{Week 10 Update} 52 Week BINGO Money Challenge

This past week, I crossed off $30.00 on the 52 Week BINGO Money Challenge. My hope was to cross off a higher number to I can pick up more momentum with the challenge; however, since I am on a zero-based budget, my money was allocated somewhere else. This brings me to a grand total of $426.00 saved so far doing this challenge. What I love the most about this is that it makes saving a little here or there super easy. Otherwise, I would have spent that on my Starbucks habit.  How is the challenge going for you?  Please share your progress below.  If this is your first time hearing about the BINGO style challenge, click here for more information.

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{Week 8 Recap} Beyonce’, Credit Cards, & the 52 Week BINGO Money Challenge

Sunday- the end of the week or start of a new one? For me, it is the wrap up to week eight of 2016 and time for the 52 Week BINGO Money Challenge. To chose a number for the week, I start by looking at my bank account and seeing how much I can afford pay on top of my bills and money envelopes. While I manage my money on a zero-based style budget, I do leave a little wiggle room for unexpected expenses and this BINGO Challenge. I then review my credit card statement, since that is how I am using the extra money from this challenge.  Looking at the declining balance of credit card debt gets me right back on track when I start thinking about excess spending. For example, I was on the Ticketmaster site earlier this week determined to get BeeHive presale tickets for  Beyonce’s Formation Tour that went on sale at 10:00am.


9:44 am….I had my credit card out on my desk and was ready to purchase up to four tickets on my card.  But why?  I love going to Beyonce’ concerts.  “It’s about the experience”, is what I said to justify the “almost expense”.   I have only missed one of six Beyonce’s World Tours, I Am…Sasha Fierce, so to say that I’m really missing out might be a reach.

9:58am… Credit card is in hand and I am watching the countdown clock for the start of presale tickets.  I’m ready to risk my progress toward my financial milestone dates that I have set for myself as an individual and that my husband and I have set as a couple.

9:59:59… I hit refresh.  Picturing me, hubs, and another friend couple having the time of our lives.  Aww…the fun we are going to have.

10:00am…. I am entering my information trying to get tickets for the Atlanta show. So excited to tell the hubs that I got these tickets for us.

10:03am… “do not refresh or you will lose your place in line” Really Ticketmaster?

10:15am…  The same message is on the screen when the phone rings and I have to stop #OperationFormationTour and take care of business.giphy

Looking back, I have to credit divine intervention for me aborting #OperationFormationTour.  I was saved by the bell…or ring… especially considering  I was prepared to spend up to $150.00 per ticket for this concert.   If I am really being honest with myself, all of this was more about  FOMO (fear of missing out) than seeing my fifth Beyonce’ concert.  Dave Ramsey has famously affirmed, “If you will live like no one else, later you can live like no one else”.  There are a lot of broke people going to see Beyonce’ who are sacrificing responsibilities for what I am sure will be an epic experience.  I’m okay missing this concert (unless someone wants to graciously gift me tickets), if that means I am making strides to get to the point where the question  changes.  I am staying steadfast with my goals and very soon that the question will change from, Should we spend $150.00 per ticket? to What country to you want to see this concert in?  For now, I will focus on getting my finances into formation and I will cross off $15.00 on my BINGO money sheet.

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{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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Budgeting 101- How to Make a Budget

Today I will be visiting my alma mater, Spelman College, to sit in on a class taught by the smartest woman I have ever met, Dr. Michelle S. Hite (seriously, she is probably one of the top ten people who have significantly impacted my life). Just thinking about Spelman puts me back in an academic frame of mind, so for today class, I will be teaching Budgeting 101. In my opinion, budgeting is like using common sense, everyone should do it but not everyone does. The importance of making and sticking to a budget is the freedom of knowing exactly how you spend, what money can be spent elsewhere, and where you overspend. So grab a pen and paper and let’s get started:

  1. Fixed (Mortgage/Rent, Car Payments, Insurance, Emergency Fund)
  2. Variable (Utilities, Groceries, Gas, Food, Entertainment)

    This is the time for you to really think about what’s important. Shelter, Food, Utilities, and Gas are at the top of my list. Although I hate to do it, I can live without costly entertainment.


    Do not leave anything out in this step. If you spend $1.00 at the vending machine, $3.00 for Girl Scout cookies, and $7.00 for parking downtown when meeting friends for drinks, you already splurged $11.00 on random spending that you probably don’t even consider when mentally reviewing your spending for the day. Writing EVERYTHING out will help you see exactly what, where, and how you spend your dineros.


    My friend and Rah Tiffany (hey girl) put herself in a mental shopping rehab back when we were in college. At first, my friends and I thought she was crazy, but in fact she was making the best financial decision as a then single black female addicted to retail (thanks Kanye). She went almost 40 days without random impulse shopping. Following suit, I did the same. I reviewed my spending habits from the previous step that revealed my mindless exhaustion of funds at the mall. I would get up, go to the mall, see something I thought I couldn’t live without, buy it, then after working so hard at shopping I would go for lunch, go back to shopping and finally come home. Now looking back, I have to ask myself, did I really need those shoes, that purse, that book, that phone case, or that expensive lunch….NOPE, I did not. Then I thought to myself, wow, I could have taken that money and put it in my bucket list fund. Trust…skydiving will be more memorable than that cute shirt I purchased sometime last season.


    This tip makes its way into almost every post I write. This is a must for financial empowerment!!!


    Things change. Financial situations change. Keeping your list up to date is the only way to ensure that your budget is working for you.

Good Luck and Enjoy!



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