{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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{Super Charge Your 2015 Savings} 52 Week Money Challenge | Bingo Style

Can I get a “BINGO”?  It’s a new year, which means it is time for the 52 Week Money Challenge.  I can tell by looking into my stats for the She Makes Cents that people are researching ways to save money in the new year. I mean really, we can all do something a little different with our financial decisions that will set us up for financial success.  For the past two years now, I have taken part in the 52 Week Money Challenge.  In participating for the past two years, I created a simpler way to save that was both lucrative and effortless.  My She Makes Cents Bingo Style Sheet, free for She Makes Cents readers, has made it easier for those participating in the challenge to save money on one’s own terms.  Using my Bingo Style Sheet has helped me to pay off my credit card debt, save for the holidays, and start saving for my wedding in October.  

52 Week Challenge

How Does It Work?

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 27 you deposit $27.00 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.  At the end of the year, I would still end up with the same amount of $1378.00 (without doing any of the bonuses) 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.

Still Need Motivation?

I will post my progress on Fridays and I invite you to keep us up to date on your progress.  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 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.  Happy Saving!

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How Are You Going Use Your $1300+ ?

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{Week 16 Update} 52 Week Money Challenge

52 Week ChallengeHello Lovelies and Happy Friday! We are coming to the end of week 16 of the year. So far, I have saved an extra $370.00 as of this morning when I crossed off number 11 from the Bingo Money Saving Sheet. I know many people make grand financial goals in the beginning of the year in the form of New Year’s Resolutions. The intentions are good but somewhere along the lines, people justify giving up on their resolutions because they did not make them a part of their routine. I am here to urge you if you never tried this or even if you did and stopped along the way to start the 52 Week Money Challenge (Bingo Style). You don’t have to wait until next year to start because the beauty of this challenge is that you can start anytime.  If you want my Bingo Sheet, send me an email!

Happy Saving!

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Email SMC: shemakescents@gmail.com

{Week 14 Update} 52 Week Money Challenge

Financial FreedomIt’s Friday already and time for your 52 Week Money Challenge reminder.  For those of you, like me, who began on January 3, 2014, we are 14 weeks in for this year!  Today, I crossed off $25.00 from the SMC bingo style money sheet , which puts me at a grand total of an extra $344.00 saved thus far.  The closer we get to August 1, 2014, my goal date to have a zero balance on my credit card, the more excited I get.  In some ways, the feeling I get every time I see the balance drop is becoming stronger than the high I get from shopping.  I am planning for big things to happen THIS MONTH by paying my set payment of $300.00 per month + the 52 Week Challenge each Friday + the possibility of a somewhat risky financial move, which I will talk about in Monday’s post.  Stay tuned to see how I plan to slash my credit card balance from $1345.00 (current balance) to less than $500.00 by the end of the month by taking of gamble with my finances.  If you want big rewards, sometimes you have to take big risks! 

{Week 13} 52 Week Money Challenge Bingo Style

She Makes Cents

Someone recently asked me “what was the point of doing a money challenge, it’s not like you are saving a substantial amount?”  My reply was simple, “every little bit helps me get one step closer to my goals”.  I am very serious about having a zero balance on my credit card by August 1, 2014 and using funds saved from this challenge helps me pay off my balance faster.  Today, I crossed number 17 off my bingo style money challenge sheet which gives me a grand total of $319.00 additional dollars added to help pay off the balance on my cards.  A while ago, I decided that instead of payment the minimum + the 52 Week Challenge weekly payment I would decide on a set payment to make every two weeks and add the money from the challenge on top of that.  This has allowed me to chop off interest payments as well. 

How Are You Doing On the Challenge?

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SMC- 52 Week Money ChallengeThis morning has proved to be on of those rare occasions where I am awake before the doggies and the Mr.  I thought to myself, this would be the perfect time to blog!  I was preparing for a cool {Beauty Cents} post, when I realized I completely forgot about my 52 Week Money Challenge on yesterday.  This week I am planning on crossing off number 27 (which I will do right after I post this) which puts me at a total of $269.00 of extra money.  If you are doing the challenge, comment below on your progress.  If you have yet to start, I encourage you to do so.  This doesn’t have to be just a New Year’s challenge, but rather a yearly challenge.  Your year starts when you start, so today is as good of day as any! 

Do you want of Bingo Money Sheet? Email Me

Happy Saving!

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Email SMC: shemakescents@gmail.com

{Financial Cents} How Accepting A Challenge Has Saved Me $849.00

Week 38 Update

Week 3

In January, something called the 52 Week Money Challenge was spreading through the internet like wildfire. The challenge is to save the dollar amount that corresponds to the number of weeks of the year. For example on week 1 you deposit $1.00 and on week 27 you deposit $27.00 and so on. About three weeks in, I was already falling behind, partly because I tried to do it in reverse so I wouldn’t have to come out-of-pocket with higher “payments” during the holidays. I thought to myself, how can you find a way to honor the challenge in a way that will not hurt me financially? My answer- create a “bingo” style format. Seriously, this was the best thing for me and from the feedback I got, many of you as well. On weeks where my money is tight, I could choose a lower amount to add to savings and on weeks where I have a little financial cushion (like pay day, for instance) I choose a higher amount to save. At the end of the year, I will still end up saving $1378.00, just like the original version.
I find this challenge very rewarding. It makes me proud of myself because I am using it to pay down my credit card debt faster. I have even allotted a portion of the $1378.00 for holiday shopping, which can get us all into serious financial troubles if we are not properly prepared. If you are still doing the challenge, kudos to you. You have now formed a great habit and probably no longer see this as a challenge, but as a way of life. For those of you just starting out or interested in trying again, it’s never too late to get on financial track. I set a reminder on my phone so that I can remember to do it EVERY Friday. Since creating the bingo style challenge, I have applied an extra $849.00 toward lowering my debt.

Week 38
Week 38

Which Style Works Better for You?

Bingo or Classic?

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