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Tanisha's Tips: My 21-Day Financial Fast, Day 13

Senior Editor Tanisha A. Sykes takes you on her 21-day journey to becoming debt-free.

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

“Prosperity is only an instrument to be used, not a deity to be worshipped.” –Calvin Coolidge

Day 13: Staying the Course

There have been a lot of ups and downs during the fast, but it’s teaching me discipline about my own unconscious spending habits (Starbucks, cocoa anyone?). Starbuck isn’t the culprit, the truth is I am. I have much bigger goals than a cup of tasty cocoa on the fly.

As our children, ages 9 and 16, grow taller and bigger, we have lofty goals of moving into a larger home. You see, we bought the worst-looking house on the block for an incredible price (shhh, don’t tell the neighbors), but it looks like our time in our first home is almost done. Which brings me back to the fast. I’ve been taught that if you don’t do the little things well (read: old home), you won’t do the big things well (read: new home), so this year, I’ll stay committed to paying off more debt, increasing my dreadful credit score from a real estate deal gone awry and essentially staying the course.

So far, so good. We’ve paid down two bills thus far to the tune of $1,300. This week, we plan to fix up a rental property after it was trashed by a former tenant. Mind your businesses, people. I didn’t and now it’s costing me. That’s what I’ve really learned while on this fast: You have to be intentional about what you’re going to do, otherwise you’re simply dreaming.