I LOVE everything about Fall.
The cool air, the leaves changing colors, the food, and all the delicious smells.
Pumpkin, orange, clove, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom. Oh, my!
This delectable blend has been swirling its way through our house for at least a week now.
Go on, try it out. You are going to love it!
What smells remind you of Fall? What do you do that gets you into the Fall spirit?
Talk back in the comments below.
Are you one of those people who can’t save any money?
Does it burn a hole in your pocket, so you have to spend it? Or are you living paycheck to paycheck not seeing a way to stash some cash?
Or does your income dip up and down so much that you’re afraid to put any money aside for anything?
I get it.
Most of the saving advice I received throughout the years never worked for me either. Tithe 10% here, stash 10% there. Huh? What?
I had the best intentions.
I started saving my money, but then something would always happen. And I would forget and have to start all over again.
Until I started participating in the Money Saving Challenges.
I’m sure you’ve heard of them.
The most popular one is the 52-Week Money Challenge.
Each week you save that week’s number. For example, week one you save $1.00. Week two: $2.00 and so on and so forth.
I know some people who started saving because of this challenge. (That would be me!) And then others who gave up midway through because as the weeks increased so did the savings. For some, that’s a bit difficult.
Unless you don’t have any money coming in, I believe it’s a mindset thing. And my solution is to reverse the weeks. So week one, you save $52. Week 2: $51. Week 3: $50.
Why does that work? Because as you know, there is always more excitement at the onset of a challenge than at the end.
But don’t sweat it if you had trouble with the 52-Week Money Challenge.
I have an easier one for you. And although it won’t save you as much, it will get you in the habit of saving. And isn’t that the point?
It’s called The 365 Day Money Challenge. (I know…quite original.)
I’m going to call it The Rainy Day Money Challenge.
With this challenge, you’re going to stash some cash (or pennies) every day for 365 days. You can see what I’m talking about in the chart below.
Whether you start on Day 1 saving a penny or start on Day 365 and save $3.65 is up to you. Your goal is to have every one of these boxes crossed out which means you saved that amount on the day you crossed it off.
So, what will you save?
If you’re a math geek, you already know the answer but for those of you who have to think about it, you will save $667.95.
Not bad for someone who has never saved anything.
There are so many things you can do with $668.
You could apply it to your debt, take a mini vacation, or invest it. You could also open up a savings account, deposit it and start the challenge again.
It is the PERFECT rainy day fund.
But before I go any further, there are TWO key factors that will make this challenge a success.
1. You MUST pay yourself every morning before you do anything else. Listen, you need to make saving a habit. Paying yourself first is a fantastic way to do that.
2. Make sure you have your savings chart and container in a place where you can see it every morning. (Feel free to use a container of your choice…a mason jar, a glass jug, Manila envelope, etc.)
My advice: Do not deposit this money into a bank account until you save the full amount. Transferring funds is way too easy to do these days. I want you to witness your win at the end of the year.
Listen, $668 is nothing to sneeze about. You can do this!
So, are you ready to get started?
Print out your chart, find a container, and start saving tomorrow. Go!
Who says giving back has to be in large sums of cash or weeks worth of time?
I know you (like me) don’t always have the funds, the resources or the time to give on a monthly basis. But that doesn’t mean we can’t give back.
Last week, my son and I created a list of ways we can give back now. Easy, simple things that don’t take up a lot of time or money.
Below you will find 17 of our favorites.
- Start a community garden.
- Give someone the gift of your time who you know can’t afford it.
- Run or walk for a cause.
- Add money to an expired meter.
- Foster a pet.
- Give an anonymous donation to a friend or family member in need.
- Pick up trash around your neighborhood.
- Start a recycling program.
- Become an organ donor.
- Mow your neighbor’s lawn.
- Pay for someone behind you at the (toll booth, coffee shop, mini mart, etc.).
- Volunteer at an elder care facility.
- Donate your blood.
- Run a fundraiser for your favorite charity.
- Give extra food to a local food pantry or food bank.
- Buy lunch for a homeless person.
- Gift a friend who is having a bad time of it lately a gift card to their local grocery store.
It doesn’t take much.
Giving back starts with one person having a big heart.
The hope is there will a trickle effect. And even if there isn’t, touching lives one person at a time is better than not touching a life at all.
What other ways can you give back? What can you add to this list? How do you currently give back?