It’s been a week since Money Challenge #1 ended. It was quite humbling to come up short by almost $200. But I learned some valuable lessons to help aid me in accomplishing future challenges:
1. Don’t stop the winning streak. I quit collecting money everyday on Day 12 of my last challenge and never fully got back on board. That was a mistake. Taking a break made me lose the momentum needed for achieving the objective. In the future, there should be a daily blog post to stay motivated.
2. Be reasonable with goals. The Beard thinks it was silly to set a random dollar amount in the last challenge. When I told him I wanted to somehow make $500 in 31 days, his response was, “How did you come up with that amount as a goal?” I didn’t have a good answer. I guess it’s better to set smaller, more realistic goals.
3. Stay motivated. I could have psyched myself up more to help myself stay motivated during the last half of the challenge.
So I’ve decided to take on a similar challenge with different goal points. Plus, this one combines my love of accruing extra money with my desire to downsize my belongings in hopes of embracing a more minimalist lifestyle.
So the new challenge is:
Everyday Listing/Selling for 31 Days
That’s right. I have to list or sell something every day. Every day, I need to put something on Craigslist or Ebay or Facebook to sell or I need to somehow sell something by taking it to a resell shop.
Although I haven’t created the rules of the challenge yet, I’ve already decided to list something. So, as of Day 1, I’ve listed this brooch on Ebay:
This kickstarts Day 1 of the challenge. Hopefully with a daily goal as part of the challenge I’ll actually be able to achieve it!
I didn’t realize how intense I was being about finding money everyday until I took a break. Now, I need to remind myself why an extra $500 is not only nice, but quite necessary. A little motivational wake up call on a Saturday evening never hurt anyone. So here goes:
I need an extra $500 because….
1. Taxes: It’s two weeks until taxes are due and we owe creepy Uncle Sam some money this year. I don’t know exactly how it happened but we somehow didn’t have enough federal funds withheld from The Beard’s job….like $1100 not enough. And while we have a separate savings fund that can handle paying about half that amount, I really don’t want to dig into our emergency savings fund to pay the other half. The only thing to do is make extra money so it’s not a financial hardship.
2. Home Warranty: The Beard and I bought our house last summer. Or rather, we took out a 30 year loan on our house last summer. Which we hope to pay off in about 17 years instead of the full 30. It’s a beautiful quarter acre property with a 75 year old house sitting on it that needs some tender loving care….A LOT of tender loving care. While we’re scrimping and penny pinching to pay for the major restorations and big money fixes, I’ve decided that we need the Home Warranty to help budget the bumps along the way. Case in point: last summer while replacing the main plumbing for the house, a surprise $3500 expense that wiped us out (ah, the joys of homeownership), our A/C went out, our blowing fan quit on us, our toilet leaked and our dining room light blew out….all within 5 weeks. Luckily, because of the home warranty, we only paid $60 per service call rather than $650+. I don’t know exactly how much it will cost to get a Home Warranty this year but if it’s around $500, I want to be prepared. Because when you live in an old house, it’s not “if” something breaks down, it’s “when.”
3. Investing: While we have a checking account, a selective savings/sinking fund, an emergency savings, retirement savings, and a “just in case we need it” savings, we’re really lacking in investments. I would love to have an aggressive money market on the side. But most of the accounts I’m interested in have an opening balance requirement of $500-$1000 and we don’t have that kind of cash lying around. And in case I just sounded like we’re well-off by all the accounts I just listed that we have, let me clarify: we have a very frugal checking account, a simple selective savings, a growing emergency savings, meager retirement savings, and a “just in case we need it and it’s less than $600” savings.
4. Peace of Mind checking: I say that we have a frugal checking account because we live as frugally as practical and have a super thin cushion between paychecks after our allocations to savings, retirement, and debt repayment. It’s not uncommon for us to have only $80 in the checking account on Monday night before payday Friday morning. Needless to say, I wouldn’t mind depositing a fat wad of cash into our checking just to help with peace of mind between paydays.
5. Debt Repayment: The Beard and I have approximately $5000 in credit card debt that we plan to have paid off in 11 months. Once it’s paid off, we’ll be able to allocate much more to our mortgage premium to reach our goal there. An extra $500 toward the credit card could mean that we’re able to begin our goals a couple of months sooner.
Right….any of those things sound great.
…Of course…the irresponsible part of me wants to save $500 to afford something so lovely only a picture can show you…
A beautifully crafted pair of buttery soft leather Made in USA Frye boots! These run about $350. Something to help motivate me…