I am always up for a good challenge. “Thirty days to declutter your home.” I am in! “Fourteen days of prayer for your husband.” Sign me up! A friend saying, “Hey, I bet you could run a half marathon.” Sure why not?
So when I first heard the challenge of a yearlong spending fast, I jumped on board. I dreamed of the large chunk of debt we could pay off, and saw no reason to delay.
The only problem was my husband did not share my same enthusiasm. He begrudgingly agreed to participate, but only because I didn’t give him much choice. As a result, we fought over buying ice cream, replacing worn out shoes, and a variety of other items before calling off the fast after a month.
For three years I let the idea lie, with no intention of picking it back up. But as I looked over our budget this past fall, my heart sank; unless we called and asked for lower payments on our student loans, we would not have enough money to cover our expenses.
Four years early we made a plan to pay off debt, to avoid the very situation we now faced, but life had not gone as planned. My desperation to gain control over our finances sent me crawling back to the idea of a spending fast.
Learning from my past mistakes, I approached the idea cautiously and began to pray about it.
I asked God if a spending fast was even a good idea. Could we handle it considering everything else going on in our lives? Would it be beneficial? Would it honor God?