Whelp, it’s that time of year again! When everyone declares grand gestures of all types and takes on some seriously challenging challenges :) But that’s what I love about the new year and all the buzz that comes about it – people using their time and energy for GOOD! Even if the motivation dies over the next few months, haha… but that would never happen to YOU, right? ;)
So just like last year’s shout out to the personal finance challenges going around, I thought we’d keep the trend going and list out those I’ve come across THIS year so far… If you’ve joined (or started) any of your own out there, let us know about them so maybe they’ll inspire us too!
The 52-Week Savings Challenge
This one comes from my friend Shawanda who posted it up on Facebook a few days ago saying, “I’m not sure where it originated, but it seems like an easy way to save $1,378 in a year. The first week you make sure to save $1. The second week, you save $2. The third week, you save $3 and on and on until you get to the end of the year… For those who struggle with saving, this idea could work.”
The “No More Frivolous Spending!” Challenge
Started by my friend, and fellow blogger, Suzanne Cramer who vows to start tracking her money again and cut out all non-necessary spending! Anything outside of basic needs like food, shelter, and clothing. Which already sounds pretty hardcore to me, haha… But if you need to get yourself back on track and buckle down again, then maybe you need to start your own too? A whole bunch of non-frivolous’ers taking back control of their money again – that’s what you call sexy :)
The $3k Blogging Challenge
My boy Edward continues his mission again of trying to earn $3,000 from his blog this year. And this time around he’ll be upping the grand prize to $175 to one lucky blogger who joins him in trying to accomplish this! He’s only allowing online income sources to be counted (online advertising, affiliate links, paid blogging gigs, online sales, etc) so if you’re up for the challenge, fill out the form on his page and join the community… Or better yet, start a blog anyways and see if you enjoy it! :)
The 365 “Less Things” Challenge
This one is a personal fave of mine as it goes PERFECTLY with my own New Year’s resolution this year of keeping things simple and focused. And even more so, decluttered! The blogger behind this (Colleen) started an entire site around it with the goal of getting rid of unutilised items in her house to declutter every wardrobe, bench, shelf, under bed, pantry and garage space by giving away, throwing away or selling one item every day for twelve whole months. I freakin’ love it. And I plan on following suit and see how long I can last too :)
The 100 “Reverse Things”Challenge
If the above goal seemed a little too easy for you – which just may be the case if you’re already pretty neat and tidy over there – then feast your eyes on THIS more extreme idea: Dumping 100 things in one month! (The original challenge was to get rid of 100 things by the end of the year starting late last October, but seeing how that has since passed, I’ve edited it to apply here more currently). The blogger, Courtney Carver, dubbed this a “reverse” challenge because the REAL “100 things” challenge is getting all your possessions down to only 100 things in total (that links to the book on it, btw, which I just picked up myself!). Since that goal is pretty much unfathomable to 99.9% of us though, this is a nice middle ground where we can still keep our normal lifestyles ;)
Think you could do any of these? Or more importantly, WANT to do any of these? Haha… if so, let us know! Maybe we can take one or two of these together and help keep each other motivated :) Currently I plan on doing the 365 challenge and/or the 100 Reverse one since we’ll need to be cleaning up anyways if we want to move anytime in the near future… So this is a great way for us to start on it!
Let us know if you’ve heard of any other cool ones out there!
PS: A nice way to get started with the decluttering-type goals is to find a few boxes and label them “donate”, “sell” and “trash”. Then as you go around your house, just throw the unwanted things in the appropriate box and you’re on your way! Nice and easy!
[Photo by Sean MacEntee]
Featured savings tip
You already know that banks pay $$$ for the privilege of holding your money…it’s called interest. But maybe you didn’t know this: that so-called interest can be as little as .01%. If your cash savings aren’t sitting in a high interest savings account that earns you at least 1%, you’re basically saying “no” to free $$$!
Now, obviously the 1% interest you get with a high interest savings account like the one at Discover bank won’t make you rich, but that extra 1% compounded over 30 years can grow into a *big* pile of cash. And if you wanna hit lofty $$$ goals, you should be looking for every edge possible.
Here’s another way to look at it: if you leave $50,000 in a regular savings account, that’s almost $500 you’re just throwing away, each and every year you don't setup a high yield savings account! Will you do 5-10 minutes of work right now to earn an extra $500/year for years to come?
If you said “heck yes”, then you can setup your high interest savings account here to start earning 1% on your cash savings.