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52 Week Savings Challenge Need to save $1000+? This challenge will help you do that.

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Old 02-18-2017, 10:24 AM
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Default My savings challenge

New to forum but interested in sharing advice/ tips etc with others whom are interested in savings and other financial issues.

I have started a specific savings account about 6 months ago. I have been working on my finances on all fronts and was getting annoyed at the suggestions available through articles/ books sites saying everything must be done this way or that way. I feel if you can measure your own progress that is what is important.
#1 I set aside what amounts to a complete hour worth of work to be transferred into savings each payday. this is a easy step for most that not only pays yourself first. but gives you the idea that at least one hour a week is just for you.
#2 with so many people saving up a amount to pay something off I ask why not make auto payments weekly( or what ever you pay periods are) to debts as well? saves on interest by lowering your balances more frequently.
while I do have a nice but small amount building in my pay myself first account but I SAVE more by saving interest payments on just about everything else.
#3 this weekly payments also help with regular bills example utilities can jump in bad weather and putting a kink in a budget but by sending a small amount each pay period when the bill does arrive it is either paid already or a very small easily manageable amount.
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Old 02-18-2017, 10:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smallsteps View Post
#1 I set aside what amounts to a complete hour worth of work to be transferred into savings each payday.
Welcome to the site.

If you work a standard 40-hour work week, that means you are only saving 2.5% of income.

Do you mean to do this in addition to your retirement account and other savings, because 2.5% isn't nearly enough to be saving. Overall, you should be aiming for about a 20% savings rate.
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Old 02-18-2017, 10:41 AM
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example utilities can jump in bad weather
Many utility companies offer a budget billing option. They average out your bills from the past year and come up with a flat monthly rate for you to pay. We've done this for years. It does mean we overpay in some months but it also keeps us from having huge electric bills in the peak summer heat or big gas bills during the coldest part of the winter.
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Old 02-18-2017, 11:11 AM
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my #1 savings is just for me alone aside from all other accounts. I am doing most all other options examples retirement / prepaying any loans such as car/home.
The other item although budget billing is available in some places
I am speaking in terms of setting your own payment options I have never ran into a place that did not take pre payments. and I set my amounts and change accordingly I have made some strong observations on some whom are having a much harder time living PAYCHECK TO PAYCHECK .
At my current employment OT is mandatory and very easy to get yet with so many even putting in ridiculous hours is NOT changing their situation one bit.
I realize it may be a case of Minding my own business but it is very frustrating to observe.
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Old 02-18-2017, 11:59 AM
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my #1 savings is just for me alone aside from all other accounts.
In that case, I think that's a neat idea. In fact, if there is someone who is struggling to save anything at all, I think it isn't a bad idea to suggest that as the first step - set aside one hour's worth of pay every paycheck. For someone currently saving zero, putting aside 2.5% would be a good starting point.

Quote:
At my current employment OT is mandatory and very easy to get yet with so many even putting in ridiculous hours is NOT changing their situation one bit.
I realize it may be a case of Minding my own business but it is very frustrating to observe.
Absolutely. I think you'll find many likeminded people here. We all have people in our lives whether at work or family or friends who are their own worst enemies. It's very easy for us to see what they're doing wrong and how easily they could change their behavior and improve their situation, but there's nothing we can do about it.

My wife used to be a manager of a retail store. Nearly everyone she worked with was consistently broke, living paycheck to paycheck to the point that on payday, they would rush out at lunchtime to cash their checks so that they could afford to eat lunch that day. Of course, they also all went out to eat every day as well as buying sodas and snacks from the break room vending machines daily. My wife, on the other hand, packed her lunch, drinks, and snacks from home, spending a fraction of what they did. She had direct deposit and most weeks didn't even know it was payday until she saw the mad rush of people heading to the bank.
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Old 02-25-2017, 09:12 AM
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Well I have created a spread sheet of all debt and as long as I see a decrease in the TOTAL every week of about 200 to 300, I am satisfied. I have a couple of accounts that have a few months worth of living expenses but not as comfortable as some.

I somehow can not get around to the "snowball" or what ever name methods of debt payoff.
I am sending extra money on payments to ALL accounts.... car/ mortgage/ cc with a bit more towards the higher % accounts. I can SEE the arguments to support the many popular methods but I like my way.
I am trying to focus on saving more in retirement and liquid/ emergency accounts but is has been kind of slow going lately. I feel like too many options vying for my every dollar.
At every angle I get bombarded with messages of "debt" is bad and time is running out on some astronomical retirement $$ amount needed. all while trying to live eat/ have a roof over my head it is unrelenting sometimes and I can see why some people just take the idea of "screw it".
I am currently working with some ladies whom are not (in my opinion) in the financial shape for their age group. no savings/ no homeownership very small if any retirement savings even though they will reach that age in a very short time. Call it late start or poor choices previously but it is sad.
Do I feel good about my financial plan in comparison of course but on the same hand I am sure (as I see on this site) many that make me look like I am holding 2 nickels. i guess it is simply a matter of perspective.
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Old 02-25-2017, 01:04 PM
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I think it's important to stop comparing yourself to others. There is some value in doing so but it's very hard to compare apples to apples since there are so many variables (age, income, geographic location, marital status, family size, etc.). For now, focus on your own situation and making it better.

There is more than one way to attack debt. That doesn't mean one way is right or wrong. They're just different. Mathematically, there is a "best" way that will save you the most interest and get you debt-free the fastest, but other methods work just fine too. If what you are doing works for you, go for it. The best method is the one that you are comfortable with and will stick with until the end. Monitor your progress and celebrate your victories. When one debt gets paid off, do a little something special to treat yourself. And feel free to post your wins here if you'd like some extra support.
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Old 02-26-2017, 02:03 AM
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If you aren't already I'd suggest you also start tracking your net worth. Keep it simple and just do your retirement savings plus other savings plus home value minus mortgage and debts.

Chipping away at multiple debts is a good plan so long as it doesn't frustrate you since it will take longer for one to go away.

Saving something always helps.
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Old 02-26-2017, 07:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jluke View Post
Chipping away at multiple debts is a good plan so long as it doesn't frustrate you since it will take longer for one to go away.
That's the point behind the snowball method. It gives you a little mental boost when a loan gets paid off. But not everyone needs that psychological "trick".

OP, if focusing on the total owed and watching that go down steadily is what motivates and encourages you, there's certainly nothing wrong with that at all.
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* Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
* Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
* There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.
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Old 02-26-2017, 09:41 AM
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OP, what are your thoughts on focusing your debt paydown efforts? You might actually make more progress that way.

At one point I was able to dump like $40,000 in student loans/credit card debt by getting motivated and highly focused.

Btw, good move in coming here to the forums. It is important to have friends/community who will support you in building healthy financial habits.
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Old 02-26-2017, 09:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by disneysteve View Post
Welcome to the site.

If you work a standard 40-hour work week, that means you are only saving 2.5% of income.

Do you mean to do this in addition to your retirement account and other savings, because 2.5% isn't nearly enough to be saving. Overall, you should be aiming for about a 20% savings rate.
That's about where I started when I started saving. And I didn't have any debt to pay down. Is it ideal? No. But we all had to start somewhere. 30+ years later we live below the crossover point and have a comfortable though not lavish life. But for me it all started decades ago with a realization that something had to change, followed by small positive actions.

Last edited by scfr; 02-26-2017 at 10:02 AM.
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Old 02-26-2017, 12:56 PM
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I was not really clear on my plan. I guess more details would paint a clearer picture.

debt
house# 1 approx. 35k @ 2.87% avg extra $85 a month / mortgage is paid by my daughter and son in law living in the home.
car $8682 @3.9% avg extra $75
cc $2600 @12% min 88 / actual avg 375
cc $2900 @ 14 min 90 / actual avg 600
have some savings although lower now as I bought a manufactured home in the area I am currently working in across the state from

I am paid weekly so I pay weekly on most all things. I tried the minimum on lower % and sending more to highest interest but seem to like to see all the balances drop weekly.
I started a weekly 1 hour for me for fun money savings.
also trying to replenish my main acct after buying 2nd home.
have started a acct for my 1 grandchild but am only adding a few times a year.
only have about 350k in retirement so far......... so that wants attention too
I make about 30k a year.
I am feeling pulled in too many directions.
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Old 04-17-2017, 12:45 AM
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i think it's important to be clear on the plan first before starting it.
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Old 06-11-2017, 05:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smallsteps View Post
I was not really clear on my plan. I guess more details would paint a clearer picture.

debt
house# 1 approx. 35k @ 2.87% avg extra $85 a month / mortgage is paid by my daughter and son in law living in the home.
car $8682 @3.9% avg extra $75
cc $2600 @12% min 88 / actual avg 375
cc $2900 @ 14 min 90 / actual avg 600
have some savings although lower now as I bought a manufactured home in the area I am currently working in across the state from

I am paid weekly so I pay weekly on most all things. I tried the minimum on lower % and sending more to highest interest but seem to like to see all the balances drop weekly.
I started a weekly 1 hour for me for fun money savings.
also trying to replenish my main acct after buying 2nd home.
have started a acct for my 1 grandchild but am only adding a few times a year.
only have about 350k in retirement so far......... so that wants attention too
I make about 30k a year.
I am feeling pulled in too many directions.
I know you posted this awhile ago, but I think you are doing terrific and should be proud of yourself. with 350K in retirement savings you should be patting yourself on the back. You are used to living on a smaller income and so you will be used to living on less as well in retirement.

It is the folks that are used to $250K/year salaries that only have $20K in retirement savings or even what you do $350K, they are in for a very rude awakening. Why else do those ball players with incomes out of this world end up broke? They forget to save anything. They spend everything they get and then one tackle takes it all away and suddenly that lifestyle is no more.

Keep up the good work!
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Old 06-13-2017, 08:48 PM
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thank you Gailete,
I just sometimes feel overwhelmed by all the items on the list of things I want to do with my money....
updated totals on debt
(feb) house =35k june = 33,700
feb credit#1 2600 / now 2072
credit #2 2900 / now 1549
car 8682 / now 7692
it is nice to see some progress just seems to be slow going...
only been able to slowly add to IRA lately.
I am paying extra on everything at once but am debating trying snowball method again sometimes the slow progress becomes boring and seems to be taking too long.

Last edited by Smallsteps; 06-13-2017 at 09:11 PM.
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Old 06-13-2017, 10:55 PM
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I was able to get several bills down to small enough amounts to that when we got some 'windfall money' in hands, I was able to pay off two credit card bills as well as the car payment. Boy was that a good feeling. Now working on 3 credit card bills instead of 5, and working on our house mortgage as well as the two much smaller loans for our rental property. I would love to see the rental property loans paid off by the end of this year.

I was checking my latest totals on my savings that are set aside for things such as taxes (we are self-employed) as well as my stock portfolio and my Roth IRA. All these started in the last 10 years or so. Most of the deposits have been made with less than $50 if not smaller amounts. We don't have a lot coming in, but I have my eye fixed on a goal that I want to accomplish. Once the credit card bills are gone away, even if it takes a few years, that money can go into savings. I just want to be in good financial shape by the time I hit 65 which is only a few more years down the road.

Goals that are written down have a higher chance of being accomplished, so the more I write it, the more I can keep it in mind, to help me focus.
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Old 06-15-2017, 05:03 PM
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It might help to focus on one thing at a time. Then you'd see faster progress which may be more encouraging. What I mean is, pay the minimum on everything except one card/loan which you would channel ALL your extra money to. This could be either the one with smallest balance or one with highest interest rate. Your choice. My preference would be smallest balance since I can knock out the whole thing fairly quickly and see some progress sooner which is really encouraging!
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Old 07-04-2017, 10:05 AM
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I am often amused by the different advice especially when it come to methods of savings and or paying debt.
The most important thing I feel is if the person doing it is satisfied. while picking the balances with highest % rates paying off first makes perfect mathematical sense a small % on a much larger amount may be costing me the same or more per month or per day then the higher % on a small balance. I track how much each debt is costing per day...

I think people burn out on savings/ debt payoff out of boredom and chasing pennies. It is easy for those whom have expensive habits to cut them out and pat themselves on the back or perhaps those whom make a habit of working more then one job or as much OT as possible. I tried that route was burnt out and unsatisfied ended up spending out of an "I deserve a break mind frame". so I took a job that is strictly 40 or less hours $1 an hour more but
I feel finances are about the same as I am not buying coffee/ energy drinks to try to keep up a 60+ hour pace not to mention home life is better.
my progress continues my total drop in balance in 2 weeks is $560 and 95 added to IRA, 47 to regular savings.
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Old 07-04-2017, 10:32 AM
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Quote:
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a small % on a much larger amount may be costing me the same or more per month or per day then the higher % on a small balance.
Your cost per dollar of debt is determined by the interest rate, not by the outstanding balance. If you have 2 debts, one for $1,000 at 20% and one for $10,000 at 5%, every extra dollar you throw at the 20% debt saves you more money than throwing that same dollar at the 5% debt.

Now it's true that the cost in absolute dollars to service the larger loan is higher, about $41/month vs. $16/month for the smaller loan, but that doesn't mean you are saving more by attacking the 5% debt first. Just the opposite is true.

All of that being said, I totally agree with your point. You need to do what works for you and keeps you motivated and on track for the long term. That's why Dave Ramsey's plan is such a success. It entirely ignores the math and focuses on the behavior.
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Old 07-04-2017, 10:57 AM
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I don't know how old you are but 350k in retirement on a 30k/yr salary is to be commended. Job well done!
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