Yes folks, here I got again, extolling the virtues of Lent and how you can use it to your advantage for your Personal Finances.
Easter is the time for new beginnings or restarting something you need to start doing again, and most people view Lent as a time to “find something to give up”, but that is dull and shows little flare, so another way is to look for something to Enrich your life for the 40 days of Lent (leading up to Good Friday and Easter).
Think about your spiritual journey, yes please do, however, also take advantage of this journey to work on your home finances as well!
Your Financial Lenten Journey
What areas of your personal finances could use either Enrichment or Better still a sacrifice that might help your financial well being? There are some very simple ones that I think about every year (and have done a few of them):
- The Latte withdrawal penance. Cut out buying coffee for the 40 days of Lent and put that money aside, to either save, give to charity or pay down your debt. Keep track of this and see how much money you might be saving here, it’s worthwhile finding out where this discretionary money is going.
- Read 4 Personal Finance books over the 40 days to enrich your understanding of your personal finances or your investing adventures. Building up your expertise over Lent is a good thing.
- Brown bag it for 40 days, give up buying lunch at work, and bring your lunch instead. Another way to find out where your discretionary spending is going.
- Take the bus to work for Lent, leave the car at home, buy a bus pass and take the Bus to work. Yes gas is cheaper right now, but not driving might have other benefits for you (less stress, more exercise, etc.,).
- Read financial blogs every day: another way to build up your understanding of finance is reading and learning.
- Open a TFSA and put found money there: OK, not really a Lent thing per say, but still somewhere to put your new found moneys.
- Live on cash for 40 days and get rid of your credit cards. Freeze them in your freezer, lock them in your safety deposit box, or cut them up, but live on CASH only (no debit either) and see if you can do it, does it change your spending habits? This one is one heck of a heavy one, and anyone who does try it keep me posted and I will encourage you as best I can!
Think about these or suggest others, I am open to suggestions myself. Shrove Tuesday is coming and then Ash Wednesday means Lent begins and your journey begins that day.
I’m giving you a weeks head start to start thinking about this stuff folks!
I always find proponents of cash only kind of funny. Cash is untraceable, and easy to fritter away on many small purchases. The spending statistics that I collect tell me how I’m doing. Attempting to live cash-only would increase my spending, not decrease it. I’m a big believer that spending analysis, far easier to do on credit and debit spending, is the key to financial control.
Plus my credit card gives me free airline tickets, and an interest-free loan on which I earn (admittedly very small amounts) of interest.