{Money Goals} This Money Challenge Beats All Other Money Challenges

Hello Lovelies.  Welcome to the weekend!  It’s time for check-in for the shemakescents 52 Week BINGO Money Challenge (if you are new to shemakescents.com, click here for a recap of the challenge).  Today I crossed off $37.00 on the BINGO Challenge putting me at a year to date total of $1498.00.  My year to date total is just one example of how this version of the 52 Week Challenge  can help you double your savings opportunity. The original version caps your savings potential at $1378.00, which I have already surpassed.  From January to July, I used this money to help me pay down my credit card payments faster.  From July to today, I have saved $800+ on this challenge  to make a principal payment  to my student loans once I get to the $1000.00 mark.  shemakescents money challenge

How can you save too?

The great thing about this challenge, is that you can start anytime and it works on everyone’s budget.  Just email us at info@shemakescents.com  for your FREE copy of the BINGO Money Challenge sheet. The best way to stay in the challenge is to join our Twitter/Facebook check-ins so that you have the support of the community of readers participating in the challenge.  To join the twitter check-in, simply tweet me!

Tweet: I joined the @shemakescents 52 Week BINGO Money Challenge to help me reach my #moneygoals.

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{Life Skills} How To Comeback From A Setback

Goals and Setbacks

I came across this quote the other day and I thought it was too good not to share.  I talk and write about goals all the time, but I rarely write about how to stay on track after a setback.   In the simplest of definitions, a setback occurs when there is a reversal in progress.  Last year, I had a slight financial setback when I put a few thousand dollars on my previously paid off credit card.  I consider this a setback because it literally set me back and an entire year of my money snowball and the added interest I will be paying to make up that year is definitely a reversal of progress. This year, my setback was not being exactly where I wanted to be career wise.  This is something that has stressed me out a great deal until I realized this is my arrow year.  They say an arrow can be shot only by pulling it backward so when life is dragging you back with difficulties, it means that it’s going to launch you into something great.  I hope this post launches you back onto your chosen path to greatness.

4 Steps to Come Back from A Set Backsetbacks-and-come-backs-she-makes-cents

  1. Question Your Goals.  Are the goals you set for yourself still relevant?  What was important to you six months ago, may not even be on your radar anymore.  That being said, it is okay to abandon goals that you have outgrown for more relevant endeavors.   Take a step back and examine your career, relationships, and finances and decide what’s worth resetting and what can be let go.

  2.  Setbacks Are Meant for Learning.   Okay, so your proverbial “tire” got a flat.  What was your lesson?  Was it to slow down?  Focus more on the road ahead?  Lean into the curves that life throws you?  The only waste of a setback is not learning the lesson.  A lesson missed is a mistake waiting to be repeated.

  3. Break Down Your Goals Into Smaller Manageable Goals.  Sometimes people have a reversal in progress when they get overwhelmed by the task at hand.  It’s like eating pizza.  You shouldn’t be able to eat the entire pie at one time, you have to eat it slice by slice.  Weird example, I know… but you get the point.  Here’s something a little more personal.  I have a goal to be debt free (not including our mortgages) in the next five years.  If I looked at the $27,000 in credit card and student loan debt in its entirety, I might have easily gotten overwhelmed with my goal.  I had to break it down into smaller manageable goals.  First I separated the debts- $5,000.00 for credit cards and $22,000.00 for the remainder of my student loans.  I then set separate goals dates to be done with the debt.  For example, my goal was to pay off my credit card debt by August 1, 2016,  and I am happy to report that I accomplished that goal ahead of time.  I did that by setting weekly goals with the 52 Week BINGO Money Challenge and bi-weekly goals of making a minimum $150.00 payment every two weeks regardless of the minimum payment.  With the credit cards out of the way, I am now able to snowball that money to tackle  part two of my student loans and knock out that remaining debt in four years or less.  

  4. Set a Goal Date & Get Her Done.  In this post, “{Got Goals} How To Make and Achieve Your Goals” I break down the tools needed to complete this step.  Check out the post and you will see what I’m talking about.  Don’t forget when breaking down your goals into smaller manageable goals to assign milestone markers for you to stop and reflect on your progress. When I got my credit card under the $1,000.00 mark, I stopped and patted myself on the back because I could see my achievements in the near future. shemakescents-com

{Financial Cents} How To Make A Financial Plan

debt-free

Sometimes I need to remind myself that a goal without a plan is just a wish. Every morning I would pray for financial blessings but somehow found myself going through the motions, which was slowing my progress to my goal of zero debt. For me, it is about finding that balance between enjoying my lifestyle and making financially sound decisions. I have been bitten with the travel bug and I can’t wait to explore the world, I live for bottomless mimosas at brunch, and I believe shoes and the right lipstick makes the outfit. However, I also believe in building a hefty savings, going into marriage without bad debt (i.e. credit card and student loans), and building generational wealth. I must agree with Dave Ramsey, financial guru, who affirms, “Personal finance is 80% behavior and only 20% head knowledge”. I am working on the behavior part. I found that even though I enjoy shopping, I’m more likely to shop when I’m bored. Recently, I started filling that boredom with QT with the Mr. walking and exploring our city. I am focusing on better decisions, which will yield better behavior. Every cause has an effect and every decision has a financial consequence; that’s why coming up with a personalized financial plan has been my saving grace. Yes, I prayed for financial blessing…I still do, but I have also added the caveat that with financial blessings comes financial responsibility.

Check Out My Financial Plan!

1.  Write down your debt & don’t forget to include people you owe money.    I was talking with a childhood friend who say he had zero debt.  As we got to talking it was revealed that he did not include the almost $7,000 he owed to a family member and the card he maxed out in his college days.  Out of sight, out of mind, I guess.  Once we dove deeper into our conversation, he and I started listing our debt.  My list was simple- one credit card, student loans, and mortgage.  His, well…let’s just say that I composed a very sobering list on his behalf that included all the debt that he could remember.  Seeing your debt listed, makes it more real.

2.  Emergency Fund Minimum.  Baby Step One of the Total Money Makeover is to get your emergency fund to $1,000 if you have an annual income of $20,000 or more.  “Your car will need repairs and your kids will outgrow their clothes. These are not emergencies; they are items that belong in your budget. If you don’t budget for them, they will feel like emergencies”.  It was this statement from the book that caused me to stop dead in my tracks and redefine what I considered an emergency versus saving.

3.  52 Week Money Challenge- BINGO Style.  This was actually a part of my New Year’s Resolutions for 2013.  The challenge is 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.  I took the challenge one step further by remixing it into a BINGO style which makes it easier to be successful.  In the end, you will have saved $1378.00!  I’m using the money from the challenge to pay down the balance for my credit card and b-day/holidays.

4.  Tackle Your List.  I revealed in the post, Tackle Your Credit Card Debt Today, that as of January I owed about $5300 in credit card debt.  I have reduced my debt down to $4786.00 by paying a little over the minimum and applying the Bingo Style money  to the balance EVERY Friday (I have yet to miss one), but that interest is killing me.  Without interest, my balance would be paid off by the end of the year.  While making additional payments to the credit card, I am making the minimum payment toward my student loans and mortgage.  Once the credit card is paid off, I will then apply that money to extra payments to my student loans and so on…this is called the Snowball Method.  Now, I will confess, if I had more debt, I would recommend switching between the Snowball Method and the Avalanche method, which we will discuss later in the Financial Cents series.

5.  Emergency & Savings.  Don’t forget to save that money you are no longer paying to others.  Use it to prepare for the future.  Emergencies will arise and more than likely something will come up that will cause you to tap into your savings….be prepared.

Do You Believe Personal Finance is More Behavior or Knowledge?

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