Fasting from unnecessary spending
becoming universal theme

1001029_017400100773_A_400DAY THREE _ Who’d have ever thought? Today, I walked into a supermarket, bypassed the carts and picked up exactly what I’d planned: rice, a pre-roasted chicken and pasta sauce (that I can, as they say on American Idol), make my own. I paid with $20 and got $6 change back.

And I left.

I didn’t peruse the cheese or international aisles. I didn’t pick up snacks. I didn’t grab any of the dozen things that, last week, I would have pulled off shelves just because I’d seen a recent commercial.

I am doing the fast, or as Roland Martin would say, “I’m doin’ the daggone thang.” And I still can’t believe it.

But I did cheat.

My Starbucks card already had money on it, money that I can’t use for anything else, so I got a coffee. And I talked to the barrista on duty, like I have with every other person I’ve encountered, about what I was doing – the 21-Day Financial Fast designed by The Washington Post’s Michelle Singletary. She stunned me.

“I do my own fast every December,” she said of a program she designed that also is spirit-based. Every year, she said, she changes her payroll deduction to a printed paycheck. She buys Christmas gifts and accoutrements only with cash. And it works for her. (Her husband, she said, used his credit card at Target to buy a single DVD and had to replace all of his debit and credit cards).

I thanked her for her story, and I took the short way out of the store, rather than the long final walk I usually do – more focused than ever. I didn’t even buy a lottery ticket.

So I still have $6 and a resolve to finish this Financial Fast.