Recently, talk of "spending fasts" - self-imposed periods in which one eliminates all non-essential spending - has become popular in mainstream media as a way to help save towards a specific goal. If spending fasts work for you, they can help fast track your financial goals in the short-term. Read on for SEXTON ADVISORY GROUP FOUNDER STEVE SEXTON'S do's and don'ts if you're attempting a spending fast.
DO: Calculate an accurate breakdown of your expenses
Understand your essential vs. nonessential expenses by reviewing your previous 3- months' credit card statements and account for every dollar spent. Be realistic about what you consider "essential" and "non-essential."
DO: approach your fast with an abundance mindset
Instead of focusing on the things you can't buy during your fast, visualize what you can do with your financial future as a result of the fast.
DO: enlist an accountability buddy
Doing a spending fast with a friend or a partner helps keep you accountable. Schedule periodic check ins to ensure you're both on track.
DON'T: GO INTO A FAST WITHOUT A PLAN & TIMELINE
Going into a fast without a solid plan and definitive timeline will set you up to fail. Just like how starving oneself can lead to unhealthy bingeing later, overly restricting your spending in the long-term can lead to overspending and resentment down the line.
DON'T: THROW AWAY ALL YOUR EFFORTS
Have a clear understanding of how you'd like to allocate the money you save during your spending fast so you're not wasting all your hard-earned efforts!
Want more inspiration toward a happier, healthier relationship with money? Check out the Saving With Steve Show with Steve Sexton!