Financial Fasting! – DFA Tip of the Week – 4/6/2009

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There are many ways to reduce costs in our every day lives, so to help do just that each Monday I will post a money saving “Tip of the Week”.

“And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities.” Luke 19:17

This weeks tip involves…the benefits of financial fasting!

What is fasting?

Noah Webster originally defined fasting as “The act of abstaining from food. In his definition Webster also said of fasting that it is, “a day of religious mortification and humiliation.While voluntary abstinence from food is indeed the prime example of biblical fasting, today I challenge you to apply this concept to your finances, that you may benefit.

The following areas of your life can all be greatly influenced by a voluntary decision to abstain from normal activities.

  1. Your personal finances – regular abstinence from all spending is a fantastic exercise for all of us.
  2. Your health – voluntarily abstain from food one day a week has been shown to be very beneficial to the health of your digestive system.
  3. Your spiritual well-being – the main focus of any fast should always be to get closer to the Lord.

Effects of Financial Fasting…

Though I could go into an enormously long post explaining all areas of fasting, today I will focus solely on the benefits of fasting as it relates to our personal finances.

My wife & I recently discovered how hugely beneficial financial fasting can be. During the month of March we decided to fast from spending altogether!  This may not seem like that big of a challenge at first, but when you stop to consider & meditate on not spending any money for an entire month…you will begin to understand the enormous effect such a decision would have on your life!

Shortly after starting the fast we quickly realized we were not only saving a lot of money, but were also noticing the following effects:

  • We are much more thankful for what God has entrusted us with, and much more in tune with the fact all our possessions are not ours…but His.
  • We are much more patient with those who provide services.
  • We are much more aware of how much money we were spending unnecessarily.
  • We are much more excited about “going out to eat” and no longer take it for granted.
  • We are much more disciplined about how we will spend our money from here forward.

Although I would encourage you to start with a month long financial fast, that may be a little much for some people.  If it seems overwhelming to you then start with a day long, or week long fast.  Keep in mind that the longer you fast the more beneficial it will be.

Are you going to commit to a financial fast?  Have you participated in a financial fast in the past, what did you discover? Leave your comments…

Click here to see all our past DFA Tips of the Week.

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1 Sherry

Great site! Thanx for passing your info along to me via Frugal Dad.

About 2.5 years ago, I did a 6 month financial fast! No clothes, no nuthin’ for myself….after paying my tithing, I used every dime to pay off my debt. DH was working & covered the necessary household expenses. He did not want to participate in the “money fast” but supported me (literally) but I also trimmed the spending i.e. dinners out, unnecessary purchases, etc. I was able to pay off BOTH my son’s & my student loans as well as my car!

Keep at it, before you know it, all you debt will be gone & you will have bucks in your savings!!

2 DebtFREEk!

Thank you Sherry!

It is so motivating to hear testimonials from people who have already reached their goals of debt free living. It only deepens my drive & desire to carry forward with my goals.

I cannot wait for that day when I pay off that last dollar of debt, oh what a sweet day that will be!

3 BobV

Matt: The concept if very intriguing and was wondering if you could expand upon it a bit more. I would assume (but could be wrong), that you still paid your bills throughout the month. Also, how much extra shopping was done before the month long fast?

4 DebtFREEk!

Good question Bob,
I did continue to pay all my normal monthly expenses including bills, mortgage, utilities, CC’s, etc. However, my wife & I did not spend any money outside of these inescapable expenses.

Our grocery shopping was done once a week, & was very purposeful. We made a menu for each week before we would go & would only buy what we needed for that week’s menu. Our grocery bill had been higher in month’s past, but because of the planning has been reduced by about 25%.

I would strongly advise EVERYONE to go through the discipline of AT LEAST a month long spending fast. It re-trains you in the ability to be frugal and it is actually really exciting.

We did not feel oppressed because we couldn’t do this or that…we actually felt liberated & felt like we were really starting to live the way that God wants us to. We were being more faithful with the resources that He has entrusted to us, and it brought us a lot of joy.

We have not really stopped our financial fast. We have bought a few little things here or there since the end of that first month, but it has never been anything irresponsible or expensive.

I believe you need to exercise your frugality, just as you exercise anything else & if you don’t use it you will lose it! And I’m afraid most American’s have lost it…but we seem to be getting back to the basics now & seem to be moving in the right direction.

I truly believe this economic hardship is God breathed & is something that He wants us to go through for our own good!

5 MoneyEnergy

This is a great idea, in fact, I’m writing up an article on “financial fasting” right now. I’ve fasted several times in my life, but haven’t yet done the job of combining both at once for maximum benefit. It’s a great idea, though. You can combine all three into one day for maximum renewal.

6 Matt Jabs

Yeah, it is a great practice that really puts things into perspective. Performing this financial fast was the thing that really kick started our Debt Free Adventure…no joke!

7 wishes

The Almighty know I need a big fast in my life for financial breakthrough, please everyone keep me in your prayer. thanks,

sincerely nan

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