We’ve officially moved into the holiday season! Our Project Money participants have plenty to use all of their new knowledge toward, and this time of year also welcomes the home stretch of the program! That was fast, right?
It feels like our team is hitting full stride, so sit back, relax and get better with those finances.
Jenniffer started November with a fun financial quiz measuring how good she was with her finances, initially taking it based on where she was “pre–Project Money.” Unsurprisingly, the quiz said she was “struggling.” After taking it again based on where she is now, her results improved greatly, and the quiz said she was “coasting.” #Validation. The quiz also offered familiar tips, like dividing your cash into two checking accounts or saving before you spend.
Jenniffer next shared a candid entry about realizing she didn’t have enough money in her checking account for groceries, while at the grocery store! Whoops. Good thing she had been directly depositing money into other accounts. The moral of the story? It always pays to regularly comb through your finances to avoid any abrupt surprises.
We really appreciated how Jenniffer concluded the month, sharing a thoughtful piece about her grandfather, who recently passed away. Her financial lesson there? You don’t need to spend money on material things to live a joyful life—a teaching her grandparents embodied every day.
Congrats on another great month, Jenniffer!
Karl & HeatherKarl & Heather have been terrific at sharing creative ways to save money throughout Project Money, and November was no exception.
This month it started with a blog on giving up attending fundraising events, which are often the most expensive activities on the calendar (think babysitter, parking, cash bar, auction, etc.). Their solution? Find ways to give back that don’t require additional money. We especially like Karl’s company-sponsored “Grow-vember” campaign, which donates $1 to the Movember Foundation for every beard photo he submits.
The Duncans also highlighted the Top 10 Learnings of Project Money they’re most thankful for (so far). Our favorites: be honest when discussing money with family friends, evaluate costs that can be eliminated or reduced (cable, cell phones, apps), cut out impulse buys on fast food.
Moriah & TerranceSimply put, Moriah and Terrance OWNED sharing help tips this month, so we’re going to summarize their posts below, so you get as much out of their lessons as we did!
Take advantage of your annual open enrollment to use pretax dollars to cover health expenses throughout the year. For starters, if you say yes to any of the below, you could likely use those pretax dollars to cover costs.
- Do you wear glasses or contacts?
- Take any monthly prescriptions?
- Newborn baby who loves running around your house?
One of the biggest challenges facing newlyweds is combining finances. To great success, Moriah and Terrance have adapted the Him, Her and Us method:
- Both partners deposit their paychecks into a joint checking account
- Each partner is given an “allowance,” deposited directly into individual accounts
- Moriah mentioned she recently inspired some friends to do the same (and it’s working)
Venus & MadisonThe recent highlights for Venus have to be the financial lessons she’s giving daughter Madison!
In early November, Madison mentioned she was interested in joining Girl Scouts, being extra excited about selling cookies. That’s all it took for Venus, who quickly used the activity as an opportunity to teach her about saving and working hard for your money, and the lessons didn’t stop there.
The next learning opportunity came with a big toy that Madison wanted. Instead of quickly buying it for her, Venus coached her to save her money and purchase the toy herself. *High-five. Shortly afterward, Madison saw some other small toys she wanted. Venus again saw an opportunity and told Madison that while she could afford the small toys now, buying them would take away from her savings toward the bigger toy. The lesson was certainly clear, as Madison decided to save her money.
Well done, Venus. It’s definitely worth reading her other November posts, detailing what it’s like to be a fitness entrepreneur and how she focuses on goals that are S.M.A.R.T. Keep up the great work, Venus!
There you have it, everyone. We hope you enjoy the holiday season, and be sure to come back to the Money Smarts blog next month as we close in on our exciting finish!