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Met $20 Challenge Goal for 2008

November 18th, 2008 at 11:54 pm

My $20 Challenge goal was to save $2,500 extra by December 31st. Although I am retired, my part-time income has been greater than I expected, something for which I am grateful. Since my last update on October 18, here is my progress:

Balance Forward = $1124.84

Gas Reimbursement - $124.12
November Part-time work income - $673.28
November 1099 Income - $739.12
NSDs (12) and NDDs (10) - $76

New Balance = $2737.36

My Challenge

October 18th, 2008 at 02:45 pm

No wonder my palm's been itching! I'm finally on a roll with my $20 Challenge. In the past month I have received $35 in rebates (for a new shredder and a flash drive), $739 in 1099 income for 10 hours of consulting, $30 for an insurance overpayment, and $6.85 for recycling our plastic and aluminum. Since August 27, when I last added to the challenge, I have had 11 NSDs ($3 each) and 8 NDDs ($4 each) so that is another $65 to add. I am also adding the free $25 (plus interest) I received for opening my ING account back in January. From now on, I will deposit all challenge $$ into ING which is going to be dedicated to my $20 Challenge funds.

Balance Forward = $222.43

Rebates - $35
1099 Income - $739.12
Recycling $$ - $6.85
NSDs (11) and NDDs (8) - $65
Insurance premium overpayment - $30
ING Balance - $26.44

New Balance = $1124.84

My goal by December 31, 2008: $2,500. I think I might actually make it!

Where Do You Hide Your Money?

August 27th, 2008 at 04:12 pm

My favorite local radio station asks listeners a “call-in” question every morning. Today it was: “Where do you hide your money?” One caller said he had hidden $1,000 in a DVD to surprise his wife for a Disney trip… but she sold the DVD at their garage sale before he could surprise her! Another fellow called and identified himself as a “senior citizen.” He said he hides money in different places and for a variety of reasons… only problem is he can’t REMEMBER where. What was the most he’d ever hidden? He said it was $2,000 he’d stashed in a shoe for a home remodeling project.

The DJ nicely said, “Hey, it doesn’t just happen to senior citizens!” Well, at 58, I do not think I’ll call myself a senior citizen for at least 15-20 years (unless I can get an “over 55” discount somewhere for it), but I can sure identify with stashing money so safely I never find it again. The other day I found $60 in an old wallet I took out to put in the Goodwill box. I got the same rush as I did last summer when I won $7 on the penny slots in Vegas. Yeah!

Actually, I mostly use the bank for keeping my money, so when I “find” money, it is more about having forgotten it was there to begin with. One thing I have done for the last 20 + years: I keep a $100 bill folded behind my driver’s license in my wallet. This is my DIRE and IMMEDIATE emergency money. I’ve had to break it out only three or four times over the years… and it gets replaced if I use it.

Each time I’ve had to use it, I’ve been somewhere that takes only cash but I didn’t pay attention until it was too late. Out of the blue, my pedicure place stopped taking CCs and had just placed a tiny sign by the cash register. Another time, DH and I had taken my DSS to a Basque restaurant for his birthday and while we sat enjoying our meal, I spotted a sign on the door that said “Cash Only.” The restaurant was out in the boon-docks, with no ATM or bank open. The look of horror on DH’s face told me he only had his usual $40-80 on him. It was great to say, “Don’t worry, I have some cash.”

Well, I will add the $60 I found to my $20 Challenge:

Balance Forward = $155.43

NSD = $3
NDD = $4

Forgotten but Found $$ = $60

New Balance = $222.43

My goal by December 31, 2008: $2,500

Finally, $ to Add to the Challenge

July 18th, 2008 at 04:18 pm

Yesterday was finally a NSD! We went to see Journey to the Center of the Earth, but we used gift cards and drove the Prius. I am also adding the $80 we saved from our vacation budget.

Balance Forward = $72.43

NSD = $3

Under budget vacation = $80

New Balance = $155.43

Sent 1099 Income to Kiva

July 1st, 2008 at 11:40 pm

Today when I checked my bank account I saw that I'd received the $125 payment for a ½ day consulting job I did about a month ago on a Saturday. I’d forgotten about it, so it was a pleasant surprise. I decided to send the entire amount to Kiva,

Text is and Link is to help a women’s weaving cooperative in Guatemala. Once I am officially retired (August 2008), I will add any subsequent 1099 income to my $20 Challenge.

I love the intricate detail and beauty of Guatemalan weavings. Here is an example of a table runner I have on the dining table in Idaho.

$20 Challenge Update

June 23rd, 2008 at 02:10 pm

Summary of my $20 Challenge for last week:

Balance Forward = $54.04

Drove Prius 3 days = $6.39

NSD (4) = $12

New Balance = $72.43

My $20 Challenge is looking very sad right now. If I earn any 1099 income in my retirement, I will add the entire amount to this category. I am currently negotiating a consulting contract with my soon-to-be former employer, but I am not sure I will accept the assignment. This is the great thing about having CHOICES. The project will have to really appeal to me, otherwise I will pass.

Slow Going, But At Least It's Going

June 14th, 2008 at 02:37 pm

Well, my $20 Challenge is off to a slow start. Here is a recap of the past 5 days:

Balance Forward = $47.65

Drove Prius 3 days = $6.39

New Balance = $54.04

Another way to look at it is that even small steps toward a goal are important.

Don't you hate it when...

June 8th, 2008 at 02:40 pm

you could have gotten a discount if only the business had informed you of it? Yesterday I learned from a friend that the vet we both use gives a 10% discount for clients over 55. I called, and sure enough, they said they would apply it for all “future” services/meds. I did not feel like arguing with the young lady who works in the front office on Saturdays but I will definitely speak to MC’s vet next week to see if they can go back to April to apply the discount. Poor old MC has kidney failure and I have spent over $2,000 on him since April.

I think they should post information about a senior discount in a visible place in the office.. and trust me, it is NOT that I don’t look 55.

$20 Challenge
Balance forward: $41.65
NSD: $3
Did not drive: $3
New total: $47.65

I Figured Out My $20 Challenge

June 7th, 2008 at 04:21 pm

I've wanted to participate in the $20 Challenge for a while, but was at a loss as how to structure it. I see that my SA blogmates have many different ways of doing their challenge. This is what makes it fun. I didn’t want my savings to be “hypothetical.” In my case, I want it represent actual realized savings that are not part of the regular monthly savings that I incorporate in my budget. So here is what I decided:

No drive day = $4 (from my $150 monthly gas budget)

No spend day = $3 (from my “$100 monthly allowance”)

Drive the Prius to work (20 mi. RT) = $2.13 per day @ $4.25 per gallon


1099 Income (if I work PT after I retire)

Under budget in any category

My goal by December 31, 2008: $2,500.

Here is what I have so far:

$20 to start
$10.65 - drove Prius to work 5 days last week
$6 – 2 “no-spend days”
$5 – rebate check received yesterday
Total: $41.65

Well, I have a long road ahead of me but I am hopeful.