Given that Lent start today, I am offering my readers a Challenge:
The Lenten Financial Challenge
What will you get for taking on this challenge? A sense of financial well being, but also a sense of community (since you will be doing this with your fellow readers). Each Sunday in Lent, I will post a short update with my status on my Lenten challenge, and ask you how it is going as well.
Wait a minute, I’m not Christian, can I play too? Yes. I don’t even mind if you are an Agnostic or even an Atheist, this challenge for me is religious, however, for you it can be purely financial.
Nature of the Challenge
So what can you do for this challenge, remember in Lent you can either:
- Remove a bad financial habit, or the like
- Add something to improve yourself financially
With this in mind here are some ideas for Lenten challenges
- Make an overpayment to your highest priority debt each month of Lent (maybe your mortgage, but doesn’t have to be).
- Read a personal finance book (or books), to learn more about investment or budgeting. Read some of the other financial blogs too (but remember to read this one too).
- Log where you spend your money, either in Quicken, or in a log book, and then review it on Sunday, see where your money is going.
- Give more to a charity that you enjoy (this can fit nicely with the giving up of things, see below). This is actually a religious angle, since that is part of what you are supposed to be doing in Lent (if you are an atheist, please don’t view that as a negative thing, just pointing it out).
- Stop eating out when you go to work, bring your lunch for all 46 days of Lent. I think if you do this one, figure out what you are going to do with the money you save, maybe put the money you would have spent aside so you have a visual help for your challenge.
- Do the same for your daily coffee, again with an idea of what you were going to do with your savings.
- Give up Credit Cards and Direct Withdrawal, and live solely on Cash. This one is a really big one, and you had better think about this one before you do it. If you are going to spend cash, then figure out how much you will need in a week and stick to a set amount of cash. Try to keep track of where you spend your cash as well, to make sure you aren’t using this as an excuse to make frivolous purchases which aren’t tracked.
- Stop driving, and take public transit instead. You could Car Pool as well. Good on you if you do this, I am too addicted to my car for this one. I may take the bus a few times just to feel pious, but I won’t do it the whole time.
If you have other ideas feel free to suggest them, in the comments.
Are you willing to take this personal finance journey? If you are leave a comment saying you are in, and I will try to compile a list of folks that are taking the challenge and include it somewhere (I’ll even link back to your web site if you include it (and the web site isn’t too sketchy)). You can start whenever you like too, so if you aren’t sure, come back later and leave a comment.
Join in a community trying to make you better (financially).