So we decided to save $14,000 in just one year last year in 2016. We had done plenty of savings challenges in the past but this one was definitely on steroids. We have done these kinds of challenges over the years on a much smaller scale and in 2017, now that we’ve been married for 1 year and are now having a baby, we decided to continue with saving aggressively but we are also going back down to the basics with a penny challenge. We are doing this as we open up an account for our baby boy who will be here in just 2 months. Where did the time go???
I was challenged to do this by my good friend Bee from www.youngrichrooted.com. She calls it the “Count Yo Pennies Challenge.” Check out her website and take the penny challenge with us today. It is really simple because all you have to do is add a penny each day. We started the challenge on January 1, 2017 and we added 1 penny. Then day 2, you add 2 pennies, then day 3, you add 3 pennies and so on. Right now we are on day 36 of the “Count yo pennies” challenge and you can easily catch up. As of today you should have about $4.98. Aren’t you ready to save money in 2017? Let’s say goodbye to unwanted and unexpected expenses and Hello to savings, Dfree lifestyle and financial freedom!
We dare you to take the challenge!
P.S. It doesn’t have to be this particular challenge. There are three that we recommend doing if you are a beginner. The baby saver should do the count yo pennies challenge in increments of a penny, and at the end of the year you will have $667. The next 52 week challenge is in increments of $1.00 where at the end of the year, you will have saved $1378. The intermediate challenge allows you to save $5000 in one year. The savings challenge on steroids works really well for the disciplined and focused group who have a goal in mind. It is rough but you are rewarded in the end. It does not matter which challenge you choose as long as you change your mindset about your money and start some where!
If you would like to start with the Count yo pennies challenge, head on over to www.youngrichrooted.com and start saving with Bee. She’s got some really good advice on finance. You won’t be sorry!
We decided to share one of my personal emails. I subscribe to Pastor Soaries DFREE emails regarding financial freedom and I thought this was an amazing one to share with our peeps. This one had Jim and I thinking, “Hmmm, can we really retire at the age of 50, and enjoy our retirement?”
The Lord said to Moses, “This applies to the Levites: Men twenty-five years old or more shall come to take part in the work at the tent of meeting, but at the age of fifty, they must retire from their regular service and work no longer.” Numbers 8:23-25.
I didn’t begin thinking seriously about retirement until I was into my forties. That makes me normal. Most of us are not doing much to prepare for retirement even if we have begun to think about it. So many people today have resigned themselves to the idea that they will work for the rest of their lives without ever enjoying a retirement. Consider God’s strategy for the Levites.
These men were given a very important role in the religious life of God’s people. On the very same day that God gave Moses instructions concerning their appointment and their assignment, God included in the instructions a mandatory retirement age. They were to serve from age 25 up to age 50 when they were required to retire. Having this information as part of their initial instruction made it impossible for them to postpone thinking about and planning for retirement.
Had I begun to prepare for retirement at age 25, I may be retired today. If I had chosen not to retire, it would not have been because I was not prepared for it. If we were serious about saving for retirement, our daily decisions would change. The Levites had no choice, but we do. Let us use our freedom to choose, and choose the financial freedom that will allow us to enjoy the fruit of our labor.
“God, please take control of my decision-making process and protect me from the failure to plan and prepare for retirement. Amen.”
Today I have decided to_________________________________________________________________________
This question struck a nerve when I heard it. On Saturday evening I was hanging out in the house with my husband and he said, “Baby listen to this battle rap; it’s a classic.” So I’m washing dishes and listening to this battle, and we get to the third round in the battle and rapper Loaded Lux goes in with this question:
“Is your money being longer worth your life span being shorter?”
This statement had my mind going so much so that I stopped listening to the battle and ran in the living room and wrote it down and continued to repeat it to myself. We live in a society where we are taught to get rich or die trying and do what it takes to earn the almighty dollar. We want to be successful soooooo bad that we don’t eat properly, don’t get any rest, and over work ourselves. What good is it to work yourself literally to DEATH and are not able to enjoy the fruit of your labor. Okay so your money is much longer now, but someone else has to spend it because you killed yourself getting it!!! You worked yourself day and night, drinking energy drinks while depriving yourself of sleep just so that your coins could stretch a little longer. So my question again to you is, Is your money being longer worth your life span being shorter? I had to ask myself this question as well because sometimes I am so focused on the plan that I have for success in life not realizing that I absolutely have to stay balanced in order to avoid burn out.
I’m not suggesting that we should not work hard and be diligent about taking action concerning our futures but that we should not kill ourselves in the process. I don’t personally believe that we should get rich or die trying especially if that is the only goal. Go after the purpose that God has for you, because your purpose is bigger than you. When you pursue the purpose that God has for you the money is going to come. God is going to fund what He called you to do. I had to remember that God is the unfailing, unlimited source of our supply so we don’t have to kill ourselves going after coins. I’ll let Jim discuss how he feels about it!
What’s good world it’s Ya Boy!
I love my battle rap and I was surprised that my wife listened with me and took something from it. She literally ran out of the kitchen into our living room to go get a pen and write it down. When she didn’t come right back into the kitchen, I went to see what she was up to and she was sitting there thinking, so we started discussing this question. I know it had her thinking a lot about us and how I work two really demanding jobs. My answer to the question, Is your money being longer worth your life span being shorter” is ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!! I will admit that I have a huge responsibility as a husband to provide and I take that seriously so I do tend to work about 16 hours out of the day. I live off very little sleep and will admit energy drinks (which are terrible for you) have been my meal of choice, but since I know better, I’m doing much better and cut those drinks out and started to eat more healthy meals and get more rest. I also have a goal in mind. Me working two jobs will not always be my story. It is something I am doing now because I have a plan for our future but it isn’t something I will be doing forever. So there definitely has to be a balance. There is nothing wrong with working, going to school, and plain ole grinding while you’re focused on a goal but there is something wrong with killing yourself just to get money. We all want our coins, but pursue purpose, stay focused and trust God in everything that you do and your success will come and you will LIVE to enjoy it!
Be sure to pay off your debts. No one wants to go to the mailbox every single day and find nothing but bills, bills, and more bills. This leads some people to both discouragement as well as depression because the pressure will cause you not to be able to SEE your way out. We often charge things that we can not afford, not realizing we are spending tomorrow’s prosperity today. Romans 13:8 says, Keep out of debt and owe no man anything, except to love one another (AMP Version). So do what you can to get rid of debt and live a prosperous life.
“Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers.”
You guys know that we are always studying the habits of the wealthy and found 10 very interesting questions millionaires ask themselves during their path to purpose. We began to ask our own selves these questions and it had us deep in thought so we thought we would share them with you guys.
How would I act if I knew that I would be getting what I want tomorrow? Basically, if you were 100% sure of your future, how would you act if you knew every single thing would come to fruition? Some of us need faith to activate the promise within us.
Did I do everything I could today to make tomorrow the way I want it to be? Make everyday count towards your success.
What is my life’s mission? What did God call you to do? Think of things you absolutely love; all of those activities that get you excited and enthusiastic, and make you feel most alive.
If there is one goal I must accomplish, what would it be? Set your intentions and begin working on accomplishing this goal within the next 3 months.
How would the person I would like to be do what I am about to do? This question allows you to behave like the person you are striving to be. So basically, in 5 years, would I be making the decisions I am making today?
What are 3 major improvements that I can make within the next 30 days? We all have improvements that constantly nag at us, but instead of running away from them, we should address them and enhance ourselves by dealing with these issues.
What did I want that I didn’t ask for today? Millionaires leverage their responsibilities by asking for help. Almost everything you need is a phone call, email, or text away.
If I could change one thing about myself that is holding me back, what would it be? This could be a tough question, but whether a person is struggling financially, would like to exercise more, maybe want to stop smoking, whatever it may be, take the steps to deal with them as soon as possible.
What are my greatest accomplishments in life so far? List the moments you are proud of as well as times you’ve succeeded and find out why you succeeded. In these accomplishments, you are able to find some of your greatest strengths.
What would I do if I had one billion dollars? This question allows you to think without limitations. List every single thing you would want to do. Of course our first thought is to travel the world, give money to family, and buy a few houses but after that, what would you do with your time????? This allows you to discover what you really want to do when you remove the limitations.
These questions definitely make you think. But taking time to answer them will make you change your perspective and help you implement your strengths, passions, values, desires, and motivations into your every day lives. Be blessed on your path to purpose and stay encouraged.
You guys all know that we are still working on our savings challenge on steroids to save $14,000 in one year. But I think I forgot to mention that we are doing this challenge times two, which means at the end of the year we will have $28,000 CASH. This takes sooooooooooooo much discipline, but while we watch the money pile up, it doesn’t sting as bad. We have decided to share some of the ways we have been saving.
The first thing we did was take a look at our budget to see where we were spending all of our money. And guess where most of it went? FOOD! We are huge foodies and love to go out to eat, so that was the first thing that we had to cut. We actually have to plan our meals and go to the grocery store with an actual list of what we need and would not spend a penny over.
We also learned to use up our left overs by either having them for lunch the next day, or for dinner the next evening. Taking lunch to work is a huge money saver. We could easily waste $20 in just a day at work by having Dunkin Donuts for breakfast, order out with co-workers for lunch, then pick up some junk food on the way home. That had to be cut.
We even planned for those “I don’t feel like cooking” nights. Normally we would like to order Dominoes, go to Popeyes, or go out but the same thing that we would get from there, we would just make at home and we found out we like how we make it better. Instead of ordering Dominos, We grab those huge XL pizzas from Walmart. They are normally about $5.99, we bring it home, doctor it up and pop it in the oven and that will be our Dominoes. Below is what they look like.
We purchased Netflix because we CAN live without cable. For some reason we find ourselves watching DVDs and old TV shows on Netflix and never watching the cable. The only real television channel we like is HGTV. The wife lives on that channel and Grandma has OWN so we watch that. I watch everything else and I mean EVERYTHING else on Youtube or the internet because I am always at work.
Maine took a hit for the team by not getting her nails done. She normally would spend about $30 every two weeks plus a tip. That was $60 per month she sacrificed to put towards savings.
Me personally, I am the Amazon Don lol! So I love to get my music, CDs, DVDs, and whatever else I can find, so I had to cut back on that. I’ll give the mic to the wife and she can share some other things we did to save.
So back in January, we did the Daniel fast for 21 days and during that I time I did a 21 day financial fast as well. I was inspired by Michelle Singletary who wrote the book. I learned so much from just hearing her speak. The book was sold out when I went to buy it. It’s my next read because I know she gets deep when it comes to saving and finances.
What is the 21 day financial fast? I’m glad you asked. It’s when you buy all of the things you NEED and NOTHING that you want. So on the fast I was not allowed to purchase anything unnecessary.
During the financial fast, I paid rent, bills, and got groceries only. I couldn’t go to the mall, movie theater, or eat out. During this 21 day fast, I looked over my receipts and bank statements to see where the unnecessary spending was. And like Jim said, it was on FOOD. And also on handbags, shoes, Walmart and other foolishness. Our life is so full of just stuff! My husband bought me a shoe rack and built it for me. He said, Babe you should be good with this for a while because it can hold 50 pairs. I filled that bad boy up in about 10 minutes lol and was still bringing boxes in. All Jim could do was just shake his head. Here’s a photo of it below.
So during the fast, I had to ask myself, Is this item a need or a want. If you ask yourself this question every time, you’ll have more money in your pocket. I absolutely looooooove bargain shopping and sales but that is still SPENDING. It’s spending less but it’s still spending. It was really about my mindset and you have to change your mindset about your money. Let’s check out what the Word says!
Proverbs 13:18 says, Whoever disregards discipline comes to poverty and shame, but whoever heeds correction is honored. NIV
You have to have a budget; there is just no way around this. Your budget will let you know what you can do with your money. One thing I knew I couldn’t do was go to the mall. I couldn’t hang out there or window shop cause I knew I was going to SPEND on something. It’s so crazy that the food court is the largest section in the mall. We shouldn’t even be shopping so hard that we need nourishment anyway!!! Look at how big the food court is in this picture.
Don’t give up on your budget because it’s important to know the numbers. This will allow you to save money in categories. We decided to have some put away/ rainy day cash that we can’t touch, 3 to 6 months of living expenses in our emergency fund, as well as a life happens fund. This is money that comes in and out for car expenses, repairs and things like that.
When changing your mindset about your money, it’s okay to be cheap! Benjamin Franklin has this quote,
Beware of little expenses. A small leak will sink a great ship.
Those small expenses definitely add up. For example, there is a Dunkin Donuts directly across the street from my job. We would have it every single day. And not just a coffee. We would have a coffee, bagel, donuts. The average meal would be about $6. If you multiply just that little breakfast times 5 days, I’ve already wasted $30 in the week and that is just on breakfast. That does NOT include what I would waste on Taco Bell and Chick-fil-a. I easily wasted $60 or $70 on extra food. I stopped getting my nails done. I was a faithful customer every two weeks, but I paid myself an extra $30 every two weeks back in my budget. That’s over $100 in a week that I have already wasted. This is why it’s so important to know the numbers.
Even as we save; it’s not to get rich and accumulate MORE STUFF, but to be prosperous for a purpose. Let’s take a look at Genesis 41 at Joseph. Joseph and his brothers is my all time favorite story in the Bible. I’ve been in church all my life so usually when a message is taught on Joseph, it is about forgiveness and following your dreams. But if you look really closely at the scripture, you’ll see there is some financial wisdom in this text.
So basically, there was going to be 7 years of plenty and 7 years of famine. During the years of plenty, Joseph stored up so much grain that he had to stop keeping record because it was too much to measure. So when the famine came, he opened all the store houses and sold the grain to the Egyptians. He had EXTRA! Somebody say EXTRA!
Do we have “extra” to help someone that’s in need? That’s what being prosperous is all about. Jim and I received a blessing of someone’s “extra“! When we actually announced that we were getting married, we had 90 days to plan our wedding and not a clue what we were going to do. But the Lord blessed us with our own special BIG SISTER, Tawana Durante! She used her extra to gift us a dream wedding and our lives will NEVER be the same because of her. She taught us how the importance of using your extra to bless someone and now we are going to use our extra to bless others.
Back to the Word! Proverbs 22:3 says, A prudent person forsees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers consequences.
Now we don’t have anything against credits cards at all. We don’t believe they are evil or anything crazy like that, WE just don’t have any at the moment because we don’t want to be tempted to get into debt. We pay for everything with cash and we refuse to purchase anything we can not afford. Just be lead by the Lord and don’t come for us about them credit cards LOL!
We had been getting these credit card applications in the mail every day lately because we use a cash system, but we had to learn to beware that the same tricks the casinos use, credit card lenders use too.
Casinos use flashing lights to get you to play and make you think you can win, while credit card flashing lights are in the form of rewards points.
Casinos use chips so you are unaware of how much you’re spending, while credit card lenders use plastic.
If you take out any denomination of money right now, whether it be a quarter, a dollar, or a $50 bill, if you check the back of it, it would say, “In God We Trust.” I don’t have an issue with credit cards or debit cards, but neither of them say that on the back. If God entrusted me with a $50 bill, then that is all I can spend when I go to the grocery store. But if I were to use a credit card or even a debit card, I can go to the store and know I only have $50 to spend, but I take $60 worth of groceries home and may have even over drafted. Living within our means is so important, as well as buying what we can afford.
Proverbs 10:22 says, The blessings of the Lord makes a person rich, and he adds no sorrow with it. You have to redefine what rich is. What is YOUR rich? We may not think we are rich, but most of us can say we have access to a clean glass of water, a roof over our head, can eat what we want, and have a job. We don’t have more because we aren’t grateful for what we do have. This is why we have to transform our mindset about our money.
Let’s transform our thinking in terms of OUR money and live the abundant life. Time to build wealth so Keep Calm and Save Some Money! Be blessed!
We wrote a post about the 10 habits of wealthy that stood out to us! So this time, we decided to write about the 10 habits that wealthy people don’t have. If we want to be successful, I suggest we kick some of these habits out of our lives.
Success means something different to every person, just like beauty is in the eye of the beholder. It is up to you to determine what success means for you, and how you go about breeding success in your life. There are definitely hindrances to success, but not to worry because you have the power to control and overcome these obstacles.
It is time to stop blaming other people for why we don’t get what we want and take responsibility for our own mistakes. We all make our own choices and our own mistakes so we are going to have to stop justifying our poor choices and attributing our lack of success to things outside of our control. Successful people don’t do this!
Focusing on the Negatives
Yes, there are negative circumstances in life that you have no control over as well as positive ones, so you are capable of living with a positive perspective. If you want to cultivate success in your life then you need to concentrate on all the good; not that you should disregard the negative, but you don’t have to give it so much of your attention.
Successful people know that, at some point or another, YOU ARE GOING TO FAIL! There is no reason to fear it. Rather, you should embrace it, learn from it, and ultimately improve from it. When you are successful you know you are always trying your best. When you fail it is not a reflection of you as a person. View failure as an opportunity to grow, not as something to be feared.
Looking for the Easy Way
Success isn’t supposed to be an improbable venture where you have to overcome a certain amount of adversity and hardship, but successful people are not just strolling through life on cruise control. Sometimes you have to push yourself and get out of your comfort zone and aim to reach your maximum potential. That is a success itself.
Beating Yourself Up
Since you wouldn’t ever beat yourself up physically, you shouldn’t do it emotionally and mentally? Learning how to skillfully deal with your thoughts and emotions when you are facing adverse situations is crucial to being successful.
It’s absolutely ok to get upset over things and to express your emotions in an appropriate manner and even be unhappy from time to time. It is going to happen, but there is a time and a place for everything. Don’t beat yourself up about things that have already happened. Focus your attention on pressing towards your goals. toward your goals.
The best way to establish more contentment in your life is to be more grateful. If you want to push away happiness, joy, and bliss then be ungrateful. Gratitude breeds happiness but it also breeds success. If you are grateful for your life and everything in it you are going to have a less complicated time achieving wealth and accomplishing your goals. I don’t just mean financial wealth because wealth includes all kinds of valuables. I am not saying that all financially wealthy people are grateful, and therefore, successful, or that all financially poor people are ungrateful, and therefore unsuccessful. Being ungrateful is not congruent with getting ahead in life. If you crave success than observe everything you are grateful for. Your gratitude will serve as a compass for your life. It will guide your decision-making, and lead you to success.
Concentrating Solely on Your Needs
Focusing ONLY on yourself is not going to help you attain success. You could be the wealthiest person on the planet, and it is apparent that you are extremely successful. If you accrued your wealth by taking advantage of people, or by being selfish and egotistical, you are not successful in our opinion. You probably wouldn’t be very happy either. The best way to succeed in life is by helping someone else!
You have to get rid of the but in your life!!! You were going to start writing your book but…You were going to launch your dream business but…You were going to travel the world but…We have to get rid of those statements. Things definitely come up and life takes you on a different course but don’t allow yourself to become distracted from reaching your dreams. Don’t let these distractions move you further and further away from your passion.
It is your responsibility to ascertain your life goals and objectives. Being successful means you are fulfilling your life’s purpose every day. Whether your purpose is super ambitious such as solving world hunger or more feasible like being happy, doesn’t matter. The point is that you are aiming to be the best you can be. Steadily wandering through life without any ambitions or without contributing anything to society is not what successful people do.
When you face an improbable obstacle in life how do you respond? Do you give up, or do you keep pressing on? Successful people don’t give up. They commit themselves to reaching their final destination. This means continuing on despite failures and disappointments.
We understand that success encompasses a lot of different arenas. What works for financial success may not translate into relationship success. Being successful as a wife doesn’t necessarily make me successful as a business woman as well. There are varying degrees of success depending on what situation you are in.
Regardless, the fundamental backbone of success is trying your best. If you put forth your best effort, without harming others in the process, than you are a successful person. Mark Zuckerberg says, “Find that thing you’re passionate about.”
Can’t wait to build wealth with you guys! Hope you enjoyed it! Be blessed!
On our journal to happily ever after, we have decided that wealth building is a must in our marriage. So we have been researching and reading like crazy. We have subscriptions to Entrepreneur, Time Magazine, Dave Ramsey, Huffington Post, Business Insider , as well as Insider Success. We came across 10 Reoccurring habits of some of the most wealthiest people and wanted to share them with you because we want you to be wealthy too! Come on y’all let’s live the abundant life TOGETHER!
The habit that reoccurred the most was READING. 88% of wealthy people read every single day for at least 30 minutes and 67% of the rich only watch television for one hour or less per day. They are constantly reading information about finances, their business or career that would make them more valuable to their clients or customers. The most successful people read to improve themselves. By increasing their knowledge, they are able to see more opportunities, which translate into more money.
The most highly successful people SET GOALS DAILY & VISUALIZE. 80% of the wealthy are focused on a single goal. Self made millionaire, Daniel Ally says, “If you can view it, you can do it.”
Among the wealthy 93% attributed their success to a MENTOR. Mentors actively participate in your growth by teaching you what to do and what not to do.
Wealthy people RISE EARLY. 44% of wealthy people wake up at least 3 hours before work starts to get a head start on their day, while everyone else is hitting the snooze button.
They NETWORK. Wealthy people hang out with each other. They dedicate time to widen their circle of acquaintance and influence. When networking, you can build valuable relationships that result in more customers or clients. 79% of the wealthy network 5 hours or more each month.
They constantly INVEST in themselves and are constantly educating themselves because the wealthy believe in lifelong educational and self improvement.
They EXERCISE. 76% of the wealthy exercise aerobically 4 to 5 days per week. To be successful in life, your body must perform at the highest level, so let’s hit that treadmill y’all.
AFFIRMING. Did you know that the average human speaks to themselves about 12,000 times per day? Well the difference between the successful person and the unsuccessful person is what they say to themselves. What you say to yourself can dramatically alter your life. So speak life and not death into your situations!!!
They WRITE TO DO LISTS. 81% of the wealthy maintain to do lists and journal their goals.
They MEDITATE. “Meditation more than anything in my life was the biggest ingredient of whatever success I’ve had.” That’s what Ray Dalio, the billionaire founder of Bridgewater Associates said. Oprah says she sits still for 20 minutes twice a day to meditate. For us, TeamHolmes, that means turning off the TV, turning off the phones, and quietly seeking the Lord about what His plans are for our lives.
What’s Good Y’all; It’s Ya Boy Jim
Thank you guys for stopping by. I hope this information was informative. Me and the Wife are definitely on the road to financial freedom and we trying to take all of you with us. What I liked the most about researching this information is the fact that these 10 things are very practical and are things we have already been doing. It’s a matter of simply changing your mindset and your daily habits to change your life.
So we have decided to save $14,000 in just one year. We have done plenty of savings challenges in the past but this one is on Steroids. We have done these kinds of challenges over the years on a much smaller scale but this year, now that we’re married, we decided to go for a more aggressive savings plan.
Basically our goal for each week is going to be an increment of $10. So by the end of 2016, We will have saved $14, 310. Here’s the document to the right.
Aren’t you ready to save money in 2016? Let’s say goodbye to unwanted and unexpected expenses and Hello to savings, Dfree lifestyle and financial freedom!
We dare you to take the challenge!
P.S. It doesn’t have to be this particular challenge. There are two that we recommend that we did for beginners. That 52 week challenge is in increments of $1.00 where at the end of the year, you will have saved $1378. The intermediate challenge allows you to save $5000 in one year.
If you would like a copy of either of the challenges, send us an email and we will get it right over to you! Thank you for coming along on our journey to Happily Ever After!
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org