I was not ready for a financial fast

Recently I was introduced to the concept of financial fast by Canna Campbell from SugarMamma.TV and wanted to give it a try. I should have known better.

I can safely say that I am not irresponsible with money (anymore). I save, invest, budget, and spend thoughtfully. But financial fast revealed so much about me to me. Sometimes, it was hard and other times it was just plain delight.

What is a financial fast?
Canna describes this as recalibrating ourselves. I feel that’s the perfect word to describe financial fast. In our day-to-day life we get into a state where we keep spending, not necessarily on useless things, but without which we can live. You may particularly experience this around holidays, festivals, birthdays or anniversaries, vacations. 

“Oh, but it’s on sale!”
“But it’s for my/his/her birthday.”
“Diwali, Christmas comes only once in a year.”

All these reasons are valid, and it’s okay to splurge ones in a while. So do I. I usually splurge for my birthday. So, this year I decided to go on a financial fast after my birthday in June & July, and it was quite any experience.

Taking stock of my money habits.
Since I track my expenses, it was easy to see what I was spending on. I knew where the expenses were over budget and why. It was also helpful as I reconnected with my WHY behind my financial goal for this year.

Cutting down a few things here and there.
Even though my husband and I are not spendthrifts we do occasionally indulge ourselves. So in June, we decided to cut down on some food items like chocolates and chips. This was also good as we ate really clean and healthy. Instead of grabbing chips when hungry we had sprouts.
Planning our weekly menu before shopping for grocery has been working perfect for us as there is no wastage.

It may sound easy, but it wasn’t always so. 
At times we had to hold ourselves back and differ some purchases. In the hindsight, which is always 20:20, it made me reconnect with my core values. And it’s surprising how some things which feel like you cannot live without becomes redundant when you remind yourself of your core values.

At the end of it all.

1. A Little money saved here and there ADD UP.
2. Somethings need to get done, and it’s better to spend money on them the first time around than having to pay extra to correct it.
3. Some activities, like going on a date with your spouse or meeting with a close friend should not be cut. These are soulful, bonding moments. Don’t put a price on it.
4. I like expensive stuff, and there is nothing wrong with that. Financial fast does not mean going back on the quality of life you have built for yourself.
5. Financial fast is not at all sustainable just like spending money irresponsibly isn’t. But it’s good to take it on just after a vacation or festivals, as this helps restore balance (literally) to your bank account.

I did not dramatically stop doing anything.
I still had a budget and did not change it in any way.

At the end of two months, I was able to save Rs. 10,400 from the amount I had in the budget because of practicing financial fast. 

This number may seem significant to some and insignificant to others, but it’s important to look at what it represents.
We, at times, do get into the cycle of spending and by just being conscious of where and how we spend our money can make a lot of difference.