07 May 2012

Money Right May

On May 1st - I started the 21 day financial fast for my third or fourth time since it was released in 2010.  I have never successfully completed it but I am determined to complete it this time.

So what is the 21 day financial fast?  Michelle Singletary, Washington Post Financial columnist and amazing woman of God, wrote this book - The Power to Prosper, 21 Days to Financial Freedom.  The whole purpose of the book is to refrain from spending on anything that is not a necessity for 21 days.  That means if you forget to pack your lunch, you don't get to run down to the bistro in your office building. It means if you run our of coffee creamer and want to just run through Starbucks instead - you better divert that $4.50 spent on a Caramel Mach to purchasing a bottle of caramel mach creamer at the grocery store that will last you a week, versus that one drink lasting you 10 minutes.

It's about behavior changes and being conscious in your choices.  I went the first 4 days without spending anything except for the purchase of gas and some business supplies through my business account.  I am determined to be successful at this because I want to help mentor you to take control of your financial freedom.

Day 5 while in my hometown this weekend, I bought some nachos and Mexican soda pop for me and Munchkin to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. I spent $9 and have total guilt over it. It was selfish and a choice I could have chosen not to make - but I rationalized with myself until I made it ok.  The good thing is - the next day - I was able to pick right back up and recommit.

I learned a few valuable lessons my first week of the financial fast:

1. You have to prepare. If I am prepared by shopping smart at the grocery store for the week, I have everything I need for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
2. You have to prepare. The nights and mornings where I prepared my breakfast and dinner ahead of time, left me feeling empowered. The mornings where I didnt, I had to seriously fight the temptation to stop at my favorite breakfast burrito spot.
3. Get focused. Why is it that you want to change your financial behaviors? Keep a journal about how you feel about things. My focus is that I can't claim to run a virtuous home and be living in debt. One has to go and I vote that the debt be the one!

I would love to hear if you are interested in joining a financial fast, what your reasons for fasting would be, and what your purpose for changing your financial behaviors will be your driving force.

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