Project Money 2017 is officially underway! Wow, have we been ready. All four teams kicked off the competition with some great candidness, sharing promising goals, smart insights and a few early losses.
Sit back, relax and get ready for another inspirational Project Money journey. Okay, enough from us — let’s get to it!
Karl & Heather
Karl and Heather had quite the start to their Project Money journey! The couple started by setting their top three goals they hope to achieve this year, consisting of 1) building a budget that’s jointly managed; 2) eliminating credit card debt; and 3) aiming to AVOID supplementing their income with their savings.
Elsewhere, they shared some great income-producing/expense-reducing strategies, which include maintaining a garden of tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, peas and beans. They also spread their produce into colder months by using the veggies to make their own salsa and marinara for the winter months (umm, yum).
It’s also worth checking out their “race” strategy, where they share a few cost-saving apps from their two favorite stores (Target and Trader Joe’s). Yeah. We’ll be downloading them, too. Perhaps most notably, they shared a great entry about openly discussing their income, a topic largely avoided among people in general! We like it.
Keep up the great work, you two!
We must say, Jenniffer began her Project Money journey in a pretty cool way. Ever compare your financial life to a roller coaster? (Or anything to a roller coaster for that matter?) Look no further. Jenniffer did a solid job in her first Project Money blog. In addition to her great storytelling, she kicked things off in a pretty honest way.
After explaining how she currently uses most of her paycheck to cover bills while using credit for all other expenses, she posted a nice piece on bonds, insightfully discussing interest rates and returns! Nice.
Along with her expanding financial knowledge, Jenniffer showed off her problem-solving chops, using social sites like Twitter and Pinterest for savings tips from people who share her disdain for grocery shopping. She even backed it up by showing two grocery receipts, one before Project Money and one after. Well done, lady!
Moriah & Terrance
Moriah and Terrance began their Project Money fast by leveraging the Money Minder app right away to track their various accounts in one spot. From there, things went well enough that their second Project Money post ever (!) centered around their top-five wins. Well, OK then.
Highlights included several financial firsts, such as their son Daylen celebrating his first birthday (happy belated, Daylen!), which helped the couple transition to an organic formula, dropping monthly costs from $100 to $30–$40! What’s more, Moriah saved nearly $20 at the grocery store through coupons alone, and the couple didn’t spend ANY money on lunch at work. Oh, and then there’s the small feat of fully paying off a credit card. Now they’re just showing off ;)
They eventually came back down to planet Earth with the rest of us after getting an unexpected $120 on their Chicago I-Pass. Every failure is a lesson, right? This one: make sure bills have the right card tied to them. Perhaps the best lesson of the month came when their washing machine broke. Instead of Terrance’s wish to buy a new machine ($600), Moriah found a solution for $4.36 after browsing YouTube videos.
Way to go, Moriah. According to Terrance, this served as one of her anniversary gifts, so it was a win for everyone. Keep going, Moriah and Terrance!
As an independent fitness entrepreneur, we think Venus will have a very exciting Project Money journey! She set great goals right away, including an effort to dedicate one day each week to client leads, working toward a steady pool of new income for her business.
After starting her exercise business a few years back, Venus knows well the ups and downs of being a business owner and not always knowing when the next client might walk in. With that knowledge, she took proactive steps to help secure a successful financial future. After meeting with her financial coach for the first time, she laid out strong goals including paying off her credit cards and student loans AND establishing a business education fund.
She also had a great post detailing her budgeting practices on a recent road trip to Mississippi, which proved to be a rewarding experience. By grocery shopping beforehand for meals and snacks, she and daughter Madison were able to avoid spending money eating out over the weekend. So well, in fact, that they went a little off track when they returned home.
Nonetheless, it was a great start for these two. Can’t wait to see more of their journey!
There you go, savvy savers! First month of Project Money officially in the books. Are you as excited to keep going as we are? Come back next month to the Money Smarts blog for the July update!