Here are some tips for kicking off the new year with a fiscal fast.
The idea is to try and go one whole week without spending money, to try and get spending out of your system. You might discover new things to do with your time – like watching TV (IKR?), playing games, going for walks, having friends over for coffee (and home made cookies).
Note: By “not spend any money”, we mean all but the essentials. You’ll need gas, you might need some food, but no coffees, no beers, no donuts, no fast food, no “these shoes were really on sale”, no “well, we will need this later and when we do it won’t be this cheap”.
To help you with your fast experts suggest…
- try avoiding the usual spending places (malls, online stores)
- avoid flyers, emails from stores (particularly those holding “Unbelievable Boxing Month Sales”)
- avoid shopping enablers (nothing worse than trying to quit shopping while still hanging out with your shopping buddies – won’t work)
Lots of people are fiscal fasting. I found some good inspiration with a Google search for “Fiscal Fast” …
“…Just a quick report on our 1-week fiscal fast for our family of four (2 little ones ages 3 & 1). We spent exactly zero dollars hooray. It was a great week. Both of us have plenty of gas left too… My wife 1/2 a tank and myself 7/8 tank full in my truck and a quarter tank in my Harley-Davidson motorcycle. We declutterd and cleaned all the rooms in the house also so that was great.
We decided to do it again this week. My wife is a trooper and my kids are too young to know the difference. For me when I am not traveling for work it’s not that bad and teaches me to use what I have, conserve, be resourceful, and to be thankful.”
“… I didn’t, however, fill up my gas tank. It is half full and will be [hopefully] enough to get me to work. I plan on sticking close to home on the days I don’t work. I also didn’t stock up on food, just added a few items here and there. I think I have more than enough in my fridge and pantry, but I guess we’ll see!
After entering my last entries into my spending diary, I was actually excited to put it away for the next 7 days. What will I do instead of shopping? Oh the possibilities are endless….
paint my nails
clean up the house
take long, bubble baths
walk the dog
Well, I think you get the idea…”
“Try a Short Fiscal Fast…
Think of it as forgoing the use of legal tender for the sake of tenderizing your non-monetary soul.
The Golden Rule: NO stockpiling in advance. A fiscal fast is the week to use it up, make it last, or do without.
It’s a chance to eat up the groceries in your cupboards and refrigerator, especially food stuff nearing its expiration date. It’s the week to try carpooling or walking or bicycling to work rather than driving. And a fiscal fast gives you a chance to finally open up those little bottles of shampoo you’ve been saving from the Holiday Inn for the past 20 years, and rediscover all the terrific clothes in your closet you forgot you even own.
It’s a week for your family to make its own fun, rather than pay for entertainment; dig out those old board games you haven’t played in years or borrow some books from the library.”