Take the Money Smart Challenge

A month can change your life! United Way’s Money Smart Week is set for Oct. 17 to 23.
To get ready, I, along with 10 of your Marshall County neighbors, have committed ourselves to the Money Smart Challenge, a month-long financial fast.
Our brave participants include Tim and Patty Grace, Howard and Erin Berkeypile, Tim and Angie Eads, Wendy Holloway, Sarah Hendrix, Sara Hill, and Sam Erwin. Throughout the month of September, we will report on our progress, successes, and lessons in this weekly column. You can participate along with us and share your ideas for saving some cash!
What is a financial fast? A financial fast means purchasing only the necessary items in your budget for a specified period of time. It’s a good way to sort out “wants” versus “needs.”
For instance, food, clothing, mortgage, rent, or utility bills? Those are needs — we can’t live without food, clothing, or shelter! That extra pair of shoes, just for fun, or that weekly grande-mega-latte? Those are wants — really nice, but not necessary.
Why a financial fast?
First, it’s a great way to save money and examine your spending habits. I’m often tempted to “reward” myself for something completely mundane. Finishing a list of errands isn’t exactly summiting Mount Everest. Do I always have to have that Frappuccino? When I cut back on extras, I find that rewarding myself isn’t as rewarding as more money in the bank.
Second, once I get into the habit of buying only necessities, I don’t feel as tempted to splurge, and then I don’t feel guilty when I do. Third, buying less is better for the environment. I’m not buying stuff that I will end up throwing away later.
Participate with us! Step up to the Money Smart Challenge, yourself. Take the month of September to cut out extras and e-mail your experiences to mswfinancialfast @gmail.com, password: marshallcounty.
You’ll be helping yourself and countless others get Money Smart.