05/17/2022: 21 Day – Mini Financial Fast

Dollar bill on a plate.

Who doesn’t love a clean slate, a fresh start, an opportunity to do big things! Every day is a new beginning and a chance to achieve your goals.  Start that new workout you’ve been putting off.  Maybe, forgo the burgers and fries for the latest sea moss craze? Perhaps, balance your checkbook and stay on a budget.

Who’s with me?

I can already hear the resounding “meh.” Listen, I’ll be the first to admit, I can have THE. BEST. INTENTIONS of popping out of bed like a firecracker when my alarm goes off and hopping on the treadmill. I’ll even set my alarm a good 30-45 minutes earlier than normal, place my tennis shoes at the end of the bed before I hit the sack and then visualize myself running 5 miles like it AIN’T. NO. THANG!

And then something terribly predictable happens. My morning alarm goes off, I hit snooze one too many times, wake up late and get to work with two different shoes on.

I guess it happens to the best of us, but instead of throwing in the towel until next Monday or next month, there’s no reason we can’t prepare realistic plans and goals that we can start achieving today. Once we have a few accomplishments under our belts, we’ll be more comfortable tackling the 5 miles at 6 am.

Now who’s with me! 

Goal: 21 Day – Mini Financial Fast

You know what’s easier than running at the crack of dawn? A few days of unnecessary purchases to get us on track and potentially break us of a bad spending habit or two. Right? We got this! Let’s start by laying out a plan that will be easy to follow.

  • It really needs to last for 21 days
    Studies show that it takes 21 days to create a habit. Perfect, we discipline ourselves for 3 weeks and then autopilot kicks in! I’m excited already.
  • Keep track
    First, let’s make a list of our monthly bills so we have a grasp on our starting point. Grab an old notebook and write down everything. What did we spend? Where did we save? Where did we struggle? By keeping track, we’ll be able to identify successes and places we need to be more cautious.
  • Essentials only
    Remember, it’s a mini financial fast. We’re sticking to it like glue. Expenses like rent or mortgage payments, utilities, and groceries are essentials. This eliminates eating out, going to the movies and having our nails done. #21Days. When it feels like a struggle remember, we’re reprogramming our brains! Honestly, I don’t even know the success rate of professionally reprogrammed brains, but skipping Olive Garden for a couple weeks sounds so much safer!
  • Pay with cash
    It’s much easier to track our spending when it’s visual. Hide credit and debit cards during the fast.
  • Remove temptations
    We might need to delete our Amazon apps for a few weeks. And, say it with me, “The Target Dollar Spot Will Not Lure Me In!”
  • Add a free hobby
    Replace weekend a shopping trip with a good book or take Fido to the dog park for a few hours. And, I don’t know, maybe we could declutter a closet or two and donate some things we don’t use anymore. Bonus!
  • Get accountable
    Enlist a friend to join the fast. It’s more fun to stay on track when there’s a cheering section and an accountability partner.  Go ahead and tag your most responsible buddy to play along.
  • Celebrate
    After we complete our quick 21 days, we can deposit the extra money into our savings or pay down a debt. Yassss! Tell me that doesn’t feel good!

Hey, I know… it might sound like a challenge, but it’s actually pretty simple. Brew coffee at home before work instead of grabbing Starbucks, make a casserole instead of ordering pizza on Friday night, skip the theater and opt for a movie at home with freshly popped popcorn! By eliminating a few extras, we can easily save $100 or more a week. It won’t be long and we’ll be on our way to financial responsibility, better habits and fresh starts!

Cheers to Doing Big Things!

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