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The 21-Day Financial Fast: Your Path to Financial Peace and Freedom [Kindle Edition]

Michelle Singletary
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (119 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Financial Peace and Freedom in 21 Days

In The 21-Day Financial Fast, award-winning writer and The Washington Post columnist Michelle Singletary proposes a field-tested financial challenge. For twenty-one days, participants will put away their credit cards and buy only the barest essentials. With Michelle’s guidance during this three-week financial fast, you will discover how to:

  • Break bad spending habits

  • Plot a course to become debt-free with the Debt Dash Plan

  • Avoid the temptation of overspending for college

  • Learn how to prepare elderly relatives and yourself for future long-term care expenses

  • Be prepared for any contingency with a Life Happens Fund

  • Stop worrying about money and find the priceless power of financial peace

As you discover practical ways to achieve financial freedom, you’ll experience what it truly means to live a life of financial peace and prosperity.

Thousands of individuals have participated in the fast and as a result have gotten out of debt and become better managers of their money and finances. The 21-Day Financial Fast is great for earners at any income-level or stage of life, whether you are living paycheck-to-paycheck or just trying to make smarter financial choices.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Michelle Singletary writes an award-winning personal finance column for The Washington Post called "The Color of Money," which appears in more than one hundred newspapers across the country. The author of two other books, Singletary has appeared on numerous national television and radio programs, including Oprah, The Today Show, The Early Show, The View, Meet the Press, CNN, MSNBC, Nightline, Tavis Smiley, NPR, The Diane Rehm Show, The Tom Joyner Morning Show, and Yolanda Adams Morning Show. Her television program, Singletary Says, can still be seen on TV One. To learn more visit or

Product Details

  • File Size: 812 KB
  • Print Length: 242 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 5 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
  • Publisher: Zondervan (January 7, 2014)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishing
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00DL10HHQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #125,050 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
133 of 149 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars For Conservative Christians Only.... January 12, 2014
I was really looking forward to reading this book and following the 21 Day Financial Fast. I've followed Singletary's column in the Post for a long time and I have always really liked it. I was expecting the book to be similar to her column, which is why I was so surprised by the book. The advice in the book is completely based on conservative Christian values.

On Day 2 the focus is to identify which of the Ten Commandments you have broken that have left you broke.

Day 4 is an entire chapter devoted to tithing. And her advice in this chapter is where she lost me. Her advice on how to agree with your spouse on tithing (if one does not want to tithe and the other does), is that the wife should "submit to his leadship" and go with her husband's wishes. But for the opposite, if the wife wants to tithe and the husband does not, she says that the wife should "Make an appeal for tithing without becoming disrespectful of belligerent. Do what you can to make your case but don't go against his wishes. You could tithe off the amount of money allocated in your budget for your own personal use."

I really tried to stick with this book, even though from the start is was overwhelmingly Christian focused. I thought that I could separate out the biblical references and conservative ideology and apply the financial principles to my situation. But Singletary has mixed them together so thoroughly that it is clear she feels you can only be financially successful if you follow her belief system.

There should have been mention of these conservative Christian views in the description of the book. On the entire back cover description there is not a single mention of God or religion, which is particularly deceptive since there is not a single page in the whole book that does not have a bible verse or reference to "God given" money/wealth.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
So since this has somehow become a major point of contention for those who are rating the book poorly, I will start by saying I am NOT a conservative Christian. No, no, no, no, way. I am a Pro-Choice, Gay Rights, left-leaning dem and I liked this book. The principals behind this book are humanistically sensible! She is teaching you how to get at the root of why you spend like you do and then how to make a plan of action to STOP DOING IT! All while in the midst of the very exercise that at its conclusion can have easily saved you a $100 plus dollars in 21 days. For her the basis by which she does this is rooted in her faith and upbringing. For you or others reading it may be as simple as the need to get up from under the debt that is “oppressing” you. If you aren’t able to look to God for that direction and focus, would not the ability to stop and examine yourself still be of value for the period of just 21-days?

Of course the point of the book in its entirety is to read it and do the journaling exercises which again I, as a woman of faith ---though not the same as the author, personally had no issue with--- but if the mere appearance of the word God is a bridge too far for you then you will be missing out on the sound financial advice that is contained within these pages.
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25 of 30 people found the following review helpful
By Julie
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
What surprised me about this book was the layout. It does not follow the typical financial advice book that you read through as your schedule permits. This book is organized with a short introduction chapter followed by 21 short chapters, one for each day of the fast. She also encourages you to keep a journal and has a journal topic/activity at the end of the day to help you really dig into yourself to examine yourself and create change. I think it would be almost impossible to read the book, earnestly do the journal entries and not walk away with a more Godly attitude toward money.

I am a Christian, and while others have rated the book low because it was written from a Christian perspective, that is exactly what I appreciate about it. This is not just advice to teach you how to be rich in a worldly way. It is financial advice designed and presented in a format that seeks to create change in Godly people who want to better use the resources God has blessed us with so that we become spiritually rich and financial wise.

I am so thankful to have purchased this book after hearing an interview with the author on NPR. It is helping me to create healthy financial changes in my heart and to my wallet.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Read the book and save money January 30, 2014
By bigal
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The book is jammed full of smart things to do or not to do with your money. You can download spreadsheets from Michelle's web site to help you along the way.
Michelle is a very smart and religious person. I feel a bit to much religion is spoken in this book.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great challenge March 11, 2014
Michelle, challenges her readers in The 21-Day Financial Fast: Your Path to Financial Peace and Freedom to take 21 days and to not buy anything but what they really need. She also challenges the reader to use only cash during those 21 days. The book is split up into 21 chapters for the 21 days. Along the way, Michelle shares many financial tips that will hopefully change how you look at money in the future.

I don't know about you, but I need to be challenged at times to think about sometimes what I am spending my money on. Do I truly need what I am buying?

I am not currently participating in the 21 day fast, but I think it would be a hard thing to do. Not buying anything that is not needed. At one point, I thought Michelle went a little too far. She said that if during the fast, your boyfriend wants to take you out to eat, you need to say no because that is taking part of consuming. I think if you aren't choosing to spend the money, then you need to allow others to bless.

I did think that this book was well laid out and think that the principles are very applicable. Truth that many Americans need to put into practice. I have to admit that there are some areas that I need to work on as well.

Thank you to BookLook Bloggers for allowing me to review this book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Book was great. The process will be painful but you do ...
Book was great. The process will be painful but you do what you need to do to be financially stable.
Published 17 hours ago by Shannon LaPlant
5.0 out of 5 stars The 21-Day Financial Fast gave me excellent advice as well as biblical...
The 21-Day Financial Fast gave me excellent advice as well as biblical principles to achieve my goals. It also assisted me with setting up a budget and sticking to it.
Published 12 days ago by Peggy Thompson
5.0 out of 5 stars 21 day financial fast
I recommend this book for all who struggle with overspending and running out of money before the month is out.
Published 15 days ago by Columbia, SC
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Life changing ideas and lessons......
Published 21 days ago by John Thomas
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read and excellent road map to financial freedom
Enlightening and Convicting. Great read and excellent road map to financial freedom.
Published 24 days ago by Jeri W.
5.0 out of 5 stars Steping stone to taking control of your Finances
This book has added to the exist list of books and knowledge I have to take control of my spending and change my life for the better. Read more
Published 25 days ago by ShoeAdmirer
5.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Wonderful book!!
Published 29 days ago by katie
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a great book. Thanks
I am still using the financial plan after the 21 days.... This is a great book. Thanks
Published 1 month ago by Harmon
5.0 out of 5 stars 21 days fast
This was a great book. I really wanted to get a hold of my finances and this book helped me do just that. T will be reading it again in a month. I highly recommend this book.
Published 1 month ago by Donnette Robinson
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Wonderful read! Practical information regarding finances for singles and couples.
Published 1 month ago by p.e.
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More About the Author

Michelle Singletary is a nationally syndicated columnist for The Washington Post. Her column, "The Color of Money" is an award-winning column, which is now carried in about 100 newspapers across the country including the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Miami Herald, Boston Globe, Tampa Tribune and Philadelphia Inquirer.

In 2003, she published her first book, "7 Money Mantras For A Richer Life: How To Live Well With The Money You Have (Random House). The paperback was retitled "Spend Well, Live Rich."

Her second book, "Your Money and Your Man: How You and Prince Charming Can Spend Well and Live Rich" was released in January 2006, also published by Random House. The paperback was released in February 2007. Her third book, "The Power to Prosper: 21 Days to Financial Freedom," was released in January 2010 by Zondervan, a HarperCollins company.

In Jan. 2014, an updated and expanded book of "The Power to Prosper" was released. It was retitled "The 21 Day Financial Fast: Your Path to Financial Peace and Freedom." It was also published by Zondervan.

In January 2006, Singletary launched her first national television program "Singletary Says" on TV One, owned Radio One and Comcast. "Singletary Says" is a half hour personal finance reality show in which Singletary visits people in their homes to help resolve various financial issues. The second Season of Singletary Says debuted in November 2006. Following her second season, she hosted a personal finance special for TV One, "Real Estate Realities: When the Boom Goes Bust." The special, which aired in 2008, focused on how the real estate crisis impacted the African-American community.

Singletary was a regular personal finance contributor for National Public Radio's afternoon program "Day To Day." Although NPR eliminated the program for budgetary reasons, you can still hear Singletary on various NPR shows including "All Things Considered," "Talk of the Nation," "Here and Now" and "Marketplace Money." She was an AOL money coach having produced a series of workshops on love and money.

She is frequently asked to appear on local and national radio programs including the "Diane Rehm Show" and the "Yolanda Adams Morning Show." She has appeared on all three major networks, NBC, ABC and CBS. She has prepared personal finance segments for local and national news programs, and for a number of network and nationally syndicated programs, including "Oprah," "NBC's Today Show," "The Early Show on CBS," "Nightline," CNN, "The View," and "Tavis Smiley" on PBS. She has appeared on "Meet The Press" and other national news programs, including CNN. In 2000, she was recruited as a regular contributor to do live financial segments for MSNBC.

For nearly a decade Singletary was also a regular contributor on Howard University's evening news radio program, "Insight." During the 1997-1998 television season, Singletary was a regular correspondent on BET's "Real Business." She has filled in for nationally syndicated radio host Clark Howard on his local program on the top-rated News-Talk 750 WSB in Atlanta.

Singletary also hosted her own radio call-in program on XM 169 The Power in 2007. Radio One programmed the African-American news/talk channel. Her personal finance program along with several others was cancelled after Radio One ended its relationship with XM Satellite Radio for business reasons.

Singletary has written for the flagship "O, The Oprah Magazine." For a brief stint she was the personal finance columnist for "O at Home magazine replacing Suze Orman." The quarterly magazine was a spinoff of the monthly "O, The Oprah Magazine." Due to the recession, the Hearst Company shut down the magazine in late 2008.

In July 2008, she began writing a weekly Q&A column for radio and television host Tavis Smiley on his popular PBS Website.

Singletary is currently the host of a live online chat on the Post's Web site, She also has a widely read electronic newsletter distributed by The Washington Post. Her e-letter is one of the more popular newsletters distributed by The Washington Post. In her column, chats, newsletter, television show and books Singletary delivers advice on personal finance issues that range from lending your honey money (don't do it), to raising money smart kids to the importance of saving and investing.

Singletary is frequently requested to be a keynote speaker. She has given workshops or presentations for Georgetown University, Essence, and Simmons College School of Management in Boston. She has also conducted personal finance workshops for the National Football League's annual Rookie Symposium for incoming freshman players. In the religious community, she has been invited to speak numerous times at her home church, First Baptist Church of Glenarden under the leadership of Pastor John K. Jenkins Sr.

At First Baptist, she has led a major Bible Study session, been the keynote speaker at several Women's Conferences and a frequent workshop presenter. She has given keynote presentations at World Overcomers Outreach Ministries Church in Memphis, Tennessee under the leadership of Apostle R. Williams, Senior Pastor and at The Saint Paul's Baptist Church in Richmond, VA., which is under the leadership of Rev. Lance Watson. Saint Paul is one of the largest African American churches in Central Virginia with more than 10,000 members. Other churches she has delivered biblically based personal finance presentations include Christ is King Worship Center in Baltimore, Md. under the leadership of Pastor Lois Bethea Thompson, and Bethel Christian Center in Upper Marlboro, Md. under the leadership of Co-Pastors Jerome and Katina Holmes

In her spare time, Singletary is the director of "Prosperity Partners Ministry," a program she founded at her church, First Baptist Church of Glenarden, in which women and men, who handle their money well, volunteer to mentor others who are having financial challenges. Once a month, Singletary conducts a workshop for the ministry group on topics that range from tithing, to developing a budget to getting out of debt. She also volunteers at prisons teaching inmates about personal finance.

In 2009, she was selected to receive the Distinguished Alumni Award from The Johns Hopkins University. She also received the 2009 Matrix Award for Professional Achievements from The Association for Women in Communications.

Singletary's book, "Your Money and Your Man" was a finalist in 2006 for "Books for a Better Life," which honors the best self-improvement books. This highly regarded award promotes the importance of one of the largest and fastest-growing segments in the book publishing business.

Just a year after starting her column, The Washington Post nominated it for a Pulitzer Prize. Most recently, her column won a prestigious award from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers. She won Best in Business for a series of columns that ran in 2007. The judges wrote: "Michelle Singletary's work illustrates a range of writing that's both approachable and explanatory."
"The Color of Money" has placed first in the major newspaper category of the ICI Education Foundation/American University awards for Excellence in Personal Finance Reporting. The column also earned a first place for business writing from the National Association of Black Journalists.

Prior to becoming a columnist for The Washington Post, Singletary covered local and national banking for the Post. She joined the paper in 1992 and was assigned to cover bankruptcy. In 1994, she was awarded a fellowship by NABJ to write about small women-owned businesses in West Africa. While in Africa, she helped cover the 1994 election of Nelson Mandela, and shared the lead story on Election Day with the Post's foreign correspondent, writing about a Soweto family's day at the polls.

Before going to the Post, Singletary was a business reporter for the Baltimore Evening Sun, where she also covered police, religion, politics, and zoning. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland at College Park, and The Johns Hopkins University, where she earned a master's degree in business and management. Singletary and her husband reside in Maryland with their three children.


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