{2017 BINGO Money Challenge} The Easiest Way to Save Money In the New Year

It’s the season when people begin making new plans to start afresh in the New Year. We make goals/resolutions and we vow to take this great opportunity to reset and do better than the year before. Sound familiar? It’s important that we take time to reflect on this crazy year so we are that much more successful when we start over in 2017.   Were your financial goals attained? Did you fall off? Did your goals change? easietway-toavemoney

shemakescents  BINGO Money Challenge

This year some of my most basic financial goals included paying off my credit cards, snowballing my student loans, seeing the shemakescents BINGO Money Challenge to completion.  For those of you who are new to shemakescents.com, the BINGO Money Challenge is a remix of the popular 52 Week Money Challenge that went viral a few years ago.  The original challenge was to 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.   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.  The original version only has a max savings potential of $1378.00 whereas this version has an average of $1900.00+ .

This year, I have been pretty successful with this goal and my other financial goals from the stand point that I never gave up. There were a few bumps in the road but I pushed through and so many of you did too.  In pushing through, I was able to find more efficient ways to work towards my 2017 money goals.

Introducing the #SMCmoneytribe

In reflecting on the past year, I noticed that those of you who participated in the weekly check-ins for the shemakescents BINGO Money Challenge, via Twitter and the Facebook group (click the links to follow), had the highest success rates.  For 2017, all those who take part in the BINGO Money Challenge will become members of the #SMCmoneytribe giving you access to personalized check-ins, support of others with similar money goals, and a FREE printable of the 2017 version of the bingo money sheet.  Together we will reach our money goals and enjoy the company of other goal-oriented readers.  Past members have used their savings for travel, holiday gifts, pay down debt, save for a car down payment, and pay for professional certifications.  The sky is the limit with the savings because of the bonus boxes and if you really want to up the ante you can do so by doubling the value of each box.

Related Post: {Reader Success Story} A Shockingly Easy Way to Save Money for Fun2017-tribe-quote

If you would like the full benefits of joining our #SMCmoneytribe, please click here to download your money card sheet.  We would love to have you apart of our group.  Did I mention I have saved a little under $1,900.00 with two more weeks to go for the year??    If you have any questions, please feel free to email us at info@shemakescents.com .  

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{Week 17 Update} 52 Week BINGO Money Update

Well hello lovelies.  Certainly, I could not let the week go by without at least giving you an update on my progress.  Last week I was so pleased by the kind reception and celebration of shemakescents reader, Alysa, who saved a total of $515.00 so far (read her spotlight here, she is pretty awesome).  Her dedication to her goals is inspiring and she agrees that this challenge is an easy way to save money!   Today, I wanted to close the week letting you know that I have crossed $31.00 off of my 52 Week Bingo Money Sheet, which puts me at $143.00 saved so far this month.  Year to date I have saved  an extra $621.00 toward my current financial goal.

Bingo Money Sheet- Progress Pic

The great thing about this challenge is that you can alter it to fit your personal goals and lifestyle.  I start every year on the first Friday of the year, but you can start anytime.  

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Quick Tip:  If you have a larger savings goal, you can double up the numbers for a minimum of   $3800.00 before you even cross off the bonus boxes!

52 Week Bingo Money Challenge Milestone

If I told you the last five days have been a whirlwind, I’m not sure you could even comprehend what I mean. In the past five days I served as a juror on a trial for two days, driven from Atlanta to Jackson, Mississippi, attended a funeral, got back on the road for the six-hour car trip home, just in time to make it to a Sunday wedding for my sorority sister. That being said, I missed last week’s check in and the March recap of the 52 Week BINGO Money Challenge. 

Check out a few pictures from the wedding!

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IMG_20160403_190433For the first week of April, I decided to cross off $23.00 + a bonus of $75.00. My first April contribution, including the bonus, is only $4.00 less than my entire last month’s savings. I’d say I am off to a good start for month. Overall, I have a saved a total of $556.00 that I have been using to make extra payments toward my credit card debt. Every extra payment is helping me shave off the repayment term, shave of compounding interest fees, and is improving my credit score because my debt to credit ratio is increasing. I would LOVE to have my credit card balance under the $500.00 mark by the end of May. With a balance of $2400.00+, only time and discipline will tell. Until then, I will keep crossing off numbers on my BINGO money sheet.

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{Week 12} 52 Week BINGO Money Challenge

Coins of KnowledgeHello Lovelies! I must say, this month is flying by. I am staying steadfast with my progress on the 52 Week BINGO Money Challenge, presented by shemakescents.com.  I crossed off $12.00 on my BINGO money sheet.  Last mentioned in week 11, I am redirecting money this month in preparation for another money goal.  That being said, I have crossed off some of the lower numbers this month.  This thing I love about this version of the challenge is that I can adjust my savings based off of my current goals and progress.  I started this year’s challenge with over $5,000.00 is credit card debt and I am down to $2650.00.  Sometimes I feel like that number is moving slowly; however, I have refused to get discouraged.

cropped-logo-twitter2014.jpgWhat is Keeping YOU Motivated?

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{Week 4 Progress Report} 52 Week BINGO Money Challenge

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 be applied to my credit card balance.  What makes this challenge exciting to me is that fact that I’m saving little chucks of money that I don’t miss in my day to day life.  I know with each passing week, those “little chucks of money” will start snowballing into something bigger. 

Caucasian businesswoman with tip jar

Here is how month has broken down so far:

  • Week One: $35.00
  • Week Two: $40.00
  • Week Three $50.00 + $100.00 (bonus)
  • Week Four: $20.00

We are lucky enough to have five weeks in January, which is great because you gain an extra opportunity to save a little more while the momentum is good and people are still somewhat on focus with their 2016 resolutions.

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How Much Have You Saved So Far?

{Week 3 Progress Report} 52 Week BINGO Money Challenge

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 of $225.00. Every day I receive emails with inspiring stories of people, their financial goals, and their progress of making smarter money moves. It makes me so happy to get check-ins on Fridays, especially from people who have joined the challenge.  I hope is it shows readers of shemakescents that you are not on this financial journey alone.

SMC- 52 Week Money Challenge

If you would like a personalized check in, please leave your twitter handle below or tweet me at @shemakescents.

How Much Have You Saved So Far? Please Share Below.

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{Week 2 Progress Report} 52 Week BINGO Money Challenge

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 past few years, I have accepted the challenge to save for a specific amount to  help with paying down my credit card, saving  for the holidays, or even saving to help out with my wedding to the Mr; however, once I accomplished the goal, I fell off.  I was doing well with a zero balance and then I started to swipe my credit card for wedding expenses so now I am back to the beginning of Dave Ramsey’s Baby Step 2. That’s why they call it a challenge because it is challenging.

Happy Friday

 This year, I am back at the goal of wiping out my $3,886.78 credit card balance completely by or before May 1, 2016.  My plan is to pay a set amount every two weeks plus the  savings from BINGO money challenge, every Friday.  Once the credit card balance is non-existent,  I can start snowballing my student loans so I can shorten the length of the term dramatically and reduce the amount of interest I would have to pay back.    Today, I marking off  number 40 on my Bingo Money Sheet (leave a comment below for your FREE copy of the 2016 BINGO style sheet).

cropped-logo-twitter2014.jpgWhat Are You Using Your BINGO Savings For? 

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{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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{2015 Week 11 Update} 52 Week Money Challenge

I believe that through knowledge and discipline, financial peace is possible for all of us.      -Dave Ramsey

52 Week Challenge

I’ve been contacted by quite a few of you asking for a copy of the 52 Week Money Challenge, which shows me that I am not the only one looking to save money.  While you won’t save a MAJOR windfall doing this challenge, you will gain financial discipline.  It’s harder than you think to get in the habit of saving but once up pick up the skill, it’s well worth the effort.  If you are new to She Makes Cents, I am happy to report that I paid off my credit card doing this challenge as additional payments over the minimum.  I am now adding this extra money to my wedding savings account after I see how much I have left from doing a zero based budget…aka, my saving grace!

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How Are You Going Use Your $1300+ ?

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{Cash Is Fab} How One Girl Resolves to Never Use Plastic Again!

This morning I was cleaning out old files from the computer, aka procrastinating writing my next blog post, when I found an old resolution. I wrote in it December of 2013 but never posted it.   I decided to post it today, however, to show what a year of working toward financial goals looked like for me.  I encourage you to write down your goals so you can have a reference of just how far you have come and then take a step back and acknowledge your progress.  Check out my 2014 financial goals  below:

Cash Is Fab! How One Girl Resolves to Never Use Plastic Again!

Some people hear the word “resolution” and immediately shutter. I on the other hand, look at resolutions as a new beginning… a do over to do better. Hey, if you don’t like the word resolutions, substitute it for goals because everyone knows that goals are AWESOME! This year I resolve to pay off my credit card balance before my birthday in August, kick start my snowball toward financial freedom, and say no to plastic forever (ambitious, right?).   I am working toward this goal by paying a set amount every two weeks (each payment over the monthly minimum) and doing the 52 Week Money Challenge (Bingo Style) every Friday. If I were okay with just paying the minimum, it would take me 4 years, instead of eight months, to complete step one of my financial plan. The Bingo version of the challenge plays a big role in completing my financial resolutions because if I am having a tough financial week, I can pick a lower amount to save. Once the credit card is paid off, my monthly credit card payments (including the 52 Week Challenge savings) will become extra payments to my student loans and so on until I have zero debt. I keep myself motivated by constantly reminding myself and my accountability partner, The Mr., of my ultimate goal to pay of all debt, credit card, student loans, and mortgage in the next ten years. If I can’t afford to pay for it in cash, I can’t afford it!

Currency in envelope

Now, one year later my credit card balance is not a concern because it is non-existent.  I sometimes forget about the stress that carrying a credit card balance had on me.  Yes, I paid my credit card off and before my target date by doing this risky move, which worked and then immediately backfired.  I also think about how my snowball plan for my student loans has been transformed into a snowball for my October wedding expenses to the Mr.  Boy oh boy, what changes can happen in a year.

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Finish the Sentence: I Resolve to ________

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