Money isn't something that is discussed openly in general - and even less so within the wellness industry. However, a survey conducted by Stress in America in 2017 reported 62% of Americans shared money was a significant source of stress in their lives.
Whether you like it or not, money clearly affects the majority of us. Even if not a significant source of stress, all of us have money matters to deal with. It's important to recognize that having a healthy relationship with money is a key factor that can help transform our overall well-being.
If you're one of the 60% and plus that feel financial stress, perhaps you should consider taking a Spending Fast. Maybe you're saving for goal, paying off debt, or simply need a reset. Whatever your reason, a no-spend challenge might be just what you need to really change your relationship with money.
Similar to how we take cleanses to feel good in our bodies, we can take a Spending Fast to feel good about our finances.
Here's what you need to know:
1. Take stock of your financial state. It doesn't have to be an all-out Excel spreadsheet. Just take inventory of your general state of financial affairs. Make a list of all current bills, expenses, subscriptions, debts, etc. - and then one including all sources of income.
2. Choose a length and time that will be doable. If you begin overly ambitious, you're risking striking out and becoming discouraged. Try just a weekend, and challenge yourself to build up to a month overtime.
3. Decide what is considered an essential expense. Things like groceries, gas, rent, and other bills are required for you to continue living a normal, healthy life. Document your list of essentials, because "needs" and "wants" tend to become blurry once in the midst of the challenge.
4. Tell someone you love to stay accountable. Whether or not the person you tell joins you, having someone to report progress back to will keep you more likely to follow through. Accountability is a must for any sort of challenge!
5. Remember your why. Before you begin, get clear on your intention behind pursuing a spending fast. Visualize how great you will feel if you commit to the time and length you set for your challenge. What can you accomplish through this discipline? When you feel an impulse to spend, come back to your why.