One of things I love about Januarys, is that the goals and missions all over the place blow up and motivate people. I think that’s awesome (and really the only cool thing about January – it’s so bland!). The problem, of course, is that usually this passion and excitement dies out after a few weeks. But those rock stars that stay on top it, and continue pushing forward, are very handsomely rewarded!
I don’t know which side of the fence you’re currently on, but I’m gonna assume you’re one of the rock stars ;) And since only awesome people read this blog, I thought I’d list a few of the different challenges going around the blogosphere this month in case any of ’em seem enticing to you too. Maybe it’s time to take on a new one?
The $3k Blog Challenge
One of my friends, Edward, is shooting for a goal of $3,000 earned through blogging this year, and is encouraging others to join him on this mission in hopes a community will keep everyone on track. And as a prize for the one who reaches it first, he’s dangling a $50 Visa card in front of the racers (no word on whether you can *include* this in your $3k total or not ;)). There are some rules you have to stick with – like not having a huge blog where this is easily achieved – but for the most part it’s pretty straight forward. If you blog, and you like money, why not try making some from it? (More info here)
The No-Spend Challenge
This one I like a LOT because I have done this myself, over Lent one year, and it literally changed my spending patterns. I went from spending HUNDREDS of dollars a month on random things I didn’t really need much, to SAVING hundreds of dollars over time. I can’t remember the exact numbers off hand, but I wanna say I’ve saved a good $400/mo ever since. I’m not joking – it was by far one of the best things I could have ever done, and it wasn’t easy :)
Here’s Kristina’s plan. I’m sure she’d love some others joining her!
“I decided to try a 6 month ban on my personal spending of all non essential items. I am going to learn to live on less and not spend any money on clothes, bath and beauty products, perfume, music, DVDs, movies, or Wii Games. Essential items for the household and daily living necessities such as groceries are definitely ok, but for the next 6 months I am going to live without any luxuries…I am hoping that my 6 month personal spending ban lowers my weekly spending to $150 per week. “
If it helps, read my “4 stages you’ll encounter during a no-spend challenge” post first. It may be hard in the beginning, but it’s definitely worth it in the end!
The 2012 Personal Finance Challenge
Now this one’s a whopper. Created by Aaron of Three Thrifty Guys, his mission is to complete 10 specific goals in the new year – with a checklist to print off and everything. He def. gets points for creativity :) Some of these you may have already completed, but I *highly* advise checking it out to at least see the different kinds of areas this helps with. Personal finance is way more than just savings and debt, and sometimes we forget about the more boring (in my opinion) portions. Like insurance.
Here are a handful of the more specific goals in case you’re not too lazy to click over ;) How many have you already done? How many are you already working on?
- Create a $1k Emergency Fund
- Read a Book on Personal Finance
- Cut Your Debt by 5% or More
- Start a File For Your 2012 Taxes
- Complete a DIY (Do-it-yourself) Project
If you’re looking for a good kick in the pants, consider this it and sign up to his challenge. You can’t lose anything! (And I think he’s giving away a prize at the end too. Though you shouldn’t be motivated by that, you gotta really WANT THIS to make it happen!)
I feel like I saw more challenges being passed around too, but I think these are good for now. At some point it just all becomes overwhelming :) And plus – I’m sure you guys are already working on some pretty good goals, yeah? Have any you’d like to share with us today? Maybe we’ll join you in them!
Regardless though, keep pushing yourself to achieve greatness. It’s not always easy getting started, or making it to the end for that matter, but at the end of the day it all goes to improve your lifestyle. And as much happiness as you can squeeze out of all these goals, the better :)
(Photo by Amy Loves Yah)
PS: Some of my favorite tools:
|Personal Capital (FREE) -- If you’re looking for a robust financial tracker, Personal Capital is the way to go! They’re like Mint, but on steroids and have much better tools for investment and net worth tracking. // Full review|
|Digit (FREE) -- A super easy (and automated) way to save. Every day Digit analyzes your income and expenses and will push money aside for you any time it sees extra sitting there. I've saved over $4,000 myself using them so far! // Full review|
|Acorns -- Having trouble finding money to invest? Check out Acorns – they round up all your transactions to the nearest $1.00 and drops the difference into an investment portfolio for you. Easy way to start investing! // Full review|