21 days to financial freedom
The book features several budget templates and journal pages to help you analyze your spending and savings.
Track your money
Latest Color of Money Columns
Where is all your money going? How can you save for the things you want? Plan for the next step in your life with practical advice from Michelle Singletary.
Color of Money Book Club
Want to know which personal finance books to read? Join the Color of Money Book Club.
In The Media
About The Author
Singletary writes the nationally syndicated personal finance column, "The Color of Money," which appears in The Post on Thursday and Sunday. Her award-winning column is also carried in more than 120 newspapers. In her spare time, Singletary is the director of a ministry she founded at her church, in which women and men volunteer to mentor others who are having financial challenges.
About the Book
In the "The Power to Prosper," Michelle Singletary has a financial challenge for you. For twenty-one days, you will put away your credit cards and buy only what you need for survival. With Michelle’s guidance, you’ll discover how to break your spending habit and your bondage to debt, make smart investments, and be prepared for any emergency.
Buy the book at Amazon.com.
FAQ: You Ask, Michelle Answers
Question: The fast was somewhat successful. I didn't stay on track. I did learn to make coffee before I left home and to take my lunch to work. I did not do any shopping week one. I brought the book but fell behind in my reading and just got off track. I going to start over in March. Do most people have to do this more that once to complete it as your book recommends? Should I start again? As I was reading, I kept thinking I should have read the book before I started. -Mary
First, congratulations for getting through most of the fast. Don't be too hard on yourself for not doing the fast perfectly. It's hard to shut down unnecessary shopping and credit use for 21 days because, in this country, we have been so conditioned to shop and use plastic.
As for your first question, yes, many people have to start and restart the fast again. This is a tough challenge and it goes against the consumerism we've come to love in the U.S. I do the fast at least once a year and I still mess up too!
So yes, go ahead and give it another try. And no, you don't have to read the book first and then do the fast. The way to do it is to focus on reading just one chapter a day. Then try to do the daily tasks listed at the end of each chapter.
Additionally, it might help you tremendously the second time around to get an accountability partner. Find someone to do the fast with you. There is power in numbers. If you have a partner, you can cheer each other on and call each other when you are tempted to go shopping or use your credit card. Most important, even if you get off track again, even following the fast a little will help you become a better money manager.