It is important to challenge yourself every now and then. This helps you push beyond what you have previously done before. The more you challenge yourself and succeed, the greater your confidence in your ability to do it again next time. Good habits form and eventually they become lifestyle changes. When you accept a financial challenge, like the SMC Money Challenge, it doesn’t just help you grow your skills and knowledge, it helps you grow your belief that you can. The 2021 SMC Money Challenge begins January 1st in the #SMCmoneytribe FB group but before you start, here are some of my favorite ways I kickstart my money goals at the beginning of each year.
the beginner’s guide to hacking a money challenge
- Download & Print your money tracker for the year. Sometimes it is easy to forget the progress you are making. In the SMC Money Challenge, there will be weeks where the progress seems minuscule and other times where the progression of better money habits and actions is obvious. Using the tracker will help remind you at the end of the 52 weeks just how far you’ve come.
- Pick a S.M.A.R.T.E.R money goal. Are you paying off debt, saving for a rainy day, putting money in a sinking fund for a specific purchase, or investing? Now is the time to make sure your goal(s) is clear and attainable. Is it specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound, evaluate, and reviewed?
- Tell Your Money Where to Go. If you are using the challenge to pay off debt, I recommend that you make a principal payment toward your debt instead of putting that money in a savings account or sinking fund (that is one of my easiest tricks for paying off my student loans 11 years ahead of schedule). However, if you are using the money you save in this challenge for sinking funds or boosting your emergency fund, I would consider opening a high-yield savings account and transferring your challenge money into it each week instead.
- Set a Reminder. Add a reminder to your phone or calendar to remind you to check-in. By saving something every week, you get to practice your savings habit over and over again. Remember, it can take anywhere from 18 to 254 days for a person to form a new habit and an average of 66 days for a new behavior to become automatic. YOU WILL NEED A REMINDER if you want to make it through ALL 52 weeks.
- Invite a Friend. There is nothing better than getting support and supporting people you know, IRL (in real life). Iron sharpens iron. Glow up together with your friends to become real #squadgoals.
ARE YOU READY TO JUMPSTART YOUR MONEY GOALS?
Often women are left to fend for themselves with regards to money matters. As an active member of the #SMCmoneytribe, you will no longer have to walk the path toward financial freedom and a fabulous lifestyle alone. Should you get off track, you can always catch up or start over, we just ask that you don’t give up on this challenge, your goals, or yourself. YOU can do it and you have an entire TRIBE of people cheering you on!