Tag: discipline

52 Week Money Saving Challenge

Are you familiar with the 52 Week Money Saving Challenge? I like the idea of a savings challenge, but I am not 100% on board with how it is set up. The typical plan challenges you to save $1 the first week, $2 the second week…until you save $52 the last week of the year. It’s a simple way to save an additional $1,378 in 52 weeks, but I do see how this can be a struggle when December rolls around.

52 Week Money Saving Challenge Printables

Compare what you are saving the first 4 weeks of the year to the last 4 weeks of the year.

  • During the first 4 weeks, you save a total of $10. Average: $2.50 per week.
  • During the last 4 weeks, you save a total of $202. Average: $50.50 per week. 

Saving $2.50 per week is probably not a huge struggle. $50.50 per week may be harder to accomplish, especially considering that this takes place in December.

I created a 52-Week Money Saving Challenge Printable back in 2014. The original printable was for the year 2015, but now I have an undated version for you to use any year. You can start this challenge at any point throughout the year.

The original 52-Week Money Saving Challenge ($1 per week, $2 per week, etc.) results in a savings of $1,378 in a year. You will still end up saving $1,378 with this updated challenge, but it will be easier to save when you spread it out. 

If you do decide to start this challenge in January, this schedule will be much easier as you will be set up to save the least amount in December. You will save $110 during each 4-week cycle, with an exception of the last 4 weeks of the year. If money is tight in December, you will feel relief! This schedule asks you to save only $58 during the last 4 weeks. You will only have to set aside $8 in your budget to save the last week of the year. $8 is much easier than $52!52 Week Money Saving Challenge Printables FREE Printable52 Week Money Saving Challenge

I am also including the reverse version of the original challenge. Save $52 the first week, $51 the second week…until you save $1 the last week. Pick the schedule that works best for you.

52 Week Money Saving Challenge Reverse Printable

FREE Printable: 52 Week Money Saving Challenge_Reverse

It can be easier to make saving a priority when you know what your goals are. Writing down your goals can make you feel more accountable. At the bottom of the printable, there is a place to write down your savings goal.

Write down what you are saving for: Mortgage? Vacation? Home updates? College fund? Credit card debt? Feel free to share in the comments:

Why are you saving? What is your goal?

Do you need to establish financial goals, develop a budget and stick to it, kill off debt, and get clear on what your financial picture looks like? Check out the Real Life Money Plan eCourse by Jessi at jessifearon.com.

Here is more info on the course:

  • The course includes 13 video lessons.
  • This is a self-paced online course, which means that you can take this course at your leisure. There is no time restriction on when you can start.
  • There is a 25 page pdf workbook to accompany the course that acts as practical application for the lessons you will learn in the course. 
  • There are bonus trainings that will walk you through setting up a zero-balanced budget and reconciling your bank statements. 
  • There is a 30-day money back guarantee. If you are unhappy for whatever reason, you get a refund. 

She is gifted at encouragement and is an enthusiastic teacher. If you have ANY desire to design a money plan that fits your life, I suggest you check out her eCourse.

I had the opportunity to view Jessi’s course and her passion for helping you is so evident. She asks you to commit and not just go through the motions as she wants you to succeed! She wants you to focus on progress, not past failures. She will motivate you to move forward with the best decisions for YOU.

Jessi’s work has been featured on Buzzfeed, Rockstar Finance, TIME/Motto Magazine, Money Saving Mom, and The Penny Hoarder. 

Don’t forget to PIN this post for later!

52 Week Savings Challenge Printable. Save money every week and track your progress on the printable

Stop by to see where I link-up my posts each week: Link-Up List

October Goals

October Monthly Goals and September Update. Read my goals for the month and share your goals in the comments!

My Goals…Why do I set them? Why do I share them here?

  • Setting goals helps me remain focused.
  • Sharing my goals helps to hold me accountable.
  • I hope that it may inspire you to set goals for yourself? Give it a try! Start small if it seems overwhelming or like too much work. Or maybe it seems pointless to you? Give it a shot and see what you think.

Are you new to goal setting? Here are a few posts that may help or inspire you:

October Goals and September Goals Update. Read my monthly goals and tell me what your goals are!

 

Wake-up & bedtimes

September: My goal was to be in bed for 7 hours most (5-6) nights of the week. I am better at making sleep a priority and I completed this goal. Because my girls are starting to get up earlier, I wanted to move my nights to 11:00 – 6:00. I failed here, because I am having trouble getting to bed by 11. Because I am forcing myself to adjust my alarm clock depending on my bedtime and my girls are waking earlier, I am starting to lose out on my morning alone time. (Not good!)

If you have trouble making sleep a priority, check out these helpful resources:

October:  My goal is to be in bed for 7 hours most nights of the week. I was shooting for 11:00 – 6:00 in September, but it ended up closer to 11:30 (or 12) – 6:30 many nights. My girls are starting to get up earlier, so I would like to try to move my nights to 11:00 – 6:00.

Books

September: Read 1 book. 

Beyond Time-Out: From Chaos to Calm This book gave me a few ideas to work with.

October: Read 1 book.

Exercise

September: My goal was to run at least 3 times per week, preferably 4. I wanted to continue with my training plan until my 10K on September 27. I signed up for the race even though I knew I wouldn’t be able to run a time quick enough for my standards. I learned my lesson last year that there are more important lessons to learn than focusing only on my final race time.

I ran my 10K. It was a beautiful route and a warm day! Thankfully I don’t mind the heat when running.

October: Work out 4 times per week. Because it is still warm out, I would like to make sure I get outside to run twice per week.

Weekly “date” night with hubby

September: One movie, game or date night in September. ~ I don’t think this happened??

October: We are planning our first weekend trip away from our girls!

Garden

September: Our garden is basically done, so my goal was to not waste the CSA vegetables. I have wasted the beets every single week. There was also a lone turnip that was wasted. Most of the recipes called for more than one turnip and it didn’t make sense to buy even more of a veggie I wasn’t excited about. 

October: The CSA is almost done. No goal.

Other September Goals

  • Continue planning for the fall session of my church’s mom group. No more planning. We started meeting mid-September.
  • We decided not to send our 4-year old to preschool and send her to one day of ECFE (Early Childhood Family Education) instead. I wanted to plan for a little preschool at home and start mid-September. ~ I have the first few weeks planned. We started last week and so far she loves it! This goal will continue throughout the year.
  • Enjoy the outdoors before it starts to get even chillier. ~ Done! We had a hot late-September. It felt like summer and we loved it!

October Goals. Enjoying the beautiful fall weather!

 

New October Goals

Organize, Declutter, Simplify

My schedule doesn’t allow for hours of deep cleaning or decluttering, so I often give myself a pass. In September, I scheduled in a few cleaning or decluttering tasks that took only 20-30 minutes and it felt good to get them done! Starting the week of October 12, I would like to do 4 small projects each week. 

Preschool

Homeschool preschool for my girl. I would like to make sure I have the week’s plan in place every Sunday night.

Get Outside!!

September Blog Goals

  • Focus on managing blog/work time. When I started blogging, I soon found out that there are so many ways to be busy with blog work. As I thought of my blog/work goals it became apparent that I need to make sure my time on the computer is focused and in line with my goals. I started making changes in July and August and wanted to continue to do so in Septmember. ~ Work in progress. Continue in October.
  • I was considering joining #write31Days. It is an online challenge where bloggers pick a topic and write a post every day in October. ~ Nope. This is not a time commitment I should make right now. I cannot make my days resolve around getting a post out every day. It intrigues me though and I would consider trying it out at some point.

October Blog Goals

  • Make a simple blogging/editorial schedule.
  • I am going to get moving on a project I have been considering. I do not often put date deadlines on my blogging goals. I know that it would be helpful, but I often take a more relaxed approach on blog goals so my blog time doesn’t consume the time with my girls. I do want to get going on this project, so I am going to actually set deadlines for myself. My goal is to set weekly goals (and complete them!) on this new project. 

 October Monthly Goals and September Update. Read my goals for the month and share your goals in the comments! 

Do you make monthly goals? Feel free to link to your October goals in a comment. I enjoy reading goal lists. I find encouragement hearing what others are desiring to focus on.

This post includes affiliate links.

Stop by to see where I link-up my posts each week: Link-Up List

Lesson Learned by Training for a Running Race

Lesson Learned by Training for a Running Race. I almost didn't sign up for my usual fall race, until I realized what message that would send to my daughters.

I often sign up for a fall running race. Fall is a great season for road races and the Minneapolis area does not lack for beautiful routes. (My favorite race) I raced every fall when running cross country in college and I went on to enjoy fall road races. Aside from seasons that I have been pregnant or had a newborn I have found at least one road race (typically a 10-miler) every fall since college.

Lesson Learned by Training for a Running Race. I almost didn't sign up for my usual fall race, until I realized what message that would send to my daughters.

Last fall is the first year that I considered not signing up for my usual 10-mile road race. Late summer was busy and I could not figure out how to get all my training in. After running competitively in college, I have a self-imposed standard. I tend to get competitive with myself when it comes to running. Because I knew that I would not be running a time I was excited about, I considered scratching my usual fall running race.

It did not take me long to realize what a terrible idea that was. What message would that send to my daughters?

If you are not going to beat your best time, don’t even bother. Your best for this season of life is not good enough. Be a quitter. Actually don’t quit…don’t even bother starting. Your health is not a priority. Don’t bother setting goals. Give up. 

 

Because I was focused on my time and how it would compare to other years, I almost decided against signing up. As soon as I thought of the message that it would send to my girls, I realized that fast time or not, I must set the goal to run the 10-mile race.

I want my girls to be willing to try. To persevere.

“If you will not be on top, don’t bother??” What a terrible message to send! I want my girls to be willing to try new activities. Set goals. ENJOY what they are doing! I do not want my girls to feel pressure from me that they must be THE BEST.

I want them to know that their health is important. Physical activity is important for so many reasons: overall health, stronger body, healthy heart, boost the immune system, concentration in school, confidence, a better night’s sleep, better mood, stress relief, and more.

Yes, I must admit that I also want them to enjoy running. I want them to grow up seeing their mom and dad running. My 4-year old loves to see us run a race. She will put on her running clothes and run circles in our home. I love it! I want our girls to grow up surrounded by the awesome community that running provides. No pressure that cross-country and track is the only way to go, though. ;)

I ran the race last fall and enjoyed it. It was a fun race and beautiful route. To think that I almost missed out on the most beautiful time to run! I was happy with my place, but not excited about my time. I realized that my final time is not the only thing that matters. I still get the health and stress relief benefits of running. I get the opportunity to enjoy doing something I love. I have the chance to introduce my daughters to running and the importance of physical activity. I can show them that they should try and persevere, but do not need to be at the top.

What lesson have you learned from running or any other athletic event?

Stop by to see where I link-up my posts each week: Link-Up List

September Goals

My Goals…Why do I set them? Why do I share them here?

  • Setting goals helps me remain focused.
  • Sharing my goals helps to hold me accountable.
  • I hope that it may inspire you to set goals for yourself? Give it a try! Start small if it seems overwhelming or like too much work. Or maybe it seems pointless to you? Give it a shot and see what you think.

Are you new to goal setting? Here are a few posts that may help or inspire you:

 September Goals and August Goals Update

 

Wake-up & bedtimes

August: My goal was to be in bed for 7 hours most nights of the week. I am getting so much better! I have finally figured out that I need to make sleep more of a priority. Yes, I still forget some nights…but I am much better than I used to be.

It helps that I now often force myself to adjust my alarm clock depending on my bedtime. I know that if I have to set my alarm for later than 6 AM due to going to bed late, I will miss my alone time before the girls wake up. Some days this is enough motivation to get to bed at a decent time.

If you have trouble making sleep a priority, check out these resources:

September: I am still keeping this on my goal list. I am trying to be in bed for 7 hours most nights of the week. I was shooting for 11:00 – 6:00 in August, but it ended up closer to 11:30 – 6:30 many nights. My girls are starting to get up earlier, so I would like to try to move my nights to 11:00 – 6:00.

Computer shut-down

August: My goal was 10:30. I was turning the computer off between 10 and 10:30 most nights. It’s much easier to wind down and fall asleep if I have time to read before bed.

September: No goal.

God’s Word

August: My goal was to read my devotion first thing in the morning at least 5 days a week. I now have decided against reading my devotion first thing. When reading within a few minutes of waking up I was too groggy to understand what I was reading. I would have to read the same sentence over and over because I was too tired to understand it! Now I make my coffee and either check my e-mail or unload the dishwasher while it is brewing. Being awake for a few extra minutes (and having coffee!!) helps me to be more awake while reading. The goal is NOT just to make it through and check it off my list. I want to start my day refreshed from His Word! 

I continued to read from my NIV Mom’s Devotional Bible* or another devotional. I also completed a book on the Proverbs 31 Woman. I read the devotion from the First 5 app a few mornings. I liked it but it will probably be not be my go-to every morning. 

September: I feel like I am in a good habit with this one. No goal in September.

Books

July: Read 1 book. I didn’t get to a book from my Summer Reading List, but still read a few books. 

For the Love: Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards I enjoyed much of this book, but didn’t love everything about it. Here is my review!

The Busy Mom’s Guide to Teaching Character. The resource section at the end gave me a few great ideas for preschool for my 4 year old.

This book was part of the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle. The Bundle is not currently available. Sign up to be notified when Bundles become available. There are occasional flash sales, so I will let you know if the Homemaking Bundle becomes available again. :)

The Busy Mom’s Guide to Teaching Character Ultimate Bundle

Putting God First: How to Make God the #1 Priority in Every Area of Your Life. I was able to read this book prior to its release and I highly recommend! The official release is Monday, August 31. Read my post about Putting God First here.

 

I also read The Proverbs 31 Woman One Virtue at a Time (free eBook).

September: Read 1 book.

Exercise

August: Cardio (running or elliptical) – I increased this to 4 days per week at minimum. I was planning on running a 10 mile race this fall and wanted to run at least three times per week. 

I worked out 3 times most weeks, so I was short of my cardio goal. When figuring out my training plan, I realized that it would be better to sign up for a 10K (6.2 miles). I would not have enough opportunity to train like I wanted to for a full 10 miles. I can get competitive with myself when it comes to running. I decided that I wanted to run a time I was excited about instead of just run the race to finish it. Due to my husband’s crazy schedule right now, training for a 10 mile race isn’t doable. I wasn’t willing to do all my training miles pushing both girls in the jogging stroller. That is so much weight to push when trying to run at a decent pace!

September: Run at least 3 times per week, preferably 4. Continue with my training plan until the 10K on September 27.

Weekly “date” night with hubby

August: One movie, game or date night in August. We had a birthday date involving Thai food and a walk around the lakes. 

September: One movie, game or date night in September. I am hoping that the busy season he is in is done soon, so we can hang out a little more! 

Garden

August: I am excited that we finally had success with our tomatoes this year. We have been making so much salsa!

We also split a CSA this summer and I am enjoying the fresh veggies we get every week. It’s forcing me to come up with new fresh recipes for dinner, but I occasionally get lazy and toss a vegetable I don’t want to use. I would like to try and not waste any of them. I am not excited about the eggplant that is currently on my counter. I just finished baking a coffee cake because that sounded more enjoyable than figuring out what to do with the eggplant…

September: Don’t waste the CSA vegetables.

Other August Goals

  • Plan for the fall session of my church’s mom group. ~ I have done what I need to so far…Continue in September.
  • Figure out fall “school” plan. ~ We decided not to send our 4 year old to preschool and send her to one day of ECFE (Early Childhood Family Education) instead. Now I need to make a plan for a little preschool at home!
  • Keep up with Diana Kerr’s Summer Accountability Sisterhood (registration is now closed). I won a scholarship to this group and am excited to be a part of it. ~ This group is wrapping up and I have enjoyed getting the opportunity to be a part of it.
  • Enjoy the last month of summer!! Done! 

Girls Running Outside. Monthly Goals. 

New September Goals

  • Make a plan for a little preschool at home. There are so many great resources online. I would like to make use of a few of them and make a plan for a little homeschool preschool of sorts. I think it will be best for me if I find a plan and make a schedule for us. I would like to have a plan in place by mid-September.
  • Enjoy the outdoors before it starts to get even chillier. We have had cool days in August and I am not ready for fall!

August Blog Goals

  • Focus on managing blog/work time. When I started blogging, I soon found out that there are so many ways to be busy with blog work. Some days I have limited or no time on the computer, which is fine because I spend my days with two darling girls! As I thought of my blog/work goals it became apparent that I need to make sure my time on the computer is focused and in line with my goals. I started making changes in July and want to continue to do so in August. ~ Work in progress. Continue in September. I have considered blogging about this topic, but don’t want to bore my non-blogger readers. We shall see how that plays out. ;)
  • Virtual Assistant Research – I started some Virtual Assistant work in July and need to work out details with invoicing and such. ~ Done. I am enjoying the extra projects I am working on.

September Blog Goals

  • I am considering joining #write31Days. It is an online challenge where bloggers pick a topic and write a post every day in October. I go back and forth on whether or not I want to try. I am not going to be able to revolve my days around getting a post out every day! If I do decide to do it, I would need to create an outline of daily blog topics in September. My goal is to decide whether or not to do it and then write an outline if I decide to give it a try. If you are a blogger: Have you ever done this?

 Monthly Goals. September Goals.

 

Do you make monthly goals? Feel free to link to your September goals in a comment. I enjoy reading goal lists. I find encouragement hearing what others are desiring to focus on.

This post includes affiliate links.

Stop by to see where I link-up my posts each week: Link-Up List

August Goals

My Goals…Why do I set them? Why do I share them here?

  • Setting goals helps me remain focused.
  • Sharing my goals helps to hold me accountable.
  • I hope that it may inspire you to set goals for yourself? Give it a try! Start small if it seems overwhelming or like too much work. Or maybe it seems pointless to you? Give it a shot and see what you think.

Are you new to goal setting? Here are a few posts that may help or inspire you:

 August Goals and July Update

 

Record my wake-up & bedtimes

July: My goal was to get 7 hours of sleep each night for one week during the month of July. I was hoping that it would feel so wonderful that I would want to continue for longer than a week.

I finally had success in this goal! I didn’t technically get a full 7 hours of sleep every night, but being in bed for 7 hours was close enough for me. (I wasn’t going to make myself count the time it takes to fall asleep or start the 7 days over if one of my girls woke me up during the night.) After my week was done, I continued to keep this habit up most days of the week.

I will give some credit to Sleep It Does a Family Good. It helped ingrain in my head the importance of sleep. Yes, I already was aware of the importance. I just completely ignored it because I preferred to be awake. 

The main reason that I went to bed at a decent time was because I forced myself to adjust my alarm clock depending on my bedtime. I knew that if I had to set my alarm for later than 6 AM due to going to bed late, I would miss my alone time before the girls woke up. This was enough motivation to get to bed at a decent time.

If you like your sleep, you probably think all this talk is ridiculous. This actually is a big deal for me! I have wanted to go to bed earlier for years, I just haven’t been able to do it. I am wired to be a night owl and never craved getting into bed.

August: I am not confident enough to take this off my goal list. I am trying to be in bed for 7 hours most nights of the week. I would be happy with 5 nights per week. I am shooting for 11:00 – 6:00.

Computer shut-down

July: My goal was 11:00. I was turning the computer off between 10 and 10:30 most nights. It’s much easier to wind down and fall asleep if I have time to read before bed.

August: I try will try to be off the computer before 10:30.

God’s Word

July: I continued to read from my NIV Mom’s Devotional Bible* or another devotional. My goal was to read my devotion first thing in the morning at least 5 days a week. I did this in July. It’s the perfect way start my morning off right!

August: Read my devotion first thing in the morning at least 5 days a week. I am trying to do this before I even look at my phone or computer. I just started a study on the Proverbs 31 Woman. I recently downloaded the First 5 app. I love the idea of an app that helps me spend the first 5 minutes of my day with my Savior. I have only read a few days and I am undecided on whether or not the resource is for me. I will try it out for a few days in August.

If you are like me and desire to be intentional with how you spend your mornings, read this post.

7 habits to add to your morning routine

Books

June: Read 2 books from my Summer Reading List. Done. I completed 2 books. 

Reservations for Two: A Novel of Fresh Flavors and New Horizons 


Longing for Paris: One Woman’s Search for Joy, Beauty, and Adventure Right Where She Is is set to release August 4th.


August: Read 1 book.

Exercise

July: I worked out at least 3 days per week, but did not run as often as I wanted to. My goal was to run twice per week and a few weeks I only ran once. I also wanted to decide whether or not I will be signing up for a fall running road race. I am planning on running a 10 mile road race this fall, but have not yet signed up.

August: Cardio (running or elliptical) – I am increasing this to 4 days per week at minimum. If I am going to run a 10 mile race this fall, I will need to run at least three times per week. Early August I will need to sign up for the race and figure out a training plan.

Weekly “date” night with hubby

July: One movie, game or date night in July. My parents watched the girls so we could walk to a neighborhood restaurant for a drink. I miss taking walks with him. Much of our dating and pre-kiddo marriage years were spent running or walking together. I almost wanted to skip the glass of wine and just walk all evening. We compromised and took the long route to and from the restaurant instead.

August: One movie, game or date night in August. I am hoping it’s a birthday date involving Thai food and a walk around the lakes.

Organize, Declutter, Simplify

July: Pack up & drop off at least 2 bags of clothing and such at Goodwill. Find a few more items to list on ebay or sell on Twice. I listed a few more items on ebay. That is all.

August: I think this one will take be on the back burner in August. 

Garden

July: Our garden didn’t thrive last summer, so I want to stay on top of it this year. With the exception of our green beans, our garden is looking great. Our tomatoes should be ready for salsa soon!

We also split a CSA this summer and I am enjoying the fresh veggies we get every week. It’s forcing me to come up with new fresh recipes for dinner. Our veggie intake has increased and we are loving it! I make this chocolate zucchini bread every week.

August: Continue in August.

Other July Goals

  • Celebrate daughter’s 4th birthday! We didn’t plan a big party, but she still had a wonderful day.
  • I did not add more goals in July. I wanted to make sure the girls and I had plenty of time to enjoy summer outdoors.

Girls Running Outside. Monthly Goals. 

New August Goals

  • Plan for the fall session of my church’s mom group
  • Figure out fall “school” plan. I do not believe we will be sending our 4 year old to preschool, but want to figure out a plan for an alternative activity during the week. 
  • Keep up with Diana Kerr’s Summer Accountability Sisterhood (registration is now closed). I won a scholarship to this group and am excited to be a part of it. We are only one week into the program and I already find it helpful to share three goals with the group each week. I think this group will help me to cross of the small items on my to-do list that I always seem to push off. I am hoping that it will also help me focus on my blog/other business time (see below).
  • Enjoy the last month of summer!!

August Blog Goals

  • Focus on managing blog/work time. When I started blogging, I soon found out that there are so many ways to be busy with blog work. Some days I have limited or no time on the computer, which is fine because I spend my days with two darling girls! As I thought of my blog/work goals it became apparent that I need to make sure my time on the computer is focused and in line with my goals. I started making changes in July and want to continue to do so in August.
  • Virtual Assistant Research – I started some Virtual Assistant work in July and need to work out details with invoicing and such. 

Monthly Goals August Goals and July Update

 

Do you make monthly goals? Feel free to link to your August goals in a comment. I enjoy reading goal lists. I find encouragement hearing what others are desiring to focus on.

This post includes affiliate links.

Stop by to see where I link-up my posts each week: Link-Up List