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Tanisha's Tips: My 21-Day Financial Fast, Day 2

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Tanisha Sykes
Tanisha Sykes

Senior Editor Tanisha A. Sykes takes you on a 21-day journey to becoming debt-free, as prescribed by author Michelle Singletary.

Day 2:

 "To find the key to wealth, I have to understand that prosperity comes with conditions. I must follow God's will and Word for my life." -Michelle Singletary

This was a better day overall. But I must admit, I cheated. I know, I know. Already, and I didn't even feel particularly bad about it, except that I kept thinking Michelle wouldn't like this one bit. You see, I saw a good friend in our cafeteria at work last week and we both said: "We must get together!"

So we set a time and day and off we went to one of my fav restaurants. I told her beforehand I was on the fast and I had actually bought my lunch to work with the intention on eating it in the cafeteria so no spending would occur. That went right out the window. One upside: I consciously took money out the bank and only spent $20. But I wonder: "Am I serious about this?" I know am because I don't want to go back to the days of miscellaneous spending, hoping I have enough in one of my checking accounts (yes, I have more than one) or not knowing exactly what I owe on my bills. Even with the minor cheating incident, I'm determined to forge ahead with lunch, snacks and healthy meal options in tow. Aside from that, I spoke with my husband about the fast, so we reviewed every bill and found some interesting facts on how to lower our household bills:

 *Save $72 a month on the cell bill: Cut the insurance for all three phones (mine, my husband's and our son's) and pay off the $380 balance on the equipment.

 *Save $18 a month on the cable bill: Return the multi-room DVRs. I'll watch Housewives of Atlanta On Demand.

 *Save $60 a month on the gas/electric bill: Pay off the $400 balance, renew the equal payment plan and make the company read our meter. They have been estimating our bill for a year and charging us randomly. My husband and I work during the day, so we're not home, but we can make an appointment to have the meter read.

Once we started looking at all of our bills, we learned very quickly that there were certain things we could do to save, slash or eliminate a lingering bill. So we made a promise to quickly eliminate 5 out of 7 of our burdens before doing anything else. We have the gas and electric bill, an IRS bill, a credit card bill and two mortgage loans from rental property that I own. All told, it's about $6500. We should be able to eliminate that debt in a few months if we stick to the plan. Then we will snowball the remaining two debts by paying a large amount on one bill while making the minimum payment on the other. Once one is paid, we will apply the extra money to the remaining debt. Then, we will be debt-free. Simple right? We'll see.

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