We can all benefit from having some financial strategies or tactics to utilize when striving to reach our monetary goals. Whether it’s getting out of debt, saving up for a big purchase, or trying to get more out of your budget, MV’s “Money Tactics” are meant to give you a new strategy to try to help you reach your goal!
You’ve heard of a “spending blackout,” but what about “credit card fasting?”
It’s more or less what it sounds like: You avoid using your credit card for a predetermined period of time. It’s essentially the same principle or course of action you would take if you were fasting for health or dietary reasons. Except, when you’re fasting in relation to your diet, you’re avoiding the intake of calories and nutrients. If you’re credit card fasting, you’re preventing the intake of debt or an increase in credit utilization — you’re not spending, in other words.
Credit Card Fasting in Action
Credit card fasting is one of many ways people can train themselves to be more disciplined with credit and debt. It’s not necessarily easy for everyone, but it can be effective if you stick to it. There are numerous ways to do it, too.
One woman, who was profiled by “Good Morning America” in early 2023, used credit card fasting as a tactic to help her buy a house. She also used it as a part of a larger financial plan, in which she prioritized her spending in a notebook, while also planning for unexpected expenditures that she couldn’t accurately account for yet.
Ultimately, it was a method that worked for her. But again, just because she utilized it in a certain way doesn’t mean that you need to do the same thing. In fact, you could go on a credit card fasting regimen that’s simpler and that works for you — whatever it takes to make sure you stick to it, which is the most important thing!
How to Go On a Credit Card Fast
Okay, so how do you go on a credit card fast? As mentioned, there are numerous ways to do it. But here’s a simple breakdown of how it might look. Remember, though, that the goal here is to restrict your credit usage — that’s the endgame, and if you keep that in mind, it may be easier than you think!
- Know your expenses. We often rely on credit to get us through to the next paycheck. But if you plan ahead, anticipate your expenses, and budget accordingly, you’ll put yourself in a good position.
- Leave your cards at home. Put the plastic away! Seriously — try taking your cards out of your wallet. You may not be tempted to use them if they’re not on you while you’re out and about.
- Stick to cash. Try only spending cash (when applicable). This may help keep you from overspending. Going cash-only is another popular financial tactic.
- Make realistic goals. R.I.C.H. Goals! If you feel like you’re going to struggle, try a fast for a day. Or two days. Then, as you get more comfortable, stretch your fasting period out. And remember: if it doesn’t work for you, there are other tactics you can utilize as well.
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