What up, Hustle Nation!
Another day another dollar earned/saved/invested/paid off in debt, right? :) It’s been one heck of a week over here on the budgetsaresexy side, from having my 7 things learned over 7 years post picked up by Lifehacker, USAA, and then Business Insider (!!), all the way to realizing I won’t be able to retire for another 20 years at this rate, haha…
But hey? That’s what makes life interesting, eh? Ups and downs and all arounds to remind us that we’re still alive and to keep fighting the good fight! And every now and then we’re rewarded when we least expect it. (That 7 things learned post? I almost didn’t write it cuz I thought it might turn out lame!)
Another thing that went down behind the scenes this week was putting together a page of all of the financial experiments I’ve tried over the years. I thought it would be fun to showcase them all on one main page to track going forward, so I rummaged through the site to find all those I rocked, all those I gave up on, and all those that completely changed my life.
Check ’em out here! J’s Money Experiments
Something else that came out of this page was the reminder that it’s Lent season again! I’m not sure how many of you Catholics/Christians out there celebrate it these days and do the ol’ “give something up for 40 days” sacrifice, but it brought me back to the good ol’ days of ’08 when I took on my very first “No Shopping” challenge and realized I was wasting hundreds of dollars every month :) I remember it as if it were yesterday because it was such an epiphany! And probably the hardest habit to break, maybe outside of beer (which I promptly took back up after Lent was over, haha… but not so the shopping!).
In fact, here’s everything I’ve given up over the past handful of years during Lent:
- In 2007… I gave up soda
- In 2008… I gave up shopping
- In 2009… I gave up complaining *
- In 2010… I gave up… nothing? (Don’t have a record…)
- In 2011… I gave up cursing *
- In 2012… I gave up desserts/sweets
- In 2013… I gave up beer (gasp!)
- In 2014… I gave up nothing. Again :(
* I levied a $1.00 penalty per occurrence on myself which was donated directly to our church ;)
So what’s in store for 2015?
I’m thinking Round II of the Shopping Ban :) My spending has definitely changed for the better over the past 7 years, but if I want to reach financial independence quicker I better start upping my game. And I bet if I monitor my spending a lot closer again I’ll start seeing some hidden patterns emerge over the weeks. Probably relating to my two beautiful boys as I’ve gotten rid of most my old vices by this point but I’m a sucker for those two!
So just like last time, all spending on non-essential items is off-limits until Easter Sunday. No picking up any snacks while out, no restaurant dining, no picking up any clothes or electronics of course, no music, apps, baby toys, books, marbles, coins (egads!) or anything else that’s not important to survive. Only bills, mortgages, healthcare, utilities, rent and groceries.
We’re going back to the basics, baby! I’m excited!
What does this have to do with having a J$ in your pockets?
Well, because I want you to download this new cell phone app I found and let me know if you’ll be joining me in this No Shopping Ban or not :) It’s a quick multiple choice answer, and the first 50 people who do so will get a $5.00 Starbucks or Amazon card for helping me test out this thing!
I’ve been trying to find a way to interact with y’all more offline as well as on the blog, twitter, facebook, etc, and when I came across this new app called Reacht I thought it might be the perfect way. In a nutshell, it’s an app that allows leaders of a group to send out a poll to their friends/fans who then easily answers them as they pop up on their cell phone. I’m usually not much of an app guy, but when I started playing around with this thing I thought it would be great for Budgets Are Sexy!
So if you want to be VIP and answer weekly polls on money,
sign up and join my group! I plan on shooting one out every Friday to start the weekend off right (and maybe another throughout the week too, not sure yet), and then using some of the data for upcoming blog posts and other fun things I come up with. The app is totally free, and it literally takes seconds to connect up.
All you have to do is:
Download the app: get it here for iPhone and here for Android
- Click on “Join Group” once you’re in
- Type in “money” to find the “Budgets Are Sexy” group
- Join it, and start answering away!
The first 50 people who do so will get their hands on $5.00 worth of Starbucks/Amazon, and we’ll try it out for a month and see if we should keep it around. Worst case you get a free coffee and have some fun answering questions, right? Cuz we all know *all* questions about money are fun! ;)
[UPDATE: Reacht went out of business, wha wha….]
Excited to try this out! And hoping some of you are going to join me in this ban! :)
UPDATE: The first 50 people have already signed up, but I’d LOVE for you to still download the app and join up so we can do some awesome polls!! It’s really fun so far! :)
PS: Shout out to the folks at Reacht for the gift cards! We’re the first finance blog to test this bad boy out, so I’m glad they were up for partnering up.
PPS: If you haven’t seen it yet, the winners of the other week’s $50 gift cards were Anne Marie and Tyneisha. Congrats, ladies!
[Photo by russelljsmith // spiced up by J$]