{Week 7 Money Challenge Recap} RESET Your Goals = Success

“Personal Finance Really 80% Behavior and 20% Head Knowledge”- Dave Ramsey

Jars of Coins

We are closing out week 2 of February and I have a good feeling that people have started to forget the motivation that most feel at the very beginning of the year. Whether you have forgotten your goals, lost sight of your personal mantra for your year, or given up on your resolutions, know that it is not too late to reset. In the past three years, I’ve gotten off track more than a few times when doing this challenge. That’s why it’s called a challenge. It is not supposed to be easy. Lucky for us, my BINGO version of this challenge isn’t particularly difficult either. Making necessary changes to help you reach your goals, be it financially, socially, or vocationally is all about behavior. You have to retrain your brain and as soon as you start seeing results, you will begin to establish that positive change as a habit and one day you will look up and it will be a lifestyle. You can do it, whatever “it” may be for you. As far as this journey toward financial freedom goes, you are not alone. We are in this together. I’m proud of myself for going strong every Friday with the 52 Week BINGO Money Challenge. Today I crossed off $46.00 on my BINGO money sheet for a total of $70.00 extra dollars that went toward my credit card debt (on top of the monthly minimum, of course) this month. Instead of spending $70.00 on my taco habit (Hi, my name is Danielle and I have an unhealthy LOVE of tacos) I invested that $70.00 into my financial goals.

Great job to those who are going all in and staying on the challenge like Alysa T. who check just about every Friday, Briana C., and Chris. C.  I also want to welcome the newcomers to the challenge. The beauty of this challenge is that you can start or restart anytime, so if you have gotten off tract RESET today.

Twitter Check-Ins #SMCmoneytalks

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{January Recap} 52 Week BINGO Money Challenge

deuces to the week and hello to the weekend!

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This past Friday I was flat out sick and unable to live blog the week 5 progress report for the 52 Week BINGO Money Challenge so today’s post is a two-in-one.  Last week I crossed off $41.00 on my BINGO money sheet giving me a total of $286.00 for the month of January.  Think about it like this,  I would end up with $3432.00 for this challenge by the end of the year if I kept repeating the same numbers from the month of January.  While that sounds great for the extra money aspect of this, it isn’t that realistic for me since there were five Fridays in this month, I crossed off mostly of the larger amounts, AND did a $100.00 bonus box in week 3.

52 Week Challenge

January Recap-  By the Numbers

  • Week One: $35.00
  • Week Two: $40.00
  • Week Three $50.00 + $100.00 (bonus)
  • Week Four: $20.00
  • Week Five: $41.00

January Total:  $286.00 Total Savings YTD: $310.00

Today is the first Friday of February (and my mom’s birthday….hi Mom!).  I crossed of $24.00 today and applied it directly toward my first step in snowballing my credit card debt.

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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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{Chasing the Saturdays} How I Saved $500+ Before Breakfast!

she-makes-cents-saturday-post-breakfast

I woke up in a weird mood this past Saturday. I was torn between excited to tackle my never-ending to-do list and not wanting to leave the warmth of the bed. So what did I do?- A little of both. I grabbed the laptop and started to audit my flow of income and in doing so, I noticed I was missing opportunities to save more money. Before breakfast, I saved a little under $100 a year by canceling my cell phone insurance. It was one of those things that I should have done months ago, but never really got around to doing it. The two times that I actually thought about filing an insurance claim, the deductible was so expensive that it was better to just get a new phone and not having to worry about whether I would receive a new or refurbished phone from my carrier.
My first savings of the day energized me, so much so, that I called my dad to follow-up on his savings audit I did for him last year. Even when I showed my dad how he could save $1600, he actually never followed through.  It was time for me to take matters into my own hands. I started with my parents’ home phone and internet bundle and I canceled every service that they don’t use and wouldn’t miss. I reduced their monthly bill by $40 per month equalling to about $480 a year!

Are you overpaying for services you no longer use? 

Take a little time to review your statements from your service providers.  Remove extra services that you no longer use, are outdated, or that qualify as a luxury you could live without.  I did this a few months ago when I realized my cable bill included a football package.  It made NO sense/cents for me to pay for an added luxury that I didn’t even use.  Now, I am enjoying the savings more than missing the extra channels that I didn’t event know about.  If by chance, you have already eliminated every extra fee, then you should consider calling your service provider to see if there are any other discounts that can be applied to your account.   It may take a little time to get through your audit, but remember it’s better to spend some time to save some money!She Makes Cents logo

What Services Can You Remove From Your Bill to Save?
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{Financial Cents} Say No Social and Yes to Finances!

During the infancy of She Makes Cents, I started reading Shoo…Jimmy Choo by Catey Hill. This, I admit, was another book I picked up because I like the title.  In it, Hill goes beyond the standard advice to create a spending chart and record everything you spend your money on in it. She adds the recommendation to also include additional information such as who was with you and the motivation behind your purchase. I did this for about two months and learned that I often spent extra money when I was with one particularly close friend. I usually spent money on expensive lunches and after reviewing the spending chart, my motivation behind my spending was purely emotional. I didn’t realize that was I was spending a great deal of money simply because I missed hanging out with her like I did when I was in college. Fast forward almost two years later where I started repeating the pattern of emotional and socially inspired spending. With my current job, I got back into the habit of frequently going out to lunch with the girls. I didn’t want to miss the great conversations but most importantly, I didn’t want to appear anti-social.

She Makes Cents money saving blog for women

At the start of the year, something clicked for the Mr and me. Our view on how we spend money as a couple and individually has narrowed. We have become super serious about saving and making better decisions on how we spend our money. Does that mean no lunches with the girls? Absolutely not! It does mean that I won’t be going with them EVERY DAY for lunch or drinks after work, though. Instead, I am cooking more at home and packing more lunches. As much as I hate to decline a social invitation, I would hate it more if the collective whole of my socially motivated financial decisions were the reason I wasn’t truly living a fabulous debt free life. I am proud of myself. I find that I’m eating better and cleaner. I also becoming a better cook, which is always a plus, but more importantly, I have learned to say no to social and yes to finances!

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{Save It} Target Plans to Price Match Top Online Retailers Year-Round!

Yesterday Target today announced plans to price match top online retailers year-round, including Amazon.com, Walmart.com, BestBuy.com and Toysrus.com (including Babiesrus.com). Target stores will also price match items found on Target.com. The new policy, which takes effect immediately, will combine Target’s previous price adjustment and competitor ad match policies into one simple, easy-to-use Price Match Policy that now includes select online retailers. If a guest buys a qualifying item at a Target store and then finds the identical item for less in the following week’s Target circular or within seven days on Target.com, Amazon.com, Walmart.com, Bestbuy.com or Toysrus.com or in a local competitor’s printed ad, Target will match the price. “Guests can confidently shop at Target every day for the best value in retail,” said Gregg Steinhafel, Target Chairman, President and CEO. “We know that our guests often compare prices online. With our new Price Match Policy and the additional five percent savings guests receive when they use their REDcard, Target provides an unbeatable value.” Target introduced its first price match policy, the Low Price Promise, in 2009 and began matching select online competitors for the first time this holiday season. Price match may be requested at Target’s Guest Services prior to a purchase with proof of current price or by bringing the original Target receipt and proof of current price.

For more information about price match at Target, click here