Monday, January 2, 2017

8 Weeks of Saving More! Getting Started (Week 1)

Congratulations, you've made it!  Made it to the starting line, that is.

You don't typically hear those words at the beginning of a challenge, right?  More likely when you hit the finish line.  I decided to write them now to not only give you a preview of what's to come, but also to cheer you on for just getting started.  Not everyone shows up to the starting line!  So, hooray for you for taking on the challenge.  We've got 8 weeks of fun and fatter wallets headed our way!

Today's post may get a little lengthy, but that's only because I have so much to tell you as we embark on this savings journey.  Here's the main question I'd like you to keep asking yourself as you read through this post:

"Why am I doing this challenge?"

What was it that piqued your interest, that made you sign up to take on 8 weeks of saving more?  It's really important that you answer this honestly.  Telling yourself, "I just want to save more money" is a superficial answer.  Read through the following statements and see if you identify with any of them:

  • Are you tired of the same old, same old when it comes to managing your finances (as in, not having any extra to manage)?
  • Would you love to go on vacation this year and not have to put it on a credit card, but don't know how that's even possible given the size of your budget?
  • Is there a big ticket purchase you'd like to make and not have to worry about financing?
  • Would you like to have a cash reserve to pull from anytime you wanted or needed to?
  • Would you like to finally take charge of your money, instead of always feeling like you never have enough?
I can tell you I have identified with all of these at one point or another in my life.  After I had my son, Landon, I started to realize just how expensive life is, especially with a kid!  My husband, Jamie, was working full-time and I was working part-time, and we still had very little savings to spare.  That was not the legacy I wanted my son to grow up with, so establishing a stable financial foundation for our growing family became my "why".  My what and how evolved into the book that is now 8 (Really Creative) Ways to Save.  If you haven't read this book, I highly recommend you check it out.  I will be pulling something from it each challenge so it helps to be familiar with it.  Here's a snippet of what I have to say about the importance of knowing your "why" in 8 (Really Creative) Ways to Save:

"Finding your why is critical to get you started on any goal, big or small.  If you say you want to lose twenty pounds and then set out to do it, the first time an obstacle in the form of a hot, glazed donut presents itself, you're going to fail if you don't know why you're trying to lose weight.  It's the same concept with your money.  If you're not accustomed to saving regularly, you might start out strong, but without a clear reason why you're saving, it will be too easy to quit the first time you're tempted to blow your savings."

So, now you see why it's so important to know your "why".  You will have it in front of you when you want to quit.  And yes, there are going to be times during this challenge when you'll want to quit. So will I.  But we won't because it's at that point, we'll be able to remind ourselves (and each other) WHY we're doing this savings challenge in the first place.  Do you have your why yet?  If so, you've already completed half of this week's task.

Week 1 Task 1: Define your "why" for completing this challenge and write it down!

Now that we've completed that, I want to share how the process works for this challenge.  There are 3 Steps to the challenge, and they are the same 3 steps that I outline in my book.

Step 1: Define 2 goals to save for.  We'll come up with these this week!
Step 2: Begin saving using the 8 creative ways to save outlined in the book.  You'll choose a couple of these to try and tweak them to work for you.  We'll discuss these next week.
Step 3: Pay cash for one or both goals.  Note: this may not happen at the end of the challenge.  You may have to keep saving to reach your goals, but you'll have two months of a savings habit that is sure to give you a great start!

Week 1 Task 2: This week, your challenge is to come up with 2 goals to save for during this challenge.  Here's the really fun part: you can choose any two goals you want, large or small.  Get creative!

I'll share mine with you to give you an idea of what will be motivating me.  The first goal I have is to save cash for my "sister trips".  My sister and I have decided that we will take two trips this year together.  She's a flight attendant, so we can really fly anywhere we want for little to nothing (!!), but I know I'll want to have plenty of cash when we get to where we're going.  We each get to plan a trip.  I am so excited about this, so I'm very motivated to save for this goal.

My second goal is something a little more practical, but no more less exciting to me.  I've wanted LASIK vision correction for a very long time.  I think I wanted it before it was even invented because I've had poor eyesight for most of my life.  Because I have many issues with my eyes, I'm sure the procedure will not be on the cheap end, so my ultimate goal is to save up enough cash to have the procedure, pay for it outright, and enjoy the rest of my thirties with contact-less vision.  Wow, I can't imagine how great that would be!

Ok, now it's your turn!  Make sure the two goals you come up with excite YOU.  It doesn't matter if they mean anything to anyone else; it's your money and your goals.

Part of this challenge is going to be interacting with each other.  So, once you've completed the two tasks outlined in the week 1 challenge, please share them in the comments below!  I can't wait to read about your "why" for saving and the two goals you came up with.

This is going to be so much fun!!!


Ps. If you're just reading this post, but aren't a part of the challenge, you can join us at anytime!  Simply follow this blog by email and you'll start receiving each challenge post right to your email inbox.  I do recommend starting here first and performing the challenge tasks in order!


  1. My two goals are 1. A new kitchen floor (the cheaper one is first to keep me motivated). 2. Extended pool deck with fire pit (way more expensive).

    1. Woohoo! Way to set some goals! How amazing will it be when you accomplish both of these? Love you, friend!

  2. Here are my 2 goals: 1) pay off car loan, and 2) step into full-time cancer ministry (which would require provision)!

    1. Diana, these are AWESOME! I especially love the 2nd one! Although, driving around in a paid-for car will make that ministry that much sweeter! I know you are going to reach both of these goals.