The Challenge That Will Test You Mentally and Financially
The Question Is Can You?
If you’re looking to find another $100-$200 bucks in your pocket, try this challenge for a week or two. It can be as short, or as long as you want. It is all dependent on what you want to get out of it and if you can do it at all in the first place.
It’s called a FISCAL FAST.
Just like fasting with food, Fiscal Fasting follows the same guidelines but instead of food it’s with money and spending. It’s probably a lot easier than fasting with food (you’re talking to a fat kid at heart here).
If you are looking to do a Fiscal Fast to ‘add’ some cash to your pocket, you have to begin one with some guidelines to ensure you are doing it right. And let me warn you, it is still a challenge to complete but when you are done with it, you’ll look back and be glad that you did. Cha Ching!!!
Set Your Guidelines
Here are some of the guidelines that I put in place to see who was the stronger of the two, last week’s me or next week’s me.
- 1 work week time frame (Mon-Fri)
- No ‘bulk’ buying of groceries for the week. You can shop a little on Sunday to get the necessities (milk, water, bread, etc.), but no large purchases at the grocery store. Within this week, you are supposed to work with what you have in the pantry. This is for 2 reasons:
- You’re trying not to spend money. If you bulk buy, you’re basically just shifting all the grocery costs to the beginning of the week rather than eliminating the expenses.
- And more importantly, fiscal fasting will show you what is really needed in your pantry. If you have an old can of beans you had in there since you moved in, you now know that was a wasted purchase. This is because you are only eating those beans now out of necessity rather than want. Fiscal fasting will show you what’s really important for groceries, moving forward.
- No spending all week. Yup, it is a fast. So that means no spending on anything. No eating out, no retail therapy, no spur of the moment needs. That is the purpose of the fast: to see what you waste your money on.
- Re-occurring bills will continue and are excluded. Cell phone, cable, utilities and rent are all excluding from the fast. These are needs and should not count against you as they are not discretionary spending.
- Gas? This one is a little tougher. Yes you need gas, but if you can go 5 workdays on a tank than try to exclude refilling it. Not only will you save money, but you’ll also alter your driving patterns to conserve as much gas as you can. But then again, if you need gas to get to work then you need gas to get to work. I was able to work it off the 7/8ths of a tank I had for the week but I was very careful on Friday when I was getting close to empty.
That’s basically it. That’s what I set for my guidelines for my fiscal fast. Guess what?! I was able to go all week without spending a single dime. I actually made money when I found a penny on the ground.
Game, Set, Match
At the end of the week, I felt great. Not only did I save a bunch of money this week by not spending any, but I felt accomplished. I challenged myself to do it and I succeeded.
Yes I had some weird meals to eat all week, but I still had more than enough food to eat. Not only did I clean out some of the things in my freezer and pantry, but I gained more respect for those that deal with hunger on a daily basis. I’ll make sure to never pass up a can drive and donate.
One of the best things to see was that my credit card had ZERO purchases for a week. The number that was there at the beginning of the week was the same number at the end of the week, but now I have another paycheck on the other side of the scale that tipped like a seesaw.
Can You Beat You?
It’s as simple as that. Can you beat yourself? Can you take on the challenge and come out successful? The only obstacle between you and the end goal is the person of who you’ll be tomorrow. That’s it. So can you do it? Find out and let me know.
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