Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve gotten several emails from all of you asking why I’m not doing a January No Spend Challenge this year. I mean don’t I still have financial goals? Isn’t starting the year resetting with a no spend month the way to go? Actually, not for me this year and, the reason is simple. You see, I already had plans that require a bit of spending for the month. Our girls have been with us for a week now, Scott’s sister and her family arrive on Tuesday, and we’re doing an overnight trip to see a Knicks game at the end of the month.
If there’s one thing you’ll learn about me VERY quickly, it’s that, I believe in BALANCE while working on your financial goals. None of this matters if you’re miserable, so I’m working towards living a healthy, balanced, fabulous life not AFTER I pay off my debt buy WHILE paying off debt!
But that DOESN’T mean I’m not getting serious about my goals! Here’s my plan for the year…
My Financial Goals for the Year
- Pay off my LAST student loan *insert praise dance*
- Pay off (2) Credit Cards
- Save $1275 by doing 50 envelopes in The Envelope Saving Challenge
If I accomplish all 3 of my debt payoff goals, I will have paid off an additional $17,000 in debt by December 2018!!! #WOOHOO! If I’m going to achieve this goal then I’ll need to be VERY intentional and smart about my money and save more. Here are my 5 immediate steps.
1: Join a new eMoney Pool.
I discovered eMoney Pool earlier this year and have absolutely fallen in love with it. Basically, it’s saving as part of a community (and before you ask or even bring it up, yes, it’s totally legal, yes, it’s totally legit, yes, your money is guaranteed, NO, it’s not a Ponzi scheme…glad we got that cleared up*)
I’m currently in 2 eMoney Pools, one where I save $50 every 2 weeks and 1 where I save $200 once a month. Both of them are winding down. But let me just say that, through these pools and the one I was in before, I’ve managed to save $2000! It’s money that I, yes, I could’ve saved on my own but, let’s be honest, I probably would’ve just spent in on stupid stuff!
Get $15 in Credit by using my code >>> Check it out!
2: Increase my weekly Stash deposit.
I’ve fallen in love with the Stash App! It’s an app that lets me invest small (or larger) amounts in different categories of investments creating a strategy that reflects my interests, beliefs, and goals.
Currently, I’m investing $10 per week but will be increasing that to $20 per week. My portfolio includes retailers, emerging companies, investment titans, and sustainable resources. How cool is that?!
3: I’m getting back into couponing.
I’ve been an avid couponer for years but just started getting lazy the last few months. But that makes no darn sense! Coupons and apps like Ibotta are basically free money and every coupon that I don’t use (for something that I actually need) is just a waste of money! My January goal is to get back to saving 30% off of our grocery bill each week by couponing and using Ibotta. I also just found out that one of our local grocery stores offers 10% off for Military Families 1x per month so Scott and I will be experimenting this month with buying all of our higher ticket items (ie: meats, coffee etc) on the 15th and then making our weekly grocery runs mostly for produce and perishables.
4: Take inventory of my auto debits and cancel subscriptions that I’m not using.
I try to do this at least 2 times per year because it’s amazing how often I purchase a subscription to a product or service and realize that I’m not actually using it. For example, Scott and I each have a monthly unlimited car wash pass. His is $34.99 per month and mine is $19.99 per month. We realized that neither of us is going to the car wash each and every week so, we’re going to cancel both of those and instead, buy a 5 car wash pass from a different place that allows us to share the pass for only $30 per month. That’s a savings of $25 per month or $300 PER YEAR right there!
I also have a weekly recipe subscription service that, which it’s awesome, I’m just not using. So, that’ll be another $60 per month back in my pocket.
Just canceling those 2 services will save me over $1000 this year!!!
5: Add Acorns to the debit card I use most often.
If you haven’t heard of Acorns you’re DEFINITELY missing out!!! I wrote an article awhile back comparing Digit to Acorns but let me quickly explain it. It’s an app that, every time you swipe your debit card, rounds up to the nearest dollar, deposits that money into a savings account and then invests it for you. How cool is that?! It’s amazing how quickly spare change adds up!! I’ve managed to save about $1000 in a year from using it and think I’m going to get a bit more aggressive with it this year by also adding in a monthly $20 deposit! When it comes to savings, out of sight is out of mind!! AND, you can further increase your investment by using their “Roundup Multiplier”. They’re soooo cool! Definitely check them out!
Use my link to start your Acorns account in January and they’ll plant a tree in your honor!
So, what about you? Are you ready to get SERIOUS about your financial goals for the year? Comment below and tell me all about it!!