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How to Use a Spending Fast to Develop the Savings Habit

Written by Rebecca Lake

Saving money is something that’s important to most people but it’s often easier said than done. According to the Federal Reserve, only 53% of Americans have enough resources to cover a $400 financial emergency. While student loan debt, credit card debt or a low income are often the biggest barriers to saving, sometimes an empty bank account is the result of poor spending decisions.

So how do you go from being a saver to spender? It takes a combination of changing your mindset and your spending patterns to get on track. Putting yourself on a spending diet may seem a little extreme but it may be just the nudge you need to start stashing away your dollars and cents.

What Is a Spending Fast and Who Needs One?

The basic premise behind a spending fast is that you commit to not spending money on anything frivolous for a set period of time. How long you plan to curb your spending is up to you but research suggests that it takes on average 66 days for a new behavior to become routine. If you’re not ready to tackle a 60-day spending fast, we recommend trying it for at least a month.

Embarking on a spending fast is a smart move for anyone who wants to save but can’t seem to find the money. It’s also a good idea if you’ve gotten in over your head with debt and you’re trying to pinpoint where your biggest money leaks are.

About the author

Rebecca Lake

Rebecca Lake is a personal finance writer and blogger specializing in topics related to mortgages, retirement and business credit. Her work has appeared in a variety of outlets around the web, including Smart Asset and Money Crashers. You can find her on Twitter at @seemomwrite or her website, RebeccaLake.net.

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