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It’s the end of March and we are well into the Lenten Season – a time of reflection where Christians deny themselves, typically through fasting, in preparation for Christ’s Resurrection on Easter Sunday. It is through Christ’s suffering, death, and resurrection that we are saved and therefore begin 40 days of self-denial and prayer, symbolic of the 40 days Jesus spent in the wilderness.

Lent began on Wednesday, March 1, 2017 and ends on Saturday, April 15, 2017

While many will deny themselves of sweets or give up social media during this time, I invite you to join me on a 21- day Financial Fast. I first read about this idea in an online article written by Michelle Singletary via The Washington Post. Read the entire article here.

Since my initial introduction, I have seen friends successfully encourage others to follow suit at the beginning of each year. It is such a wonderful idea, but I have always wondered if I could really do it…

Without thinking too long and hard, I reasoned the Lenten Season would be one of the best times to abstain from a few of life’s luxuries. After all, Satan will use anything, including our relationship with money and material things to distract us and keep us from seeking spiritual food.

Rules of Engagement
For the next 21 days (starting on Sunday, March 26 through Saturday, April 15), we will adhere to the following:
1- Refrain from any unnecessary spending and limit spending to basic needs.
2- To heighten your awareness of what is being spent, do not use any credit cards for purchases.  Use cash for all purchases, and limit the use of your debit card.

ALLOWED: groceries (think major food groups), cleaning supplies, prescriptions, school supplies
DISALLOWED: eating out at restaurants, gifts, shopping online

Note: Read the entire article (referenced above) for more examples of acceptable spending and more importantly, what you should avoid. Then, Sign Up for The Financial Fast here!

Plan for Success
Prepare: The key to success is to plan ahead. Think through what your biggest challenge may be and devise a plan to overcome it.

Commune: Share your plans to participate in this financial fast with family, friends and coworkers AND invite them to participate with you. Establish a community of encouragement and accountability to increase your chances of success, and check The Master Playbook Community on Facebook each week as I share my results.

Pray: Ask God to show you where you can become a better steward of your finances. Strengthen your faith as you overcome temptation and practice self-control, patience, and perseverance.

Your Reward
I fully expect this challenge will provide greater insight into any wasteful spending habits, highlight better uses of your time (since you will be avoiding places AND websites that may tempt you to spend frivolously) and save you money to pay down debt, deposit into a savings or investment account, or give to your favorite charity.

We want to hear from you. Acknowledge your participation and let me know I’m not alone in this journey. What do you expect to gain from participating? What will you do with your savings? No matter when you stumble upon this post, you can begin the financial fast anytime and share your insights and any obstacles along the way.