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

Fasting is a Journey, Not a Race

“Today, I’ll think about something in my life that I did or purchased that I now realize was giving in to a sense of entitlement.” -Michelle Singletary

 Days 6-12:

 So far, so good on the fast. I can honestly say my mind-set is starting to change in terms of not spending on miscellaneous items. I’ve always been responsible; paying bills, lowering debt and investing for my future. But I didn’t realize how daily spending on items I didn’t need affected my overall budget. The great news is that I’ve already paid off $1,000 of debt over the past couple of weeks. Here are some lessons from Days 6-12 on how I did it:

Day 6 Lesson:

Money is clarity. When my finances are right, everything else falls into place.

Day 7 Lesson:

I know a lot of people who say ‘I don’t make enough money.’ I was one of them. In reality, you’re spending too much.

Day 8 Lesson:

There’s a big difference between wants and needs. Wants are nice to have. Needs are necessary. Before you buy one more thing, ask yourself ‘Is this a want or a need?’

Day 9 Lesson:

Habits are easy to break and hard to create. It’s Day 9 and I’ve finally been taking my lunch for six days straight. This fast is working. 

Day 10 Lesson:

I had like 5 money goals that I was trying to accomplish simultaneously in 2013. Nothing got done. This is my year to focus and get it done one step at a time. 

Day 11 Lesson:

People have a lot to say about your business and nothing to say about their own. It’s time for me to mind my own business and forget the noise.

Day 12 Lesson:

The best lesson of all: With each passing day, God gives me the courage to do what He intended me to do.