Are your finances a mess? Do you wonder where all your money has gone before the next paycheck comes in? Are you worried about retirement?
I can say yes to two of these, as both a single mom and a single woman living alone. I haven’t lived a well-off life by any means. Mainly because I don’t generate a large income. For a long time, when Skye and Zowie were little, I felt more well to-do than I was. When income taxes would come in I could get us what we needed, and pay ahead up to six months on each bill. It was nice, and I had plenty of time to come up with the payments for the second half of the year.
Not that I had lots of money coming in. We got by, though. I used yard sales, clearance sales, thrift stores, flea markets, and hand-me-downs from others to be sure we did. I learned to make household cleaners, and cooked from scratch. We weren’t doing to bad overall.
Then they were gone, moved on to their adult lives, the tax refunds got a whole lot less, and prices had gone up on, well, everything. I make more money now than I ever did when they were little, but it doesn’t go near as far.
So I’ve saved nothing.
Recently I heard about Personal Capital’s 30 Day Money Cleanse and was very interested. When I saw that the challenge and graphic didn’t have anything to do with credit cards, I decided to participate in the challenge and share it with you!
I never promote credit cards to my readers. A family members experience with them, and having to pay them down, turned me off from them completely. I see how much debt people are in and can’t bear to suggest them to people I care about; family, friends, readers. I know, for me, using credit cards would be disastrous. Why would I suggest them to someone else?
NOTE: This is not my challenge. It’s one put out by Personal Capital, and I’m happy to follow along with it. I hope you’ll join me. Their personal finance software is free, and we’ll discuss that in one of the day challenges.
Click on the link below the graphic to download the PDF. I promise it is clear and easily readable. The graphic is a calendar of easy steps to take in the challenge, one per day. No step looks like it is going to take that long to complete.
Who can join the challenge?
Anyone! Single mom. Single dad. Married couple. Teenager. Young adult. Forty-five or fifty year old. Let’s do this!
What do I hope to gain from this challenge?
Two of my New Year Goals are on my blog, Frugal is Fabulous!:
There’s more to financial planning than these two goals, however.
- I’m hoping to expand on these goals, thinking ahead to future years. What ultimate goals do I have financially, and how do I meet them?
- I want to learn how to best use an aggregator to keep track of my finances.
- I want to learn more about investing in a strategic way.
- I want to start a retirement savings.
And I’m sure there’s a lot more I need to learn, but I don’t want to overwhelm myself by moving too quickly, especially since I have hardly any money to save at this point, and I have so many medical and related bills to pay off.
Baby steps. Deep breaths. Positive thoughts. ❤
Challenge yourself to a few minutes a day
I don’t want long drawn out processes while I’m learning about myself, my real financial situation, and what my financial situation might look like in the future depending on the steps I take now and in the near future. I think spending too much time on one thing, or many, in one day would be far too overwhelming, and wouldn’t help my depression and anxiety (which, by the way, I’ve gotten pretty darn good at controlling).
So I wouldn’t want to put all that stress on you.
But I’d like to know if you want to join in on this challenge with me. I’m not telling you to use specific services or anything, I’m just asking you do your future a favor and take these steps.
My contact says it should take just a few minutes to complete each daily task, but I’m thinking of dedicating 30 to 60 minutes each day to this and my other financial goals. You don’t have to put in the extra time. 30 days is not too long to find out what I can do and how things might turn out years down the road, and I’m excited to do this challenge. How about you?
If I feel overwhelmed, I promise to stop, take a break, and come back to things later. Baby steps. Deep breath. Positive thoughts. ❤
- To learn what is necessary to finish each step or, if a step does not apply to me I will still do the learning so I can report back to you.
- To write a blog post about each day’s challenge. I will do my best to get them out on a daily basis but remember, I have a full-time job and I write. All articles will be posted, even if a day late once-in-a-while. I’ll do the challenge part each day though. I hope you do as well.
- Do my best to answer any questions you have.
- Read and respond to every comment and/or email, so feel free to comment with tips, questions, concerns, experiences, and relevant information. And please let us know how each day’s challenge goes for you, and how you feel about each. You can email me personally at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com, if you don’t want to share something publicly.
- Keep the challenge posted here on the blog for at least a year, and the comments open just as long. I’m aware that some of you will not have time to do this now, and that new readers may not come across these posts until later. You can still do the challenge, ask questions, share stories, and whatnot.
- Provide a category in the sidebar labeled Financial Planning Challenge so everyone can easily follow along and know right where to go when they get on the blog.
- Use the same graphic for each post header in the challenge series so everything will be consistent and easy to find. It will be labeled Financial Planning Challenge.
- Add a blog post after the challenge ends (for me), detailing how I feel about my progress, things I’ve learned, and whatever else seems relevant.
Tools for the Challenge
There are a few things I will need to pull this challenge off in at least a somewhat organized manner. The necessary tools may differ by person, as some are more digitally inclined than others, and some have different organizing and learning styles. These are the basic tools I’ll be using:
- Journal for finances, as I feel I’ll be adding to it over the years as I learn more.
- Pens – Purple and red as they are pretty 🙂
- Highlighters for day headings, because I like the use of color.
- A calculator.
- My laptop to perform my research.
- The 30 Day Money Cleanse PDF (download the PDF here: 30 Day Money Cleanse by Personal Capital)
Will You Join the challenge?
Let us know in the comments, email me, or just start commenting when the challenge starts. I’d absolutely love it if you would join me for this challenge. It’s easier to go through things with the support of others, than to go some things alon.
When will I begin the challenge?
Friday January 20th, 2017.
This will give me a chance to get all my tools together so I can be ready. I’ll be needing a new journal. I’ll post the first day’s challenge experience here in the evening, after I’ve had a chance to get to it.