Going on a spending diet will open your eyes, says Michelle Singletary, author of The 21 Day Financial Fast: Your Path to Financial Peace and Freedom (Zondervan, $15.99. “It makes you see how much unconscious spending we do.”
During the fast, Singletary, who writes “The Color of Money” column in the Washington Post, is trying to help Fierce readers and the rest of the country do a better job of watching their wallets and curtailing unnecessary purchases, whether they’re rich, poor or in between.
Here’s a 21-day countdown of inspiration, instigation, insight and other information from Singletary and participants to take you through the three weeks toward being financially fierce! Share your tips and experiences, too!
Q: Any tips for managing social dinners/drinks on #financialfast? – @staceyfalardeau
Michelle: On the 21 day #financialfast you can’t go out to dinner. So find another way to socialize for free.
@pgogoi suggested: my advice is eating your way through a #financialfast deliciously by cooking at home. @epicurious for recipes
Q: What are some ways to live rich (while being frugal)? – @mikedelgado
Michelle: How do you live rich? Look around and see how much you have. Then stop spending to get more.
— Yanick Rice Lamb (@yrlamb) January 14, 2014
Inspiration of the day:
Going out naked! No plastic & no checkbook. No coupons for temptation. @SingletaryM pray for a Sista this am – @Alimarcia
ready for day 2, not so good yesterday, but I will do better today. If at first you don’t succeed – @gowilli1718
Michelle: Right. Even if you fall off the fast get right back on. It’s a journey and you will have bumps!
Question of the day:
Q: During the fast, is it ‘cheating if I use plastic (giftcards)? – @tricee71
Michelle: Yes it’s cheating if you shop with the gift cards during the 21 days. No shopping even with a gift card!
Big change of the day: Packed lunch
At dinnertime I’ll be across town, kid in tow, between appointments. Planning now to take BLTs for a parking lot picnic. #financialfast – @RotterWrites
Inspiration of the day: Why do you want to prosper?
There are those who’ve helped me and I never said a word about my need. I want to be able to do that for others more. – @TairTutorTime
I have a long list but primarily I want my kids to have a better understanding of money – @natural_beauT
I want to be able to leave a inheritance for my children’s children, help single mothers with kids and seniors & enjoy myself. – @GODZGD2ME
I want to prosper to show my kids a different way to live! Financially free (as much as possible)… – @tragirl79
Question of the day
Q: can I still make contributions to charity or my Alumni organization during #financialfast? – @dijon_rolle
Michelle: Good question. Yes. Still give, especially if you already committed or planned to do so.
Successes of the day
B/c I am not buying lunch & coffee, I deposited +$20 cash into my account during my lunch break yesterday. – @empiresesquire
There’s something so satisfying about something as simple as pulling one of three already prepared lunches from the fridge – @debtblag
3rd day of the fast. deleting all emails that are trying to sell me something as soon as I get them–Groupon, nomorerack, etc – @jmoogie68
What’s working so far
A simple tip is working for many people joining us on Michelle Singletary’s financial fast — buying groceries. Keep a journal to track how much you save on takeout meals and deliveries, restaurant tabs, lunch at eateries near your job and those vending-machine runs.
Surprise of the day: freezing credit cards!
— Michelle Singletary (@SingletaryM) January 16, 2014
Questions of the day
Q: You ever sacrificed paying bills on time (credit score risk) to Tithe? – @BPRES2
Michelle: I have never sacrificed paying a bill to tithe or give. I work my budget so that I can honor my debts and give.
Q: I’m just curious to know, why did you choose 21 days for the financial fast? – @Knockknockdino
Michelle: The 21 day #financialfast is modeled after the 21-day Daniel fast, which many ministries in my church do every year.
Inspiration of the day
I think I’ve managed to spend $5.47 this week; being limited to cash on hand does help you to make wise purchases. – @Berkgirl_10
Forgot my lunch – coworkers fed me ’cause they know I’m doing #FinancialFast Yeah! – @Wanda_Lucas
Pledge of the day
“Today, I’ll think about something in my life that I did or purchased that I now realize was giving in to a sense of entitlement.”
@SingletaryM This chapter is for me. Lol! Being single/single parent to now 24 yr old, I tend to think since I worked so hard I’m entitled.
— Patrice (@TaitTutorTime) January 18, 2014
— Marcia Ali (@Alimarcia) January 17, 2014
Realization of the day
Just realized that I plan/execute for vacations, parties, social life better than my Life and finances. sad – @crtconsu
@naturaldesi: A budget on a sunday? Who does that?
@SingletaryM: @naturaldesi If you are lover of budgeting you don’t rest on Sunday 🙂 #financialfast
Inspiration of the day
#financialfast day 7. Bought needed food at @AldiUSA Coloring my own hair. Went to laundromat instead of sending it out. Found $13 in pants. – @allthingsstupid
Partying in the #financialfast = Getting to the club before 10 for free admission. Positive side effect: Getting seats. My feet are pleased. – @DioniLWise
Plan errands so I don’t drive in circles wasting gas. Combine errands & choose 1 day 2 do several at once. – @SeverineTaxGuru
Ever since our first babysitting jobs, we’ve been advised to pay ourselves first. Just think how large our portfolios would be if we had listened. You still have time to make a difference. Here’s a pledge: “I will commit today to set aside a percentage of every paycheck for my savings.”
Inspiration of the day
Yesterday I ate wrong, brought junk food ugggg but today is a fresh start! #FinancialFast #onlycarrycash – @Alimarcia
— Crystal Thompson (@crtconsu) January 22, 2014