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Try a Fiscal Fast

Can you go a week without spending any money?

One way to rein in out-of-control spending is to observe a "fiscal fast" for one week. The idea is to try to spend no money for seven days, to see which expenses you can and cannot live without.  

Here are a few ideas from our Savings Challenge expert, Jeff Yeager:

  • Grocery-Shop in Your Pantry: You may be in the habit of stocking up at the grocery store once or twice a week, but see how many free meals you can come up with by raiding your own freezer or cupboards for foods you bought months ago.
  • Cut Down on Commuting: Is it possible for you to carpool or ride a bike to work for a few days? You could save money, socialize with co-workers and maybe lose a few pounds.
  • Flush Out Those Toiletries: You may have travel-size bottles of shampoo, tubes of toothpaste or bars of soap from past hotel stays in a closet somewhere. Try to use them up before you buy more.
  • Free Family Fun Night: Break out the board games or a movie from your library rather than heading to the movies on weekends.

Even if the fiscal fast lasts for just a few days, hopefully you'll have saved a few dollars to help you pay down your debt or jump-start your savings.

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