Do you ever fast?

By Stew

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A fast is an ancient religious practice. Fasting typically involves the voluntary abstinence from food and/or water for a period of time. There are many reasons for fasting. Some individuals partake in fasts to please their god. Others use fasting as a part of their health routine; it is a way to cleanse the body of toxins. Still others use the fast to focus the mind or to exercise control over their bodies. Sometimes food becomes too large a part of our lives and a fast can help us practice self-discipline. From time to time we will hear about a prisoner or a celebrity going on a hunger strike in order to protest some injustice.

Used properly, a fast can be a good thing for the body, mind and spirit, but fasting from food is not the only type of fast that can be beneficial. I knew a couple in college who were committed to staying chaste until marriage. They held hands and kissed, but did not go further in their physical display of affection. One of the ways that they kept their desires in check was to go for a month without touching of any kind. It helped them learn to control their desires and also strengthened their relationship by bonding them in other ways. They were able to express affection through words and activities. This “touching fast” was a good thing for their dating relationship and their future marriage.

I am sure that a lot of us could use a television fast. The TV can be a conduit for all kinds of unwanted words, scenes and attitudes into ones home. It can also distract from the process of real family bonding. Blocking the constant noise and images might be a great thing for your marriage and family.

You might find it difficult to break a habit for life, but you could try to control that habit and experience some benefit from a temporary suspension of a particular luxury. What about spending fasts? There are many ways to apply this principle to our finances.

Credit Card Fast

Stop using your credit card for a month to help get caught up or to create extra money in your budget. Can you survive without plastic? If you can’t, you have a problem.

Restaurant Fast

A big part of frugal living is to cut out eating out, but maybe you are struggling to avoid going to restaurants altogether. Just try it for a month and see how it works.

Clothing Fast

This does not mean to walk around naked, but try going a month without a clothes purchase. Some of you might struggle to keep from purchasing a pair of shoes in a month’s time.

Bottom Line

Just employ your financial fast for a week or a month to start. Don’t try to change your life overnight – anyone can cut out some spending for a short period of time. You might be surprised to find that you do not really miss that particular habit after all, but a successful fast will help you make sure that you are in control of your life – instead of food, money or stuff. - Article by Stew

Photo by alifayre


6 Responses (including trackbacks) to “Do you ever fast?”

  1. Jeff Says:

    I think this is a great idea with one caution…

    Many people splurge after a fast. For example, when I was in high school we had a 24 hour fast once a year, but then got together for a huge feast the next day.

    Just make sure that you’re actually cutting out the purchases for the time period, not just delaying them until the fast is over and trying to make it all up.

  2. Carrie Says:

    We’ve tried to do a spending fast but something always comes up, so instead we try to have a certain number of no-spend days each month.

  3. Craig Says:

    I am actually fasting today being it is Yom Kippur but have periods where I try not to use my credit card at all and save a little more.

  4. Stew Says:

    Jeff, that is a good tip – should have remembered it myself.

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