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My First Fiscal Fast

saving-money-spending-fastI first read about Fiscal Fasts when reading Midlife Mom Musings‘ recent account of her Fiscal Fast.  Now, I’m neither mid-life or in the mom stage (try quarter-life and don’t even think I could care for a fish), but I started  reading Sharon’s blog three years ago when searching for inspiration for Talking Cents Blog posts and was convinced I needed to introduce a fiscal fast into my financial life.

My fast started last night at 5:00 PM and will run until Friday at 5:00 PM. As it is my first attempt at saving money like this, I have come up with a set of rules to abide by — if it is a success I will do a variation of a fiscal fast each month and use the money “saved” to help eliminate credit card debt.

My rules:

  • 5:00 PM 1/26/14 through 5:00 PM 1/31/14
  • For 5 days I will use no cash, debit, or credit cards, and no checks (unless of course there is a medical emergency)
  • I can use gift cards/coupons if necessary (yay for $4.53 I have left on a Starbucks gift card)
  • Document my progress each day

Here’s how I’m not incurring more credit card debt this week:

I filled my gas tank up yesterday (before 5:00 PM) with enough gas to get me from home to work and back home each day with a little bit of wiggle room. To ensure this gas lasts until Friday afternoon, I am also driving a shorter route to and from work this week, even though it adds up to 20 minutes to my commute each way. I’m eliminating extra mileage and toll fees by doing this.

I did a refrigerator inventory Sunday morning and decided that with only the $25 I had left in my wallet, I could make 15 meals by buying the ingredients to add to what I already have. And I am happy to report, $21.26 and two hours in the kitchen later, all of my meals are prepped for the week. I typically spend about $40-$45 a week on groceries, so it took some creativity on what was already in the refrigerator and cabinets to allow me to cut that budget in half.

Stay tuned for more blog posts about my fiscal fast, and how it helps me pay off my credit card debt.

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