stay home alone.  I can't spend money going out, but I can invite friends into my home.  This is something I want to do more anyway.  I invited a few girls over for a cookie exchange and I only spent money on the ingredients, which falls into my food category.

I have two months remaining in my 3 month spending fast.  Making that first big payment on the student loan was definitely a highlight!  If you're starting a spending fast, I would love to hear how it's going.  Good luck!

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