Lets Talk Money – First Quarter

Let’s do it. Let’s talk about the one thing that everyone wants & can’t seem to ever have enough of… money. I am going to be completely & 100% honest in these financial goal posts because it’s time to be real with not just you guys, but with myself.

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I’ll be 28 in less than 8 weeks & I have zero $ in my savings. Not because I had to spend it on something, but because I have incredibly poor money managing skills & I never made  saving money a priority in my life. I have been able to rely on my parents for a handful of things in which I have been so, so fortunate. But – I’m about to be 28! It’s time for me to wake up & take responsibility for my actions & create some financial goals that are actually going to work for me.. and will hopefully one day lead me to some sort of secure feeling when it comes to money.

I was introduced to a company called Earnest and their 2017 Money Saving Challenge at the perfect time. I’ve included a few personal financial goals for myself which is included into this awesome graphic that is separated into each quarter of the year.

ciara_moneysavingchallenge.jpg

How awesome is this?!

I am officially intrigued. And so motivated to make changes for myself. I’m going to make this a quarterly series & give myself these specific financial challenges each month! Making these goals for yourself.. or even taking some of these ideas & creating your own is so important for future financial security. Whether it’s saving up for a big trip or saving up to buy a house.. your finances are important. And who has those pesky student loans still out there?! That’s a significant amount of debt for most people. I’m not done with school yet, but once I am done & graduated in 2019 – I’ll be like the rest of America.. trying hard to pay off their student loans. Earnest was actually created to support graduates with services to refinance student loans to lower monthly payments and thousands of dollars off your debt.

Let’s focus on the first quarter of the Money Saving Challenge:

ciara_moneysavingchallengeq1

For January, the challenge is to split your holiday bonus into thirds. My employer doesn’t give holiday bonuses, so this challenge actually won’t work. So I’m going to give myself my own challenge – I’m going to make a grocery budget. I’m planning on taking the average I’ve spent on groceries in the last 3 months & start with that.

February I challenged myself to NO DUNKIN or STARBUCKS. Anyone who knows me know that I visit Dunkin Donuts 6 days a week. But, it’s time to stop. I spend entirely too much money there.

In March I’m going to do my own “Cash Confessional” post for you guys! I’m going to outline my spending during a typical week & show ya’ll my current expenses.

I hope you all enjoy this series & can get something out of it. Bottom line, money is important! Money surely isn’t everything, but it does help if you have your finances in order. Anyone want to join me on this challenge?! I can’t wait to report back as the year goes on!

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11 thoughts on “Lets Talk Money – First Quarter

  1. Chris says:

    Intrigued, but a few things I have done wrong already. I spent my bonus on my and some Christmas gifts. Also I always owe on my taxes, I also brew my own coffee. I don’t always pack a lunch but I do get reimbursed for my lunches.

    These are great ideas and if I would have tried something like this 10 years ago and stuck with I may have some money saved up.

    If you don’t mind I want to share this on my blog. These are the little things people don’t think of that add up!

    • Ciara says:

      Please do! And feel free to switch things around! I actually had this sort of tailored to me – I was asked to give 4 personal goals, the rest are theirs! So switch it up to make it work for you! 🙂

  2. Jessie @ The Acquired Sass says:

    You know I’m oddly obsessed with grocery shopping, so let me know if you need help!

    I feel like people in general see budgets as constricting, when really, if they’re done right they’re freeing. Now you have money to buy things you WANT instead of being forced to spend it on rent because you bought a trinket in the heat of the moment. You can spend it on things you’ll remember. 🙂

  3. Rebecca Jo says:

    I actually have Starbucks as a monthly expense like utilities in my bills. That’s sad. haha.
    I love money saving goals.
    Have you ever tried Mint? Its a great way to see how you spend your money. It’s eye opening sometimes really.
    I am really lighting the fire under my bum to save this year so I love this post & the ones to come you will do. Good luck on building up your savings!

    • Ciara says:

      Haha! Hey, if you know you’re going to be at Starbucks all the time, might as well add that in to the budget!! And I just downloaded Mint last week & I think I’m going to like it! 🙂 Thanks for reading!

  4. Gretchen says:

    I love hearing and talking about money, so I’m so exciting you’re doing this series. Once I wrote down and saw how much I was spending each month it really opened my eyes. I used to think I was great at saving and couldn’t figure out how I was running out of money every month until I saw all those small things like Starbucks adding up! Can’t wait to follow along with your journey 🙂

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