My theme for 2014 is discipline, so I wanted to start the year taking that very serious. I decided that on the first of the year, I would go on a 21 day financial fast.
I have done Michelle Singletary's fast for the past 3 years. Or at least attempted to. I would start, but don't think I ever finished. You can read more about that here.
The entire purpose of the fast is to take a break from consumption. The rules are you cannot purchase anything that is not a necessity - you may not eat out; go to the movies; buy new clothes; drink at Starbucks.
Oh, and you must use cash. Debit cards may be linked to your cash, but they are a no go on this plan.
I have to admit, it wasn't difficult for me to get through the fast at all. When you're committed to doing something, and have goals to reach, you will do what it takes. I turn 30 in July, so I am determined to not take old debt and baggage into this exciting new decade of my life. I have bigger and better things to focus on.
Each Friday, I would take out just enough cash for my grocery budget for the week as well as cash for gas. Doing this one week at a time helped so that I wouldn't dip into the next week's pot. Sticking to a gas budget is usually difficult because I commute 60 miles to work each day, but I was determined to stay on budget.
I also became very intentional in directing my money where to go. I actually now have my money planned out for the next 2 months. It's liberating to have a plan.
I did learn some valuable lessons this go around about myself and just how much I've matured.
1. I can do anything I put my heart to.
2. I have everything I need.
3. It is nice to be disciplined and live in control of your life.
It's taken me 4 tries to get it and complete it. Many of the philosophies had been sticking with me over the years, however, now I have the discipline and the desire to see them through.
I can't wait to give my "debt free" scream!