Category Archives: Savings Challenge

How to get your financial life together

What does that even mean? “Get your financial life together”? The answer varies from person to person because everyone has their own idea or opinion of what that means for them. Being financially savvy can be anything from cleaning up your credit score to paying off your debt to building a nest egg. Depending on your personal goal, I might not be able to tell exactly what you need to do to achieve it, but. I can share with you have I manage to reach mine. 

BMW-Expense- car
Its all about wants and needs

Wants and Needs 

The first step should be determining what you want versus what you need. Everyone wants to be given a million dollars, but what you really need is to get to that point in life you’ve earned that million dollars over the course of your career. To prove my point, 70% of people who win the lottery go bankrupt within a few years. They got the millions of fast dollars they wanted, but it was not what they needed, which is to develop a financial education and budget. It may sound like something simple and stupid, but budgeting and financial education should be the square one for getting your fiscal life together.  

Understanding Yourself

I’m not talking about some zen; center yourself and do yoga understanding yourself. To understand your financial self, you first have to ask yourself, “how much do I spend and on what versus what Learn”? Most likely, you can’t answer this question—nothing to be ashamed of. We are raised to spend and not think about it. If you asked me a few years ago, I wouldn’t have been able to answer that question either. At one point, I was blowing money out the door faster than I could earn it. The spark to get my finances together was 5 years ago when I looked at my W2, saw how much I made that year and had only 50 bucks in my bank account. You feel a certain amount of shock when you realize you’ve wasted $100,000 on just stupid stuff. That’s when I knew that something had to change. (Don’t get me wrong though, it was one hell of a year) 

Tracking my Expenses 

Once I identified the problem and the need to fix it, how did I decipher what was spending and my actual expenses? At first, I spent hours logging and tracking everything in a spreadsheet. This was a horrible way, and I hated doing it with a passion, which is why I would recommend you not bother with that. That’s when I found Personal Capital, and it made my life so much easier. Personal Capital allows users to track all of their finances online by entering all of their financial information. The site works wonders. It breaks up all of your expenses into categories and allows you to set budget limits. Personal Capital’s main benefit is that it sends you notifications once a week on how you are doing compared to the month before and following your preset budget. Now my favorite feature of Personal Capital is how it tracks your net worth. Nothing motivates you to save money, like knowing how broke you really are on paper. 

Bring a Horse to Water.

You know how the saying goes, you can bring a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink. This post is. I can show you how to get what you need, but I can’t make you do it. It’s your financial lifestyle; you can do whatever you want because it’s your life. What works for me might not necessarily work for you, but it’s worth the try at the very least.

Sign up for Personal Capital

I monitor all my money with Personal Capital. Join & we’ll both get an Amazon gift card. Make sure you use my link.

Some Quick Ways to start saving

My Favorite the Restaurant Saver or if you would like something a bit more traditional. Try the Envelop Challenge click on the hyperlink for more information.

Envelopes Savings 2020 SAVING CHALLENGE

Save a little at a time and get a lot

As 2020 drags on and we lose track of time, and each month blends into the next. We must not forget the 2020 Saving Challenges. The previous two, Stop Wasting Money on Coffee and Challenge Restaurant Saver results, both have major drawbacks that limit their efficiency. The latter is limited by the amount of time I spend in restaurants (no more indoor dining) and the overall bill, causing the amount you will be saving to be inconsistent.

Solution for consistent savings

As I explained in my blog about the coffee savings challenger, the other is just not a good fit for my life. The answer to all of these shortfalls came in a suggested post on Facebook: The Envelope Savings Challenge!  This is as simple as it gets for savings and works so well. This challenge allows a person to control and save a preselected amount of money. 

How does it work?

It works with the power of magic! No. Not even close. It works with the power of consistency, the key to completing any challenge. First, take a box of 100 envelopes and number them one through one hundred, and shuffle them around back in the box. Then, at whatever increment you select (once a week or twice a week), you randomly select an envelope, and whatever amount is written on it, that’s how much you put into savings. Sounds easy, right? The best part is that at the end of the box of envelopes, you will have saved $5500. The number sounds shocking. 

How much will I save?

Well, if you pull one pair a week, you will be about to save $5500 over the span of 50 weeks. If you pull 2 pairs, $11000 in a year and so on depending on how much you can set aside. As I said earlier, consistency is key, though. Experiment with the amount of money or frequency at which you pull the envelopes to adjust to your budgetary needs. In other words, don’t go crazy and starve yourself to save more. Everyone’s budget and the amount you can save is different. Figure out an amount that will work best for you. Do not set the bar so high that you will fail because the goal is impossible for you.  

The method to my madness?

I pull 3 pairs per week. The number is never random, either. I rigged it, so they always have to come out to $300, but I suggest you try the method above if that feels like a lot! I never have singles or fives on my person, just $20s, $50s, and $100s because I’m high class like that. I’m too OCD to have it not be a round number either. Is that too much to be saved in one week? Maybe but it stops me from spending it at the bar. 

I like money more than booze, though, cause money compounded over time buys more booze than it can right now!