Consumer debt is at a all-time high. Families are living above their means and using credit to cover the expenses they can not afford. If you are reading this article, I will assume you are at a point where you are tired of debt running your life and ready to eliminate it.
Fasting is traditionally known as a time without food. People in the Bible used a Fast as a time with no food to seek direction through prayer from God. A spending fast can help your family seek direction on your finances by eliminating your current spending habits.
Here are 5 steps to complete a spending or financial fast to eliminate debt
- Pick an upcoming month to do the spending fast. Make sure you pick a month that you are able to complete it. Do not pick a month that you know you are going to have some issues with. If you make an exception for one item or event it will be too easy for you to slip off of the spending fast.
- Make a list of the expenditures that you truly need for a month and make a vow to not spend over this amount. For example you need gas for your car to get back and forth to work but you do not need gas for your car to travel for entertainment or other events. You need groceries but try to make a vow to only spend a certain amount per week. Attempt to make as many meals as you can out of your pantry. By separating your needs from wants before the month starts you have set the rules and groundwork for your spending fast.
- During your month long financial fast make some tough decisions. If a friend calls and asks you to go out to dinner, explain to them what you are doing and that you are attempting eliminate some debt. Ask the friends to come over after dinner to play cards. Cutting entertainment like going out to eat, movies, and even cable can save you lots of money that can be used at the end of the month to pay debt. If something in your house breaks that is not an emergency, try to find a solution to fixing it that is inexpensive. Be creative, look on line for some solutions to different household problems.
- Keep a journal. Write down those things that you did not miss and those that you did during the month. Maybe you did not miss going out to lunch at work but did miss taking your kids to a movie. These journals and note entries can be used later to reset your budget. If your spending fast can identify some areas that you spend money carelessly with no real gain then it will prove to be a life changing event.
- Track your savings each week and write a check to pay a debt at the end of each week. By using your surplus to eliminate debt weekly you will encourage yourself to continue and get the money out of your checkbook to not be tempted to spend more when the spending fast is completed.
A spending fast to eliminate debt can help a family to pay down debt during their spending fast month and also encourage new habits to be formed that can help them permanently change how they save money. A website with Christian roots that you can sign up for a 30 day spending fast is www.financialfast.com This Christian ministry will pray for you during the fast and send you some encouraging materials to help you along the way.
Good luck on your plans to eliminate debt and I hope a spending fast can get you their faster!