A financial fast is a budgeting method where you cut out all unnecessary spending from your budget. While not a great option for longer term goals, it's a great way to adjust some of your existing spending habits. David Sant with Cyprus Credit Union provided the following ways to start a financial fast, and why it may be beneficial for you.
Setting a time period for your financial fast is the first step you need to take. It's been recommended that for your first fast to set a time of 21 days. This is a enough time that you will see your finances improve but not so long that your willpower is pushed to the limit.
WANTS AND NEEDS
Before starting your fast, determine what you consider a need or a want, as this may differ from person to person. Writing this down may also help hold you accountable down the line when you feel tempted to buy something that isn't a `need`.
Once you classify your 'wants', find a way to cut out as many of those temptations as possible. This may mean temporarily blocking online shopping sites, buying groceries online so you don`t have to go into stores, or unsubscribing from emails from your favorite stores.
When having to make your 'needed' purchases, use cash whenever possible. Doing so will eliminate the chance of a slip-up of an unnecessary purchase.
Why Should I Do a Fast?
Cutting out unnecessary savings for three weeks can have many benefits. First, you can divert some of the money you save towards other expenses. Second, fasting can help you examine your everyday spending habits. The more conscious you are of your spending, the more likely you are to continue some of these habits after the fast is over.
What Are the Downsides?
This isn't a long-term solution, so if you have major debt or other large financial issues, this method may not help much. For bigger changes, the longer term your fast would need to be. However, the longer it is, the more likely it is to fail.
Find more helpful solutions to your money questions at cypruscu.com.