{Super Charge Your 2016 Savings} 52 Week Money Challenge Like You Have Never Done Before!

Financial Affirmation: “I am aligned with the energy of wealth and abundance”.

Photo Credit- Colin Anderson (Getty Images)


It’s the first Friday of 2016 which means it is time for the Bingo Style version of the 52 Week Money Challenge.  For the past few years, I have  used the bingo format to help pay off my credit card debt, save for the holidays, and  save for a little extra for a wedding.  This year, I plan on using the extra money from this version of the challenge to get my credit card balance back to zero (another story for another day) and start snowballing my student loans.

Here Is How It Works!

I’m sure you have seen the original challenge floating around the internet where you make a weekly deposit that reflects the number of weeks of the year. For example, on week one you deposit $1.00 and on week 52 you deposit $52.00 and so on. However, doing it this way will have you shelling out the big bucks during the holidays when people’s money is the most limited.  One year, I even attempted to do the original challenge in reverse by saving more money at the beginning of the year and less the closer we get to the holiday season. The only problem with doing it that way was that I was shelling out a lot of money right after the holidays when… for most people, money is still a little tight. I  thought to myself…”Danielle, how can you find a way to honor the challenge in a way that will not hurt you financially”? Then I came up with the idea to create a “bingo” style format. At the end of the year, I would still end up with the same amount of $1378.00  and if I am having a tough financial week, I can pick a lower amount to save. The good thing about the bingo challenge is that you are able to start at any time and if you get off track, it’s easy to see where you need to make it up to get back on track.52 Week Challenge

What Makes 2016 Different?

The power of choosing how much you want to save is what has always made the Bingo Style different from the original 52 Week Challenge. This year, though, we have upped the ante and included optional bonus+ boxes for those who are able and willing to push themselves further on this challenge. It will take more sacrifice, but it will help you gain more strength and momentum toward your financial goals since you will be saving a minimum of $1928.00 versus $1378.00.

Check Ins

You know goals are more likely to materialize when we share them with others.  That being said, check ins will take place on Fridays at noon where I will share my progress on the challenge and its effect on my overall financial goals and I encourage you to do the same. I love hearing your stories of how you are doing in the challenge and the financial milestones you have accomplished by making saving a habit of your daily life.  Sometimes doing it with a friend or even a blogger friend like me, keeps you better motivated since  you aren’t in it alone.  If you have questions, comments, or suggestions, shoot me a line below or email me for the latest Bingo Style Money Challenge, free to  shemakescents readers!

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What Is a Zero Based Budget & Why You Need One

The Zero-Based Budget

A Zero-Based Budget or “zero balance budget” forces you to justify each expense by assigning a dollar amount to every move you make with your money. That is to say, your income minus your expenses, equals zero. Radio host and financial advisor Dave Ramsey explains, “If you cover all of your expenses during the month and you have $500 left over, you aren’t done with the budget yet”. Although Ramsey speaks of the zero based budget in terms of monthly spending, I prefer to budget twice a month since I have irregular income. You know exactly where your money is going, it leaves no room for overspending, and it is based on your current needs, which are clear advantages to this type of budget.

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I used to write down every expense to get an overview of how I spend money. It was good because I was able to see patterns in my spending that I was unaware of. Outside of being a very tedious task of tracking every expense (pre-smart phone apps), doing this sort of overview only happened AFTER I have already spent the money. Nowadays, I take a more proactive overview of my finances and I spend my income on paper BEFORE I spend a dime in reality by using a zero-based budget.

How to Make a Zero-Based Budget Work for YOU!

Sure there’s computer based software for budgeting, but I find a simple pleasure of the good ole’ pen to paper method. It’s my personal preference but in order for you to be diligent in your effort, you should choose whatever makes you most comfortable. Got your tools? Let’s go!

Read the Full Post Here: 6 Easy Ways to Make A Zero-Based Budget Work 

Let’s Connect!

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The Envelope System Saves $$$

SMC on The Envelope System

Someone pinned this picture on Pinterest of them dividing their money into different envelops as suggested by financial expert, Dave Ramsey. His explanation of the envelope system was simple and made cents/sense, so I thought I’d share it. My thoughts are in PINK, of course. … Continue reading

{Week 4 Progress Report} 52 Week BINGO Money Challenge

Caucasian businesswoman with tip jar

It’s the fourth Friday of the year which means it’s time for the 52 Week BINGO Money Challenge.  Today I have crossed off $20.00 on my BINGO money sheet.  This puts me at a total of $245.00 extra dollars to … Continue reading

{Money Hack} Quick Guide to the Debt Snowball

Growing balls of money

If you are a frequent reader of shemakescents, then you will constantly hear me referring to a snowball, but what exactly does a snow ball have to do with personal finance? The snowball is a metaphor that represents my current … Continue reading

{Week 3 Progress Report} 52 Week BINGO Money Challenge

happy Friday!

It’s Friday and week 3 for me for the 52 Week BINGO Challenge. This week I am crossing off $50 and my first bonus box for $100.00 for a combined savings of $150.00 for week 3 and a grand total … Continue reading

{Week 2 Progress Report} 52 Week BINGO Money Challenge

Credit Card copy

It’s the start of the year and people are still very focused with their resolutions.  For some, the 52 Week BINGO Money Challenge is another goal on their resolution list.  For me, it has to be a lifestyle.  For the … Continue reading

{World of the Year} What ONE Word Reflects Your Vision for 2016?

2016 WORD OF THE YEAR- BRAVERY - from http://shemakescents.comAt the top of the year, many people are thinking about their future and making resolutions for 2016. Since some people have a hard time keeping up with resolutions, selecting a word for oneself could be a more realistic goal for some of my busier readers.  Back in 2013, I started asking my readers on the She Makes Cents Facebook page to share one word to reflect your personal goals/resolution/vision for the year ahead and the response I got was inspiring, thoughtful, and honest. For me, the year 2013 was my year of BALANCE, 2014 was my year of FOCUS, and 2015 was my year of PASSION. This year I have selected BRAVERY as my word.

If you could choose one word to reflect your personal goals/resolution/vision for 2016, what word would you choose?  Please share below.

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Engagement Photos & The Hidden Expenses I Didn’t Think About

About a year ago I announced my engagement to the Mr. and since then, it has been full steam ahead.  I started by pinning inspiration pictures and decided that one of the very first vendors we pick should be the photographer.  After the wedding day has passed, all you are left with are the memories and the photographs, so I believe this is a good place to invest your research and money.  When coming up with the budget, we wanted someone who included the engagement photos in their package.  What I didn’t think about was all of the other expenses that I hadn’t included in the overall budget.  For example, finding the perfect outfit, hair, makeup, and sometimes even location fees depending on where you take them.  All of these things are luxuries that anyone could live without, but enhance the overall experience.  I stressed for weeks about buying the perfect outfit but after all was said and done, I ended up wearing a mix of new stuff and timeless pieces already in my closet.  I found my shoes on sale  and asked a friend/makeup artist to do my makeup.  Instead of paying for a fancy location shoot, we decided we wanted our photos to reflect our lives together. We started in the neighborhood where we will be living as husband and wife, paid homage to our Atlanta University Center (AUC) roots, and ended in the heart of Atlanta, where both of us are from.   Our engagement photos and story were even published in MunaLuchi {check them out here},  the leading multicultural wedding publication catering to women of color. 

Here is a Sneak Peak of the photos no one has seen yet!

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brimcdanielphotography_danielle+michael_engagement-282Photography by  Bri McDaniel Photography

 

Let’s Get Social!

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