Money Challenges


Mission Accomplished!
Mission Accomplished!

For the first time EVER, I completed the 52 Week Money Challenge! You can see in the left sidebar that my meter is back down to a measly $3… but that only gives me a great feeling of relief; my last payment to my Money Challenge account in December of 2015 was $103. That’s a bit of a tough go when I make minimum wage, believe me.

I did it, though! I’m REALLY proud of myself, too!

Did you take the money challenge with me in 2015? Will you take it with me this year?

It works like this: Week 1: you pay $1 into a separate savings account (or a jar, a sock in your dresser drawer, under your mattress…) – I put mine into a high-interest tax-free savings account, where it sat there looking very, very small. Actually I put $3 in there on the first payday of January 2015, since I’m paid on a bi-weekly basis. The reason it worked out to $3 is that on Week 2 you add a dollar… and then on Week 3, you save $4… etc. etc.

At the end of 52 weeks, if you’ve been keeping up your promise to pay yourself, you’ll have a whopping $1373 in that account, not including any interest you’ve accrued. I know it doesn’t sound like all that much to save in a year – but it’s $1373 that I didn’t have earning interest at this time last year (and I have a really neat plan for that money, believe me!).

I actually have $1,389.28 in that account. I started out with $10 already in there, as I had originally planned on putting $10 from every paycheck away, just to see if I could do it. My savings habits have been habitually DISMAL for my entire life – I had failed the Money Challenge for the two years previous, before I even got to February, but I decided to give it one last go, using this blog as an accountability tool. Turned out, I didn’t update very often – but I kept putting money in that account every single payday… even when I was laid off in the middle of January 2015 (I kind of had to play catch up after I finally found work two and a half months later, but I DID catch up).

The rest of the money in that account is $6.20 worth of interest – again not much, but it will grow exponentially as my balance grows – I plan to use the same account and the high interest will begin to be worth it as my balance gets up there.

That’s not all I’ve been doing with my money during 2015 – I’ll be giving more detail in future posts as to where my money really goes as well as how my “Prepaid Living Plans” are working out. I have several resolutions this year – one being updating this space on a more regular basis – at least with a weekly “Accountability Post”. It’s hard to prove I’m serious about my Shoestring Budget when I rarely update, isn’t it?

Anyway – I really hope you’ll join me in the 2016 52 Week Money Challenge. If *I* can do it, ANYBODY can!

The Simple Dollar has come up with 6 Ways to Hack the 52-Week Money Challenge that you may want to check out!

Real Life Zenishness...

How It All Went Down (Raising Itself Up in the Process)…

Taken August 9, 2008 with Canon PowerShot A550

As I sit here at 10:14 AM, with my second Cuba Libre half-full/half-empty – pick what suits you (Now, don’t be mad, Mom. I work nights. This is my 10 PM, remember?) – I’m trying to reflect on 2008, choosing words that actually describe it properly. The only words I can come up with are, *Incredible* Year.

They don’t do the year justice. “Amazing” comes to mind, as well.

I’ve changed more in this one year than I have in all of the previous 40-odd, I believe. I’ve changed with a purpose – rebuilt myself – rarely falling back into my “old” self; again, on purpose. And, truthfully, there are few… (two, maybe…?) people that I bother to do that for anymore.

I can confidently say that there is not a single person walking the planet that really knows me. The closest to knowing me would, of course, have to be The Idiot Child, but when you smush two human beings into one room and take away their walls and their sunlight, they have to kind of get to know each other. The alternative would be to kill each other.

Kyla has become more “The Mom” than “The Kid” over the last few months. She makes sure I get to work on time… that I have meals (not always on time, mind you)… that I’m wearing clean underwear, and that there’s nothing gross stuck in my teeth, or hanging out my nose. She tells me what my chores are and when to do them. The only real “Mom” thing I do is get her to school – and that’s because, otherwise, she wouldn’t go at all.

We don’t argue or fight. Ever. She’s fourteen. We’re obviously not normal, are we? Ah well… “normal” is over-rated, anyway.

Ruby knows me best, next. She’s the only real face-to-face friend that could say that, I guess. Actually, now that The Fly-Girl has flown, she’s pretty much the only real face-to-face friend at all, here in good ol’, bad ol’ Sault Ste. Marie, and I like it like that, I truly do.

I’m changing, for the most part, in preparation to leave this little city. I’ll keep a “base” here until Ky is out on her own, and then that will go, too. I’ve been saying that for years, now, but it’s only been in the last year that I’ve done anything about it. Plans have been made, laid down, dissected into the smallest possible steps, and I’ve slowly been picking away at them.

Now, when I compare who I was a year ago today, to who I am now, it’s astounding. I’m much more like my blog “persona”, now, for one thing. I’m “slightly exaggerated”. LOL! Strange description, I suppose, but I like it very much.

I begin traveling *for real * in March, with a trip to Detroit. That seems small, written here, but it isn’t, at all. That’s big. I’ve literally never been anywhere (I can’t count the week-long school trip to Montreal, because I was drunk for most of it, and besides, that’s where my fear of airplanes hit me in the face, and I’ve had to negate the parts I remember – screaming comes to mind.).

I’ll be flying to New York City sometime in the fall – most likely the first week of October. In between, sometime this coming summer, I will be setting fire to Suzi’s back yard, in Minnesota.

Yes. 2009 is the year that I will begin meeting my “Blog-Family” face-to-face. Finally. And I don’t want them to meet the Me that once was. I don’t like that person, so why would they? I’m not that Me anymore, and all it took was a little bit of On-Purpose Hermitization.

I will be the blogger they have come to “know”, so to speak. Slightly exaggerated. Says “shit” a lot (granted, that’s a carry-over, but it’s a really good word – just ask The Pop-Eye.).

Except I won’t say “shit” in front of their kids. Unless their kids say “shit” first, and then I will try my damnedest to be a good influence and say, “Don’t say ‘shit’ – that’s a bad word.” Then again, maybe I won’t… ๐Ÿ˜€

Yes, 2008 has been my best year, yet. The happiest. The most lucrative. The most “step-forwardest”. The last time I said something even close to that in this space (don’t look for it – I “disappeared” it long ago…) my entire life and being turned upside-down and inside-out and it took a year (and Ruby) to set me straight again, but I’m not concerned about jinxing myself, this time.

I make my own luck now.

So… highlights of 2008?

I bought The Prissy-Van. ๐Ÿ˜€

I lost my father. ๐Ÿ™

I dumped a bunch of nasty-bad memories. ๐Ÿ˜€

I lost the sunlight. ๐Ÿ™

Oh, and I got the WordPress Stats Plugin – so I can now give (to those of you that may give a shit) my Top Ten Posts for 2008. The list is not completely accurate, as I didn’t install it on January 1st (or even in January – truth be told, I don’t remember how long I’ve had it), but it’s interesting to see.

The post titles and views are above and below each other, rather than side-by-side, only because I can’t be bothered to go in and fix the code that “clipmarks” puts in there, but I guess you’ll manage to figure it out.

And if you can’t see it at all, it may be because you’re not browsing with Firefox. (Bad, Bad, BAD!)

Oh, and there’s 13 rather than 10, simply because of the three-way tie at the bottom, there.

And, by the by, I am SO sick of that post at the top. There are more freaking “pierced nose” searches through google than I ever wanted to know about.

  blog it

Oh, yeah…. Resolutions? Two:

1) Get on that plane in October without screaming, crying, or getting drunk first.

2) Quit using so many freaking quotation marks on my freaking blog.

Random Song-for-the-Day: “Everybody Have Fun” – Wang Chung

P.S. It’s now 11:59… it took an hour and forty-five minutes and a third Cuba Libre to write this crap. I’m having another one. Cuba Libre, that is – not crap.

Happy New Year!!