Are you, like many people, addicted to spending money? FYI: Retail therapy may be a form of mismanaged anger. How much money do you have saved up for emergencies? Is money (or the lack of it) a stressor for you right now? If so, listen up. It’s time to go on a financial fast for 21 days… staring now! FYI: your job is not to support the US economy—BY YOURSELF! If your financial house is not in order, your job is to get it in order—Today. This means “fast” from compulsory consumerism (buying things you don’t need with money you don’t have, thus perpetuating more stress). Michelle Singeltary is a financial columnist for the Washington Post and she now recommends a 21-day fast with all credit cards and debit cards: Cash only for all transactions (and not from an ATM!) Be conscious about how you spend your money. Michelle says that by placing yourself on a financial fast, very likely you can get a better handle on your finances and even put some money away for savings (everyone should have enough money in a savings account to cover expenses for a 3-6 month period of no income). If you are married, get your spouse on board too. In fact, get the whole family on board. Act and teach responsibly.
• Stress Tip of the Day
OK… first put away your credit cards and debit cards… for three weeks (some people suggest placing them in a glass of water and placing the glass of water in the freezer—Good idea!) Pay attention to your spending, all of it. Make purchases on a needs basis only (not wants, but actual needs: food, clothing, shelter, mostly food and shelter, forget new clothing for right now). Do you really need a Starbucks Latte today. No! Blockbuster DVD rentals? NO! You can live without these things, especially for 21 days (and if your Catholic looking for a Lent idea, consider making it 40 days!) A financial fast, like all kinds of fasts is a symbolic means to do some introspection about your life. Put away the plastic and start looking inside.
• Links Worth Noting:
Here is the link to Michelle’s Washington Post column. She also has a book on this same topic (but don’t buy it during your financial fast—wait… or better yet, go to your nearest local library where all books are free and get it there!)
• Photo of the Day:
This image was taken for my Managing Stress Textbook PowerPoint slide set on Resource management. I hope it inspires you to “take the fast.” Consider downloading the image as your screen saver for the next 21 days.
• Quote for the Day:
“There’s a real danger in relying on credit—even if you pay off your bill every month. Paying with plastic just makes buying too easy. Swipe, and within seconds you can be mired in debt.” — Michelle Singeltary
Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D. is an internationally renowned expert in the fields of stress management, mind-body-spirit healing and stress and human spirituality. He is the author of over 10 books including the bestsellers, Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water, Stressed Is Desserts Spelled Backward, The Art of Calm, Quiet Mind, Fearless Heart and Managing Stress (6E). He can be reached through his website:www.brianlukeseaward.net
© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.