Hello lovelies and welcome to a 3-day weekend! Congrats to everyone who is going strong on the She Makes Cents BINGO Money Challenge. It makes me so happy when members of the #SMCmoneytribe share their progress and uplift each other. I also love hearing how so many of you are making the challenge work best for you and your lifestyle. For example, Angela from Australia wanted to maximize her savings for an anniversary trip to the United States, so I created a custom double version for her and her husband. As of May 1st, they have already saved $1032.00 and that money is constantly growing for them!!!! Some are saving a fixed amount every month (hey Kechia) but all in all, the majority of you are tackling this challenge the good ole’ fashion way…one week at a time with your trusty money card sheet. Regardless of where you are in your progress, you are already winning at the habit of saving. There is a quote that I really like from Roger Crawford that says, “Being challenged in life is inevitable, but being defeated is optional”. Every person who has accepted this money challenge is refusing to allow their money or lack of it defeat them. Every dollar you save is getting you that much closer to your dream vacation, it’s getting you that much closer to paying off debt, or that much closer to building your emergency fund. While everyone’s goals are different, just know that you can do it and that you have an entire tribe of women behind you to help cheer you on along the way.
My Growth on the Money Challenge
My progress on the money challenge is much different this year than years past. My sources of income have changed and I no longer get paid on a consistent schedule, but rather on a client by client basis. Ugh…entrepreneurial life at its greatest! At this point in the challenge, I am usually hundreds of dollars ahead of my current progress. For half of a second that bothered me because I am always trying to be better than I was before. The beautiful thing is, this challenge is made to support the one’s financial changes and in the end that numbers are the same if you complete the challenge. As long as I complete every box, I will end up in the same savings range as the years before. What difference does it really make if I am crossing out low to mid numbers during the first part of the year and higher numbers toward the end of the year? It actually makes no real difference at all. In the effort to save more money this year than any of the previous years, I must focus on the four bonus boxes that are still empty on my money card.
Sharing Money Goals
Do you remember when I announced that the Mr. would be joining me in the challenge? Well, he just started last month. For him, doing the weekly version of the SMC money challenge was another thing added to his “honey-do” list that he never got around to. That is one of the reasons it took him four months to join in. He later suggested, instead of doing a dollar for dollar match, that he might try contributing a fixed amount every paycheck toward the challenge. So far his YTD contribution has been $500.00! From a financial standpoint, the numbers at the end of the year will be higher doing it this way than if he were doing a dollar for dollar match, because $250.00 per month translates into about $62.00+ per week and $62.00 will always be higher than $52.00, our highest (non-bonus) box on the money card. It’s easy for him, it works for me, and it gets us closer to our debt free money goals.
For the month of May, I saved $89.00 which puts me at a YTD of $376.00 by myself and $876.00 when combined with the Mr. Every dollar saved on this challenge is helping me pay off my student loans. Outside of our mortgages, this is the only debt we are carrying because we work hard to pay off any credit card debt that we rack up before each billing cycle. At the end of April, I made my first lump sum payment of $679.00 toward the principle and I had originally planned to make a lump sum payment every quarter. However, after seeing my payment drop a new passion for hitting certain milestones was reignited. Now, I plan to make a lump sum payment every time the balance in the money challenge is over the $225.00 mark. At the beginning of the year, my main money goal was to have my student loans under the $15K mark by the end of the year, but I decided to up the ante and push that goal date to the end of August (my birthday month).
I can’t wait to hear your progress on this challenge. Please feel free to tweet me @shemakescents, email me, or stop by our Facebook page to say hello. I love hearing from you and I love to hear your progress, motivation, struggles, and suggestions. Until then, happy saving to you and yours.
Want to join the challenge? Click here for your FREE money card download.