Guest post from Lisa of About Proximity
Once a year, my husband and I choose a month to practice financial fasting. Fasting is to willingly abstain from something… and we practice financial fasting to intentionally work toward not spending extra money.
Here are a few of the things we do:
We go through all our stockpiled foods and seek to use it up.
We focus on using our leftovers and digging deep into our freezer. We might work together to make a big batch of homemade waffles and freeze them. Our grocery bill decreases for the month, because we are using what we already have.
We choose all activities that are free for the month.
We visit the library for books, music, and movies. We go hiking and exploring. We make all our treats and snacks at home. On the weekend, we also pick family activities that complete a house project, like organizing the basement or raking leaves.
We use up all our free toiletry samples.
We go through our cupboards and make sure nothing has been sitting unused. If it has been sitting idle, we put it to use. We also go through drawers and use up any idle cleaning supplies, candles, or craft supplies.
We organize our house.
We gather anything for donation and take it to one of our local secondhand stores. Anything not in use, but worthwhile, we might sell or give to someone who can use it.
My husband and I have a family finance meeting.
We gather all our monthly bills and review their costs. We cancel anything that is unnecessary, and adjust anything that we are paying too much for. Doing this on a regular basis ensures that we are not missing anything that might waste our resources.
We do without.
If we run out of something in that month, before we purchase a replacement, we ask if can do without it or wait until the month is completed. For example, if we run out of lined paper, can I use the back of old documents for writing or drawing? Is there a homemade version we can make to replace what is out? Can I take time to mend or repair something that is broken?
We gather all our loose change and deposit it into our family giving bank.
When the bank is full, we choose where and for what cause to send our money.
A financial fasting month does not mean you won’t spend any money. It just provides an opportunity to be very intentional about what money you do use.
This intentional time also allows you to use the resources you already have and might have forgotten about. We find these months to be beneficial because it helps our family be intentional in everyday life throughout the year.
Lisa is a freelance writer from Holland, Michigan. She blogs about placing yourself in the proximity of renewal at About Proximity. She works with the Global Team of 200 of the organization Mom Bloggers for Social Good. Her favorite thing is to encourage others. She laughs daily with her husband, and kids Ellie and Josiah.