One Way to Start Your Journey to Financial Freedom

As I shared on this blog, on Twitter, and on Facebook, this year is my year to grow.  I am working on my body, my mind and our bank account. YES, I referenced “our bank account” because I can’t completely control what my husband does with his body or whether he chooses to develop his mind, but I certainly can have more influence on our finances. Get Excited!!

ImageHaving taken a back set on the monthly expenses, savings, credits and debits related to our family finances, this ‘supposed’ 21st century Mom could not tell you the amount of our mortgage – even though my name is on the mortgage and it’s tied to my credit. I had no idea the cost of our utility bill, life insurance or any other major expense. Yes Ladies, I was what many would call “just trifling” and had given up all the power to my husband. Then I had the nerve to get upset when we started having financial problems.  Really! 

Well, that was then and this is now!  It took us some time to get that together. Now we share responsibility and are much closer and happier for the effort.  

This is just the first in a series of posts that I will share about our journey to financial freedom.  One thing that I had to do was get over myself and start sharing, asking questions, seeking advice and being vulnerable.  I couldn’t be the person who knew it all, made no mistakes, had no problems.  That’s not how you learn, grow or get what you need and want.  SO, I started talking to people about money!

What I found was that I am not alone!  Many people are looking to save, seeking ways to invest, start a business, build capital; and we started sharing our experiences.  As a result, a small group of my co-workers decided to start a savings club and we began with the 52-week challenge.  As we shared our ideas, we found others in our office who were already doing something similar, and we’ve joined forces. 

In researching the 52-week challenge, I found lots of blogs, websites, chat rooms, and assorted posts on facebook and twitter about the challenge.  However, this article caught my eye: Why You Shouldn’t Take the 52-Week Challenge

Here’s an excerpt of the advice offered:

“Don’t Do It! (That Way)

Look, I’m all for saving money. Over the next 52 weeks I’m even aiming to save $1,378, just like those in the 52-Week Money Challenge. But, I’m not doing the 52-Week Money Challenge as I’ve seen it presented. I’m doing it PYD (Pocket Your Dollars) Style.

Here’s what I am going to do instead (and, I’d really super duper love to have you do this too):

Save a Decreasing Amount Each Week

This week I’m going to set aside $52. Then next week, I’m going to decrease the amount I save by a buck and set aside $51. On week 37 I’ll save $16 and on week 52 I’ll save a whopping $1. Why?

  • Immediate results. After four weeks I’ll have an extra $202 in the bank. Under the rules of their challenge you would have saved a measly $10. In fact, it’d take you until week 20 to save $200+ under their system. After 4 weeks of doing this the PYD way, you’ll have something real and valuable to show for your efforts. Don’t believe me that immediate results matter? Which 4-week weight loss plan would intrigue you more – one that yields a 1 pound drop or a 12 pound drop? Immediate results motivate.

  • Get the heavy lifting done. If $202 seems like a lot of money to save in January, then trust me, it’d be an impossible amount for you in December (sorry if the truth hurts). Let’s do the hard work right now, when our motivation is highest. Then, come next Christmastime we only need to find an extra $10 in our budget. Nice.”

Click on the link above to read the entire post but the concept was so interesting that I had to share it!  One of my co-workers shared this idea with me, and left me intrigued.  “By Christmas, you are saving less when you may be spending more!”  

The idea is for you to save and save consistently.  This writer encourages you to open a free saving account, instead of in the jar on the counter. That’s cool!  It’s a great way to keep the money out of your reach if you may be tempted.  Some people give the money to a trusted friend or family member for safekeeping.  Others still save a certain amount and add it to an existing saving account.  However you choose to do it, just do it!

Are you ready to save money immediately?  Are you ready to begin your journey to financial freedom?  This is just a first step.  Are you going to do the traditional 52-week challenge or save PYD-style as Carrie Rocha suggests? What can you do today to begin saving?  What are you willing to give up to have money saved this month?  I would love to hear your ideas and feedback.  I will be sharing tips regularly along with weekly reminders to save or set-up your transfers.  I can’t wait to hear from you!

Changing your Finances in 5 minutes

Jessica Szymanski gives some great financial advice. Here is a repost if get most recent blog that I follow in Twitter. It only takes 5 minutes to read his blog and 5 minutes change your finances. I highly recommend following her blog!

I have already done some of these things and the difference it meant for me is amazing! I’m about to create my Pinterest board!! Get Excited!!

“I’m big into New Year’s resolutions. I think it’s because I love fresh starts and clean slates.

This year, I have a few resolutions. First and foremost: If it takes less than 5 minutes, do it now.

It’s surprising how many things we put off that could get done in 5 minutes. For example: calling to make a doctor’s appointment. Or unloading the dishwasher. Or deleting junk email. The list goes on and on.

Turns out, most of the things that you procrastinate on aren’t actually difficult or time-consuming – you just avoid doing them because they feel like a pain in the neck. But crossing a small to-do off your list can offer an outsized peace-of-mind reward because it clears mental clutter and makes you feel that you accomplished something. There’s also some evidence that this approach sets you up to achieve bigger goals, too.

In the spirit of making good on financial resolutions both big and small, here are 10 ways you can get your finances on track in the next 5 minutes or less.

Sign up for an IRA.

Unsubscribe from 3 online retailer emails.

Check the beneficiaries on your 401k to make sure they reflect your spouse or kids.

Set up automatic bill pay—no more late fees!

Take the first step in teaching your child about money. Snag this cool piggy bank that helps kids understand that money can be used for 4 things: saving, spending, donating and investing.

Sign up for paperless communications with your bank.

Change your light bulbs to CFL bulbs. They last 10 times as long, use 90% less energy, and can save you $40 over the lifetime of the bulb.

Sign up for a 529 account to start saving for your child’s college education.

Remove 2 credit cards from your wallet, and put them in a drawer where you’ll forget about them.

Create a Pinterest board called “My Retirement” and start pinning photos of what you want your retirement to look like. Refer back to the board when you’re feeling down, to remember what you’re saving up for.

The clock starts now. What can you do in the next 5 minutes?”

Jessie Szymanski writes about personal finance. You can find more of her posts at