Personal Finance

  • How To Get Free Bitcoin

    Do you want to learn how to get free Bitcoin? If you’re a believer in Bitcoin then finding ways to earn more is likely always on your mind.

    Below I list all of the ways I’ve found to get free Bitcoin to add to your portfolio.

    how to get free bitcoin online to become a bitcoin millionaire

    This list includes things like sign up bonuses where you can earn Bitcoin for joining a new crypto platform.

    Bitcoin Sign Up Bonuses

    The following cryptocurrency sites offer free Bitcoin when you sign up and contribute to your account. Most offer $10-$25 in Bitcoin as a bonus when you contribute $100 to an account but always double check on their site to confirm what you need to do to earn free Bitcoin.

    For these Bitcoin bonuses I also get a bonus so thank you for the support!!

    Free Bitcoin on BlockFi

    BlockFi – Use this referral link to get $10 in Bitcoin free on BlockFi when you sign up, fund your account, and maintain a $100 balance for 30 days. 

    free crypto sign up bonus on blockfi

    MoreBlockFi Referral Code & Link details

    Free Bitcoin On Cash App

    Cash App – Use this referral code RSJQKLK on this link to get $5 free on Cash App when you send $5 after signing up.

    free cash app sign up bonus on cash app

    More: Cash App Referral Code details + How To Use Cash App Tutorial & Review

    Free Bitcoin on Coinbase 

    Coinbase – Use this referral link to get $10 of free Bitcoin on Coinbase when you buy or sell $100 in any crypto. 

    Coinbase-Referral-Link-sign-up-bonus

    Coinbase is my personal favorite of all the cryptocurrency platforms. I use them all but have found Coinbase to be the easiest to use for beginners and the most mainstream friendly option.

    MoreCoinbase Referral Link details

    Free Bitcoin On Celsius

    Celsius – Use this referral code 103458c044 to get $50 of Bitcoin when you transfer $400 or more to Celsius to earn money. 

    celsius referral code for sign up bonus

    Celsius also offers free rewards on crypto held in their wallets. This is another way to earn Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies but there have been recent changes within the USA that mean some users are no longer able to earn interest. Make sure you are eligible for any of these interest based incentives.

    MoreCelsius Referral Code + Sign Up Bonus details

    What is Bitcoin?

    Not sure what this cryptocurrency even is? Let’s look at the Bitcoin (BTC) basics!

    Bitcoin is a digital currency created in 2009 that uses peer-to-peer technology to facilitate instant payments between holders.

    Bitcoin allows people to send payments without the need for an intermediary like a bank or government.

    It is currently the largest and most well known cryptocurrency. It uses cryptography to keep it secure and there are no physical bitcoins. Bitcoin transactions are verified by computing power known as “mining”.

    Bitcoin has had a volatile history of valuation and has already gone through multiple boom and bust cycles since it was created. Despite this and it’s lack of legality as a currency it is a very popular option that has inspired the creation of many other cryptocurrencies.

    Read More

  • What Is The Purpose Of A Budget?

    If you want to achieve a financial goal then you’ve probably been told you need to budget. Why is budgeting the first step for financial goals? What is the purpose of a budget?

    Does budgeting really help? Can it help you pay off debt, save money, or buy a house?

    Yes!

    After years of financial mistakes I learned how powerful budgeting could be and it helped me pay off $83,000 in debt, buy a house, and build a successful business too.

    Financial Bundle: Budgeting, Savings, Debt Payoff

    This financial planner bundle is a grouping of everything you need to plan your budget, grow your savings, and achieve your debt payoff. It is perfect for anyone who wants an all-in-one solution to get started and get organized!

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    In this post I’ll share everything you need to know about budgeting and why it is so important to your financial goals.

    We will look at:

    • the benefits of budgeting
    • ways to budget your money
    • how to make a budget as a beginners

    Ready to learn about how budgeting can help change your life financially? Keep reading!

    What Is The Purpose Of A Budget?

    If you found this post then you probably want to know what is the purpose of a budget? What is the point of budgeting? What is the purpose of a budget?

    The purpose of a budget is to plan and track your money so you can achieve your financial goals.

    Budgeting is the process of improving your financial health. Budget help you control your spending and focus on your priorities.

    Budgeting can also be called many other names:

    • cash flow plan
    • spending plan
    • income allocation

    No matter what you call it, giving your money a purpose via a budget is an important part of managing money well.

    Budgeting helps you plan your finances so you can control what your money achieves. Without a budget you are less likely to reach big financial goals.

    Budgeting might not be as glamorous as things like investing but it’s an important foundation for financial success.

    what is the purpose in creating a budget?

    Main Purposes on A Budget

    Budgeting helps you plan and control your spending while achieving your financial goals. But what does this really mean?

    Let’s look at the main purposes of having a budget:

    1. Grow your savings
    2. Control your spending
    3. Cut back on money wasters
    4. Achieve big financial goals
    5. Get out of debt
    6. Eliminate financial stress
    7. Grow your net worth

    Grow Your Savings With Budgeting

    Budgeting gives you a financial roadmap to increase your savings.

    Budgeting is often the key piece to achieving savings goals like saving up an emergency fund or down payment.

    Creating a budget can help you save money more easily by identifying where your money is going and how you can make improvements to your spending. This allows you to redirect your money toward savings goals.

    Creating a budget and sticking to it often reveals areas where you were spending more money than you thought. Through budgeting you can identify these areas and redirect your money to savings.

    Personally when I first started budgeting I realized I spent a lot of money on areas of life I didn’t even care about.

    Then when I started budgeting with my husband we discovered we spent hundreds more on eating out than we expected. With a budget we could still go out to eat but also save hundreds of dollars toward our savings goals.

    Budgeting helps you identify areas of spending that add up quickly but don’t necessarily improve your life that much. This spending can then be turned into savings.

    Budgeting also allows you to put your savings goals FIRST.

    Instead of spending and then saving what is left you save money first and then spend the rest. This method of paying yourself first allows you to prioritize savings and make sure you save money.

    Budgeting makes sure your savings grow by making it a priority.

    Control Your Spending With A Budget

    If you aren’t tracking and measuring your spending then you have little hope to control it. Budgeting helps control spending.

    When you implement a budget into your life you then have to track your spending to make sure you are following and updating the budget. This helps most people control their spending.

    Budgeting often gives people a shock at first because many of us have no idea how much we are spending in certain areas.

    Despite limited income most of us spend money without thinking too much about it. I often see new budgeters SHOCKED by how much money they are spending every month on things like coffee, eating out, shopping, or other impulse purchases.

    It’s too easy to spend money these days with apps and cashless spending.

    The process of budgeting helps you identify all of these areas where you are wasting money without realizing it.

    Budgeting keeps your spending in check. It allows you to spend in areas you care about but within comfortable constraints so you can also achieve other financial goals.

    When you are budgeting your money you will be more in control of your spending.

    Achieve Big Financial Goals With Budgeting

    Budgeting helps you achieve big financial goals.

    When you create a budget you are creating a plan for your money. Part of that plan will include your big financial goals that take time to achieve.

    Writing down your goal and then breaking it down over many different budgets will allow you to work toward achieving something larger.

    There are many different big financial goals you can achieve with budgeting:

    • saving a down payment
    • growing an investment portfolio
    • saving a house downpayment
    • paying cash for a car purchase
    • buying a luxury item you want
    • going on an expensive vacation

    There are all sorts of different financial goals you can achieve with budgeting.

    These types of financial goals are expensive and require planning via budgeting.

    Get Out Of Debt With A Budget

    One of the first times many people use a budget is when they are trying to get out of debt.

    Personally I got serious about budgeting once I made a debt payoff plan. I knew that I needed to better control my money if I was going to pay back tens of thousands of dollars in debt.

    Eliminate Financial Stress With Budgeting

    Another purpose of budgeting is to eliminate financial stress of any kind.

    Budgeting gives you a plan to follow and that can eliminate many stresses.

    When you budget you will no longer worry about missing bills. You don’t have to stress about not being able to hit financial goals.

    Because a budget prioritizes things for you with money you are able to take care of important things first. If you don’t have enough money for everything you can rest assured that the most important things are already covered.

    The longer you budget and the better you get at budgeting you will notice you have fewer and fewer financial strains in your life.

    Even just creating a budget and having a plan can eliminate many worries from your mind.

    Budgeting makes life less stressful.

    Growth Your Net Worth With Budgeting

    One of my favorite things about budgeting is that it allows us to grow our overall net worth.

    I know that by increasing my net worth I’m securing a more stable financial future for my family. Budgeting my money means I’m always working toward net worth growth whether that is through paying down debt, investing my money, or buying assets that appreciate.

    When you create your budget you can send a percentage of your money toward things that will grow your net worth. Maybe you invest 10% of your income into index funds every paycheck for example.

    I like to track my net worth through apps like Personal Capital. The best thing about something like this free app is that it can double as your budgeting and net worth tracking platform. It does it all!

    Personal Capital | Net Worth Tracker

    Chart your path to financial freedom by tracking net worth, spending, & investments in one easy to use FREE dashboard.


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    Ways To Budget

    How To Set Up A Budget As A Beginner

    Are you ready to start budgeting?

    In this video I show you the basics of setting up a new budget along with a few budgeting tips. If you’ve never done a budget before I highly recommend you watch this video before you start.

    Creating your first budget can be difficult as a beginner.

    You can save yourself time by using budgeting worksheets or a financial planning app that guides you through the process.

    Whichever method you choose to use, the basics of creating your first budget are the same.

    You need to figure out how much money you are bringing in and how much money you are spending.

    Basically you want to give the money you bring home an assignment so you can better optimize your budget to achieve all of your financial goals.

    Here are the steps to creating your first budget:

    • Gather everything you need for creating a budget
    • Write out all your monthly bills
    • Grab a calendar and layout your bills and paychecks on it
    • Categorize a few months of previous spending
    • Set some new reasonable goals for spending
    • Plan out your sinking funds for big expenses
    • Add all your expenses up and compare it to your income
    • Track your spending through the month to compare

    You can do this same process shown on the video with either pen and paper, a budgeting printable, a spreadsheet or a budgeting app.

    The process is what matters most, not how you write down and track the actual numbers.

    How To Set Up Sinking Funds

    One concept that is often new to people when they start budgeting is sinking funds.

    Sinking funds are saving accounts with a purpose and they make budgeting much, much easier.

    Sinking funds are accounts you save into regularly for spending on expenses that are irregular expense, non-monthly expenses, unpredictable or big one time expenses. It’s a mini savings account for an expense you know you’ll have in the future.

    Not sure which categories to include for your sinking funds? There are many different sinking fund categories you might consider saving for that are not regular expenses.

    You set a little bit aside each month until you hit your goal… and then you spend it!

    Sinking funds make saving for these hard to budget items strategic and stress free. This is one of the ways a budget can eliminate financial stress from your life. Planning ahead for big expenses makes them much easier to handle.

    Sinking funds are designed to let you spend without stress or worry. It’s one of the best budgeting tips most people ever learn.

    Need more? Check out these budgeting tips for beginners.

    what is the purpose of a budget?

    More Budgeting Questions

    Not sold yet on whether a budget is right for you? Check out some of these common budgeting questions and answers.

    What is the purpose of a budget in accounting?

    The purpose of a budget in accounting is to create a financial plan for the future that anticipates all income and expenditures to align with business goals.

    I come from a family of accountants (siblings and parents!) so I’ve heard a lot about budgets in accounting terms. While it’s similar in the fact that it is a plan for the future, there is a large difference in personal budgets versus a budget in accounting.

    One purpose budgets in both accounting and personal finance share is the purpose of moving toward achieving defined financial goals.

    What is the purpose of a budget for a family?

    Budgeting works for all the purposes listed above whether you are budgeting for one person or a family. But budgeting has a few more benefits when you are doing it for a family.

    Family budgets accomplish the following:

    • makes sure every family member’s needs are taken care of financially
    • lowers the risk of divorce over financial conflicts and stress (a leading cause of divorce)
    • eliminates confusion and helps get everyone on the same page
    • holds all family members accountable to the same standards and goals

    Budgeting can be part of the glue that keeps a family together. It’s a way to make sure that all incoming money works for all family members.

    What are the disadvantages of budgeting?

    Budgeting can help you achieve success financially but it’s not without downsides.

    There are many cons to budgeting including:

    • time spent creating, tracking, and reconciling your budget
    • less flexibility to do something spontaneous with your money
    • fatigue over working toward big financial goals over long periods
    • shame and guilt over not following the budget or blowing it entirely

    There are many ways that budgeting can actually contribute negatively to someone’s life.

    When this happens it is always a good idea to take a step back and maybe take a break from budgeting. If you’ve been on a very strict budget or doing a no spend month then you probably need to loosen up and spend a bit more. Taking breaks can motivate you to return again later with a better mindset.

    What are the basic elements included in a budget?

    Budgets can be as simple or as complicated as you need them to be.

    The basic elements of budgets generally include:

    • income sources
    • fixed expenses
    • variable expenses
    • big financial goals

    Those are the basics when you are creating a budget. Depending on your financial goals that will also include things like emergency fund savings, paying down debt, saving for real estate and more.

    Budget Resources

    Now that you know the purpose of a budget and all the benefits, you probably are ready to get started!

    Below are some budgeting resources that can help you create and maintain a budget in your journey to financial success.

    Monthly Budget Planner

    This monthly budget printable is a grouping of everything you need to plan and track your monthly budget. These monthly budget worksheets are designed to help you keep your budget on track by writing it down each month and tracking where your money goes.


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    Financial Bundle: Budgeting, Savings, Debt Payoff

    This financial planner bundle is a grouping of everything you need to plan your budget, grow your savings, and achieve your debt payoff. It is perfect for anyone who wants an all-in-one solution to get started and get organized!

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    Personal Capital | Net Worth Tracker

    Chart your path to financial freedom by tracking net worth, spending, & investments in one easy to use FREE dashboard.


    I earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
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  • 10 Tips To Pay Off Debt

    I value being debt free and have paid off a lot of debt over the years as I’ve improved my financial situation. My experience paying off debt was grueling which is why I love to share tips to pay off debt.

    Making debt payoff easier and less complicated is one of the goals with this blog.

    I believe there are many reasons to get out of debt and also believe that everyone can do it.

    Can You Ever Be Debt Free?

    Unfortunately, many people in the United States believe they will never be out of debt.

    A few years ago I read that at least 18% of people expected to be in debt forever. They literally expected to die while in debt. Others didn’t expect to reach debt freedom until their 60s or 70s. Some people even choose to carry debt and never pay it off because debt doesn’t bother them and they can ignore it.

    Some people are so deeply in debt they have given up the dream of being debt free. When you are so deep in debt you can’t see a way out then you simply accept being in debt forever.

    However, as part of the online personal finance community I know that you can be debt free.

    I’ve seen people pay off thousands of debt. Tens of thousands. Even hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of debt. No matter what amount of debt you owe, it’s possible to eliminate it.

    Let’s look at some tips to pay off debt so you can make a plan and pay off your debt.

    Debt Payoff Planner, Debt Tracker Printable, Payoff Bundle, Debt Snowball, Debt Avalanche, Debt Free Charts Planner PDF Printable Inserts

    Tips To Pay Off Debt

    These tips for paying off debt can help you get a handle on your debt and eliminate it forever.

    1. Change your mindset and be more positive about debt repayment
    2. Create a debt repayment plan
    3. Track your spending so you know what you’re spending
    4. Create a budget and stick to it
    5. Stop increasing debt balances
    6. Negotiate lower interest rates on your debt
    7. Send larger payments each month to high interest debt
    8. Make weekly payments on your debt
    9. Find ways to earn extra income to make extra debt payments
    10. Put savings from lowering spending into extra debt payments

    Now let’s look at each one in more depth.

    Change Your Debt Mindset

    Your mindset is the key to your success with debt payoff.

    If you think you will never pay off your debt then you will be right.

    If you think you will pay off your debt and be debt free then you will be right.

    Whichever thought you choose is what will create your reality. When you think you can do something you are more likely to achieve it. You’ll be able to overcome obstacles and make moves toward your goal.

    Changing your mindset is truly the first step in actually paying off debt. You have to start telling yourself that you will pay off the debt – matter how much you owe.

    Create A Debt Repayment Plan

    Creating a debt repayment plan is the next step in paying off your debt.

    You can set up a debt snowball plan or another similar debt repayment plan.

    How To Start Paying Off Debt With A Debt Snowball

    The most common debt repayment plans include:

    • debt snowball
    • debt avalanche
    • income based repayment
    • graduated repayment

    The debt snowball and debt avalanche plans are both accelerated debt repayment plans that can help you eliminate debt quickly. Both require discipline and can save you a lot of money in interest on your debt.

    Choosing which debt repayment plan you want to use is critical to your success but remember that it can also be fluid. You can change later!

    Track Your Spending

    Tracking your spending is critical for budgeting and succeeding with money.

    If you don’t know where your money is going then you can’t use it to pay down debt.

    By tracking and analyzing your spending habits you are able to make a budget that will actually work. Tracking your spending will allow you to follow and succeed with the budget you make.

    When you want to achieve a big goal like paying off your debt then you need to find a way to track every dollar you spend.

    There are several ways to track your spending:

    • passively track with an app like Mint or Personal Capital
    • actively track by entering expenses into a spreadsheet
    • write down all spending on a spending tracker printable
    Personal Capital | Net Worth Tracker

    Chart your path to financial freedom by tracking net worth, spending, & investments in one easy to use FREE dashboard.


    I earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
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    The best way to track your spending is the one that fits your needs and style. Different methods may or may not motivate you. The method that will work best is the one that you will stick to doing because it is effective for how your brain works.

    Some people love to handwrite a log of expenses because it forces their brain to acknowledge the spending. Others could never do that amount of work and prefer passive tracking with charts and analytics.

    Try a few different methods of tracking your spending until you find what works for you.

    Create A Budget

    Creating a budget you actually use throughout a pay period is very helpful when paying off debt.

    Budgeting allows you to give all of your money a goal and it frees up money to do things like pay down debt.

    There are many different ways to budget. There is no one “correct” way to create an implement a budget.

    The best budgeting method is the one you actually use.

    Monthly Budget Planner

    This monthly budget printable is a grouping of everything you need to plan and track your monthly budget. These monthly budget worksheets are designed to help you keep your budget on track by writing it down each month and tracking where your money goes.


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    Here are a few ways you could budget:

    • using an app like Personal Capital
    • writing out your budget with a budget printable
    • using a budgeting spreadsheet
    • using the anti budget method
    • budgeting with separate bank accounts

    If you’ve never budgeted before it might take a few tries to find the right method for your life. Even if you’ve budgeted for a while it’s important to remember that life situations change and you might need to adjust how you budget and track spending too!

    Here are a few helpful resources for budgeting to get you started:

    Stop Adding More Debt

    Before you eliminate your debt you need to stop adding more debt.

    If you are still creating more debt then it doesn’t make sense to try paying it off. First you need to stop adding more and more debt to the pile. This is especially true for high interest debt like credit cards.

    When you begin to pay off debt it is important to not work against yourself.

    If you are trying to pay off student loans at a low interest rate then you definitely should not be adding more debt at a higher interest rate.

    The people who ultimately pay off debt commit to not adding more debt to their lives. Living a debt free life begins with not adding any more new debt.

    tips for paying down debt

    Negotiate Lower Interest Rates

    When you are paying off debt you will want to get every advantage possible to help you pay it off. One of the best things you can do in this regard is to negotiate lower interest rates on your debt.

    Some debt types allow you to lower the interest rate through negotiation.

    With credit card debt you can sometimes call and ask for a slightly lower interest rate if you’ve been a good customer without late payments. Even dropping a couple points lower will save you money as you work to pay off debt.

    With other debt types you can get a lower interest rate through refinancing your debt.

    This is common with larger loans like mortgages or student loans. Once you have better credit you are usually able to refinance for a lower interest rate.

    Any time you are able to pay less interest you will save more money and speed up your debt payoff.

    Make Large Debt Payments

    The fastest way to pay off debt successfully is to make large debt payments.

    Any time you drop a large amount of money toward the balance of your debt you will make big progress.

    When I personally paid off debt I built a YouTube side hustle and then paid my entire YouTube income toward my debt. This allowed me to pay off the debt a lot faster when I was able to put thousands per month toward the balance.

    You can make large payments with bonuses, inheritances, side hustle paychecks, or tax returns.

    Any time you get a large amount of money outside of what you need to live you can use that money to pay down your debt faster. Using these large lump sums will help you get out of debt much faster.

    Make Weekly Payments

    I used weekly payments to help pay off my debt faster. This is one of the most underrated tips to pay off debt or handle using credit cards responsibly.

    I called this process Transfer Tuesday and it was a great way to stay accountable toward my debt payoff goals.

    Making payments toward debt every single week makes the process feel more achievable since you aren’t forced to save up huge amounts for payments. It’s a great strategy for anyone who tends to spend their account down.

    Depending on the type of debt you are attacking this could also save you money on the interest you will pay.

    Weekly payments might not be for everyone, but if you try this strategy feel free to check in with me on YouTube every Tuesdays when I share what financial goal we are working toward with weekly transfers!

    Create More Income To Use

    The unfortunate truth for many people is that in order to pay off debt they will need to make more money.

    This was true in my situation. To be able to pay off my debt I had to create more income. I decided to that through making content online and working overtime at my day job for over a year.

    Earning more money is one of the key strategies to paying off debt successfully.

    It might be hard to find time to earn extra money for debt payoff. Luckily this doesn’t have to be done forever. Once you’ve paid off your debt you can cut back on hours worked or drop extra side hustles.

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    Not sure where to start on increasing your income?

    One of my passions in life is teaching people how to earn money online. I’ve shared a ton of free information and tutorials here that can help you develop your own side hustle!

    Check out some of these side hustle ideas and tutorials:

    Spend Less Money To Pay Off Debt

    Spending less money is another way to pay off your debt faster.

    Let’s be honest, this is not the most fun method of paying down debt!

    Making sacrifices to your lifestyle in order to pay off debt might not be fun but it does work. The less money you spend the more you have to pay down your debt.

    Here are some ways you can cut back spending in order to pay down debt:

    Even just doing 1 or 2 of these can help you speed up the process of paying debt. Then when you are debt free you’ll be able to spend even more on living the life you love!

    My Debt Payoff Journey

    In 2018 I set up a debt snowball to pay off the remaining debt in my life: leftover parent plus student loans I had been ignoring and one student loan for my husband.

    When we starting paying off this debt together my husband and I set up our debt snowball as follows:

    • Husband’s Loan 1: $1,043.99
    • My Student Loan 2: $5,400.05
    • My Student Loan 3: $5,792.96
    • (Multiple loans) Loan 4: $31,129.13

    Total debt: $43,366.13

    You can see how we worked through the debt snowball with our debt snowball playlist where I added videos showing our progress working through the debt snowball.

    After one year of the debt snowball, I had made some progress and paid off several of the smaller loans.

    We made a lot of progress paying off debt in 2019.

    In the next year of paying off debt I kept changing the end date goal for my debt payoff.

    I did this because I also did saved up an emergency fund, bought a car in cash, and maxed out my Roth IRA.

    However, even with those other financial goals I worked on I was still able to finish paying off my debt on the very last day of 2021.

    As a result, it took me just over 2 years to pay off the $43,000 debt snowball that I wrote out when I started.

    My Previous Debt Payoff Experience

    The debt snowball method worked well for me both in this experience and when I paid off $22,000 in student loans and $5,000 in credit card debt in my early 20s.

    In 2010 I paid off $5,000 in credit card debt. In 2013 I finished paying off $22,000 in student loan debt that was in my own name.

    That first expecience was a harder debt payoff experience in many ways because I spent most of those year not earning much money. I spent those years living very frugally so that I could pay off the debt quickly.

    Tips To Pay Off Debt

    If you are in debt, you can get pay it off! Whether it’s super fast or takes a couple years the process is worth it.

    Here are a few tips to pay off debt recapped:

    • Change your mindset and be more positive about debt repayment
    • Track your spending so you know what you’re spending
    • Create a budget and stick to it
    • Stop using credit cards and increasing balances
    • Negotiate lower interest rates on your debt
    • Send larger payments each month to high interest debt
    • Find ways to earn extra income to make extra debt payments
    • Send savings from things like low gas prices as extra debt payments
    • Invest in personal finance education and a debt payment plan

    I hope these tips to pay off debt help you create your own debt free life! Following these tips and working hard to pay off your debt will yield a lot of positive results in your life.

    Don’t just accept the idea that you have to be in debt forever. Work to make yourself debt free!

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  • Things To Sell On Etsy For Extra Money

    Selling on Etsy is an incredible side hustle that even becomes a full time income for some sellers. If you want to take advantage of this e-commerce platform keep reading for ideas of things to sell on Etsy for extra money.

    Things to sell on Etsy for extra money - PenniesNotPerfection.com

    What Is Etsy?

    Etsy is the top marketplace where people come together to make, sell, buy, and collect unique items. 

    It’s a gift giver’s dream and the most popular place to buy unique products in several categories like handmade items, printables, invitations and more.

    Since it launched in 2005 Etsy has grown and over 4 million sellers use the marketplace to reach over 30 million customers.

    Why Sell On Etsy?

    With so many options for e-commerce sellers, what makes Etsy special?

    Etsy is the go-to marketplace for unique items from custom to vintage to craft products. Unlike the mega-corporations Etsy is all about keeping the human touch in e-commerce.

    It focuses on bringing together customers and sellers who want an alternative to the cold practicality of normal e-commerce experiences.

    This means customers shopping on Etsy are looking for unique, personalized, custom items made by real people that are not mass products. The site draws customers who want a unique experience and product.

    This unique situation means to succeed on Etsy you have to understand the customer experience along with the best things to sell on Etsy.

    How To Find Products To Sell On Etsy

    How do people find products to sell on Etsy? For many, they do Etsy keyword research!

    Etsy SEO is the process of researching, selecting, and optimizing Etsy product listings based on keywords people use to search. This process also helps many sellers decide what they want to sell.

    In the video above we walk through how to find things to sell on Etsy using a research tool called Sale Samurai.

    With SaleSamurai you are able to discover new ideas, find keywords, and track your competition to see where you will rank for things you want to sell.

    Sale Samurai - Etsy SEO, Analytics, & Keyword Research Software

    Sale Samurai's powerful AI driven keyword tools help you find and implement long tail keywords that bring in Etsy traffic and generate more sales.

    I earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
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    It allows you to:

    • Uncover keywords that shoppers are using to make their purchases so you select things that will actually sell
    • Brainstorm your next product idea based on sales of related products and niches
    • Learn the real search volume behind the keywords that are leading to sales of products
    • Spy on your competition and learn what they are doing to make sales and which products are selling enough for you to sell as well

    In this video about finding things to sell on Etsy we look at:

    • how to brainstorm Etsy product ideas
    • how to look up keywords for things to sell on Etsy
    • ways to track your competition on Etsy
    • how to generate ideas from the built in calendar
    • how to determine the profit of your products
    • ways to evaluate ROI on advertising on Etsy for your products

    Understanding how to evaluate product ideas and select the right things to sell will help you succeed as a seller on Etsy.

    Things To Sell On Etsy For Extra Money

    If you want a list of things to sell on Etsy then look no further than this list of ideas!

    1. Jewelry (handmade, personalized, etc.)
    2. Jewelry supplies
    3. Craft supplies
    4. Stickers
    5. Printables
    6. Wedding items
    7. Wedding clothing & accessories
    8. Party decorations
    9. Party supplies
    10. Invitations
    11. Personalized gifts
    12. Handmade clothes
    13. Vintage clothes
    14. Vintage items & decor
    15. Notebooks and Journals
    16. Homemade bath products
    17. Handmade beauty products
    18. Zero-waste products
    19. Ready made craft kits
    20. Food & gift baskets
    21. Wall decals
    22. Plants
    23. Baby accessories
    24. Children’s toys
    25. Mugs
    26. Candles
    27. Digital art
    28. Art prints
    29. Pet treats
    30. Pet accessories
    31. Greeting cards
    32. Enamel pins
    33. Seasonal gifts

    These are some of the popular things to sell on Etsy but there are hundreds of other categories and things you could sell successfully!

    My Experience With Selling On Etsy

    I’ve sold digital products on Etsy for several years and earned tens of thousands of dollars.

    What began with one small printable that earned $25 in the first month eventually became a side hustle of $1,000+ per month. It has been an incredible side hustle to sell things on Etsy.

    After selling on Etsy for a few years I’ve noticed a few keys to success:

    • Selling items that are well priced in your niche compared to competitors
    • Creating and selling items people are looking for based on keyword research
    • Giving customers good customer experiences with your shop
    • Cultivating great reviews from customers for your products

    Using these guiding principles has helped me make thousands of sales on Etsy.

    Pros & Cons Selling On Etsy

    As with any e-commerce platform, there are pros and cons to selling products on Etsy.

    You can sell all the details in the video above but there are many pros and cons to selling things on Etsy.

    Some pros to selling on Etsy:

    • traffic to your shop immediately from the marketplace
    • easy to get started and open your shop quickly
    • lots of built in tools and resources for sellers

    Some cons to selling on Etsy:

    • numerous fees from transaction fees, listing fees, etc.
    • fees increase over time without your input or control
    • no way to opt out of advertising if you sell $10,000 per year

    Etsy has been a great platform to learn and grow on even as I eventually transferred over to primarily selling on Shopify.

    More Etsy Tips & Tutorials

    Here are a few useful Etsy tutorials on Pennies Not Perfection:

    Etsy SEO

    Etsy Sales Tips

    Check out more Etsy tutorials or request a new tutorial by reaching out on Instagram!

    If you want to say thank you, you can Buy Me A Coffee.

    Etsy Seller Resources

    Here are some Etsy seller resources that can help you start, run, and grow your Etsy shop:

    Adobe Creative Cloud

    Adobe Creative Cloud gives you the world’s best creative apps and services so you can make anything you can imagine, wherever you’re inspired.

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    eRank - FREE Etsy SEO, Keyword Research Tool

    Get helpful tips on how to improve your Etsy listings and how your shop measures up to the competition.

    If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.
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    Canva - An Online Graphic Design Tool

    Canva makes it easy to create professional designs quickly. They include tons of free templates, photos and fonts to make your design perfect.

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    Marmalead

    Marmalead uses machine learning to help you get found on Etsy. Use it to research, analyze, and implement keywords in your Etsy listings.

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    Sale Samurai - Etsy SEO, Analytics, & Keyword Research Software

    Sale Samurai's powerful AI driven keyword tools help you find and implement long tail keywords that bring in Etsy traffic and generate more sales.

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    ConvertKit: Email Marketing For Income Creators

    Grow, nurture, and monetize your audience on ConvertKit.

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    The Etsy Entrepreneur Course

    Learn how to make an extra $1,000 per month in passive income by selling digital downloads in Etsy.

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    E-Printables Course

    Learn everything you need to know to create and sell printables online as a side hustle. Includes lessons, templates, and 24/7 support.

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  • How To Earn Money On Cash App

    Cash app is the mobile app that allows users to send money, invest money, bank, and even do your taxes… all for FREE. It’s a fantastic app run by a tech company changing the way finance works. In this guide we will share how to earn money on Cash App to make it even better.

    Related guides:

    How Does Cash App Work?

    Cash App is simple to use despite the growing number of features includes.

    At the most basic level Cash App is made to send and receive money without a traditional bank account.

    You can do this money transfer without any fees which has made Cash App extremely popular. A service that charges no fees and does not require a bank account has opened up financial opportunities for previously unbanked populations.

    Since it grew in popularity Cash App has also added additional offerings from buying Bitcoin to doing your taxes.

    Ways People Use Cash App

    There are multiple ways you can use Cash App:

    • Sending money
    • Receiving money
    • Spending money
    • Receiving cashback rewards
    • Direct depositing paychecks
    • Borrowing money (up to $200)
    • Buying Bitcoin
    • Selling Bitcoin
    • Sending Bitcoin
    • Investing in stocks
    • Doing your taxes
    • Making money

    With the amount the company is growing there may even be more options in the near future.

    How To Earn Money On Cash App

    There are several ways to make money on Cash App. Let’s look at some of the opportunities available so you can earn money and get off to a great start.

    Sign Up With A Referral Code

    You can start off using Cash App with an extra $5 by signing up using a referral code. You just have to use referral code RSJQKLK and then send at least $5 (it can be sent to and then back from a friend).

    free cash app sign up bonus on cash app

    IMPORTANT! You have to send someone $5 to get the bonus! People have asked why the bonus fails and this is almost always why. Send it to a friend who sends it back if you need but you’ll need to do this to get the sign up bonus.

    You can use my Cash App referral code RSJQKLK to earn money on Cash App when you sign up. It also gives me a little bit of money and helps support creating guides like this!

    Refer Others To Cash App

    Once you are using Cash App you can also refer friends to get a sign up bonus!

    Here’s how to find your referral code in Cash App:

    1. Open Cash App on your phone
    2. Go to your account profile page by tapping the “Profile Icon” on the top right corner
    3. Click the green “Invite Friends, Get $10” button after your username (this amount may be $5, $10, $15 depending on the current Cash App referral bonus)
    4. Type the name of a friend or click the green “Get $10” next to their name to send a message
    5. Or click the Arrow icon in the top right corner to bring up additional options for sending our your referral link and referral code
    6. Cash app will create a message about the bonus along with your unique code and link to send to friends and family
    7. To get the referral bonus make sure people use the code not just the link and they complete the necessary steps of linking an account and sending out $5 to someone

    You both will get a bonus within 14 days of your friend signing up with your code and sending $5.

    Cash Back Spending Boosts

    Your Cash App account comes with a debit card that you can use to spend money anywhere. Cash App also offers “boosts” that give you additional cash back when you spend at certain locations.

    Here’s how to activate the boosts after you get your debit card:

    • Open Cash App on your phone
    • Click on the card icon on the bottom menu
    • Click “Add Boost” in the middle of the page
    • Scroll through the boosts to find the one you want
    • Tap on the boost to bring up additional details
    • Click black “Add Boost” button to activate

    To earn more money with Cash App you just need to activate and then utilize your Cash App debit card at these locations. Some of these will provide cash back, others earn you Bitcoin, and others give you a discount.

    You’ll get a bit of spending boost or a big discount which saves you money depending on the boost details.

    Cash App Giveaways & Contests

    Another way to earn money on Cash App doesn’t occur on the app but instead on social media.

    Cash App does giveaways on their Twitter page often giving cash or Bitcoin to winners. Here’s an example of a previous giveaway they did on Twitter:

    You don’t have to do anything to earn money with these giveaways. It’s completely random and you don’t have to send money or make purchases or download anything extra.

    All you do for most of these is retweet the Cash App tweet with your Cashtag and then hope for the best.

    Invest For Asset Appreciation

    There are plenty of ways to make money with Cash App, but one way that many enjoy is investing.

    You can invest on Cash App by buying stocks and ETFs. This allows you to earn money through asset appreciation. The stocks and ETFs you buy are assets and over time their value can go up earning you more money.

    Here’s how it works when buying stocks:

    • If you buy a stock at $25 then in 12 months it is at $50, you’ve made $25!
    • If you buy a stock at $25 then in 12 months it is at $20, you’ve lost $5.
    how to earn money on Cash App - buy stocks for asset appreciation

    These monetary gains or losses are only locked in when you sell the stock or ETF. Until then you can ride the market and hope for even more appreciation of your assets.

    Always remember with this method that buying stocks can be risky if you aren’t careful – there’s no guarantee your investment will go up in value. Over time the stock market has gone up in value but there is still risk involved. Just keep in mind that the stock market and individual stocks can go up AND down in value.

    Invest In Bitcoin

    You can also earn money by doing the same thing with Bitcoin.

    This is an even riskier method than stocks because Bitcoin has been more volatile during the last couple years. However, the larger risk also offers a potential larger return to earn money.

    You can purchase Bitcoin on Cash App directly. If you purchase it at a lower price and it goes up in value then you earn money when you sell at that higher value.

    It’s just like any other asset appreciation. You will earn money on that appreciation in value.

    Bitcoin is an asset class that I recommend learning about and researching in depth before jumping in. There is plenty of room to make money with Bitcoin on Cash App but you’ll be the most successful if you are well educated on the topic.

    Want another way to earn money with Bitcoin? Check out the Coinbase referral code program or trading Bitcoin on Binance.

    Cash App FAQ

    Below are some of the questions I often get asked on videos and posts about Cash App.

    What’s the Cash App referral code?

    Cash App referral code RSJQLK will get you $5 for free when you download the app, enter this referral code, link your debit card and send $5.

    Is Cash App safe to use?

    Yes, it’s totally safe! Cash App uses encryption and fraud detection technology to make sure your money is safe and secure.

    If you are sending and receiving money from people you trust it is totally safe to use.

    Do you need a bank account for Cash App?

    No you do not need a bank account to use Cash App. You just need a phone number and email address.

    This makes Cash App different than other money transfer apps like Venmo, Zelle, etc.

    Because you don’t need a bank account your money will go into Cash App which can act like your bank account. It even comes with a debit card!

    What is a $Cashtag?

    A $Cashtag is your unique username on Cash App. This username allows people to find you and send payments.

    The $Cashtag is a public facing username and it’s how you enter contests, tell people to find you, and. receive money.

    Are there Cash App scams?

    With any financial platform you have to be vigilant of people outside the app trying to take advantage and scam you. While Cash App is safe, there are scammers everywhere trying to steal your data or trick you into getting into your account.

    The sad reality is scams are prevalent on any app that involves money.

    Here are some common Cash App scams to look out for:

    • Cash flipping scams
    • Clearance fee scams
    • Pet deposit scams
    • Home rental deposit scams
    • Payment claiming scams

    Here are a few things to do to keep yourself safe from scams:

    • Only send money to people you know and trust
    • Double check information when you are sending money 
    • Check the profile to make sure you’re sending money to the right person
    • Never send money to someone promising to send money in the future 
    • Never send money to someone you don’t know

    Will Cash App refund my money if I am scammed?

    Scams do happen and Cash App is aware of this reality.

    If fraudulent activity occurs, Cash App tries to cancel it. Preventing you getting scammed out of money is the first defense. They also investigate issues and refund money either instantly or within 1-3 days in some situations.

    Unfortunately, it will depend on the circumstances of the situation. If you make a mistake in who you send money to it may not be recovered.

    Are there any Cash App hacks to earn money fast?

    Unfortunately there are not glitches or ways to cheat the system that you should use.

    Sometimes people will promote a “glitch” or “hack” to earn money or scam others but these will often get your account banned and you should not use them.

    Are there any Cash App referral code hacks at all?

    This is not a hack necessarily but you can refer multiple people! You can invite everyone you know to join you on Cash App in order to get $5 per referral you sign up using your code.

    You likely know many people who do not currently use Cash App and can make money referring them.

    Why did I not receive the Cash App referral bonus money?

    Unfortunately if you didn’t receive your referral credit, it’s likely that your phone number or email are associated with another Cash App account. This can cause problems since the referral is for a one time sign up.

    Another issue is that YOU DID NOT SEND MONEY. To get the referral bonus you have to sign up with the referral code AND send someone $5. If you don’t send money you won’t receive a bonus. You can send to a friend who sends it back.

    In the app you can go to Account settings and click the “Invite Friends” link. It shows you exactly what you need to do to make sure you get the bonus.

    What is the Cash App promo code?

    The Cash App promo code is the same thing as the Cash App referral code. This is a unique code everyone can share to get $5 when someone else signs up and you can use when you sign up to get $5.

    You can use Cash App promo code “RSJQLK” when you sign up to get $5 as a free bonus!

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  • How To Make Money With M1 Finance (6 Ways)

    M1 Finance is my current favorite brokerage account. I recommend it and use it in most of my YouTube videos. Because of this I get a lot of questions about it including how to make money with M1 Finance.

    How To Make Money With M1 Finance - 6 Ways

    How do you make money with a financial platform like M1 Finance?

    For the short answer, there are several ways:

    1. Referral Bonuses
    2. Transfer Bonuses
    3. Asset Appreciation
    4. Dividend Payments
    5. M1 Spend Interest Payments
    6. Credit Card Cash Back

    Now let’s look deeper at M1 Finance and explore the different ways you can use M1 Finance to make money.

    What Is M1 Finance?

    M1 Finance began as a brokerage platform but they now offering many financial products from a credit card to loans to a checking account.

    You can read my full review and experience with M1 Finance here.

    The Finance Super App | M1 Finance

    Invest, spend, earn, and borrow with M1 Finance.

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    How To Make Money With M1 Finance

    Let’s look at the details of each way you can make money with M1 Finance.

    I love this topic because I’ve personally earned thousands of dollars thanks to using M1 Finance. In 2021 I earned over $10,000 from several of the methods detailed below.

    The best part about making money with this company? Anyone can do it!

    You might not want to try all of the money making methods but you can certainly try one or two.

    Referral Bonuses

    The first way you can earn money with M1 Finance is by starting your account with a referral link.

    When you use a referral link to open an M1 Finance account you instantly are eligible to receive a sign up bonus.

    How To Open A M1 Finance Account Video Tutorial

    M1 Finance sign up bonuses from referral links vary depending on the season and current promotion.

    At the time of writing this guide to making money with M1 Finance, the current promotion gives you $50 for starting an account with $100. This is only if you use someone’s referral link which benefits you both!

    Want to use my referral link? Click here to get a bonus for starting an M1 Finance account!

    Transfer Bonuses

    Along with the referral bonuses, another way to earn money with M1 Finance is to take advantage of the free money they offer people opening new accounts.

    M1 Finance runs many different promotions and offers large sums of money to people transferring accounts to them.

    You earn a cash bonus just for transferring your taxable brokerage account or retirement account to M1 Finance.

    With all of these promotions, the bonus rises with the account value. If you transfer a large account to M1 Finance then they will give you a large bonus.

    You can check out M1 Finance’s website for the the latest promotion offered for account transfers.

    These bonuses constantly change but there is almost always some kind of M1 Finance Sign Up Bonus for new accounts.

    Asset Appreciation

    There are plenty of ways to make money with M1 Finance, but one way that stands out is investing.

    Commission free investing with automation is the backbone of M1 Finance. It’s the original offering and the thing that most people use to earn money on M1 Finance.

    Investing through buying stocks and ETFs allows you to earn money through asset appreciation. The stocks and ETFs you buy are assets and over time their value can go up earning you more money.

    Maneuvering through stocks can be risky if you aren’t careful – there’s no guarantee your investment will go up in value!

    This opportunity has both risk and reward.

    • If you buy a stock at $25 then in 12 months it is at $50, you’ve made $25!
    • If you buy a stock at $25 then in 12 months it is at $20, you’ve lost $5.

    These monetary gains or losses are only locked in when you sell the stock or ETF. Until then you can ride the market and hope for even more appreciation of your assets.

    Just always keep in mind that the stock market and individual stocks can go up AND down in value.

    Dividend Payments

    Dividend payments from stocks you own is another way to make money on M1 Finance.

    When you own certain stocks or ETFs you are paid a regular payment of the company’s profit. Dividends are the payments a company makes to share it’s profits with all stockholders. It’s one of the ways investors can earn money from investing in a stock.

    There are several types of dividends from cash to stock payouts and also multiple payout periods from monthly to quarterly. These all depend on how the company chooses to pay it’s shareholders.

    Not all stocks pay dividends so to earn money in this way you have to purchase stocks that pay dividends.

    Dividend investors love M1 Finance because of the automation and powerful tools like dynamic rebalancing and portfolio dividend reinvestments.

    M1 Spend Interest Payments

    M1 Spend is the checking account within M1 Finance. It offers a 1% APY to customers which is multiple times the national average.

    If you choose to use M1 Spend as your checking account you will earn money on whatever amount you keep inside it.

    You will also be able to earn 1% cash back on all purchases made with the debit card attached to the account.

    The one catch with this way to earn money is that you also have to spend money to achieve it. To get these benefits you will need to be an M1 Plus member which currently costs $125 per year.

    You can still use M1 Spend without the Plus membership but you won’t earn 1% on your money or get the 1% cash back.

    M1 Credit Card Cash Back Rewards

    The final method of earning money with M1 Finance is to use their credit card.

    The Owner’s Rewards Credit Card by M1 is a unique credit card that allows you to grow your investment portfolio with credit card purchases.

    With every purchase you are eligible to earn from 1.5% to 10% cash back.

    When you purchase items from companies you own in a portfolio you are able to earn more cash back, from 2.5% to 10%. All other purchases receive the standard 1.5% cash back.

    M1 Finance is also offering a $300 bonus for new users who spend a certain amount to qualify. If you have large upcoming purchases the rewards credit card bonus could be a great way to earn a bit of extra cash.

    There is a $95 fee for the card but that is waived with a M1 Plus membership (which could be used to also benefit with the M1 Spend account).

    More About M1 Finance

    M1 Finance is an all-in-one financial platform that allows you to invest, spend, earn, and borrow money.

    They currently offer a great $50 sign up bonus with an M1 Finance referral link (click here for mine!).

    M1 Finance Review Video

    You can also read my full M1 Finance Review here to see if it’s a good fit for you.

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  • 52 Week Money Challenge $5,000

    Are you looking for a 52 week money challenge with $5,000 as a savings goal? This $5,000 money savings challenge can help you achieve that goal this year.

    $5,000 In One Year Savings Challenge Video Review

    A money savings challenge can help you save more money than you would without a plan.

    The structure and consistency of a savings challenge helps many people achieve more than they would otherwise.

    Even if you are on a lower income, saving up $5,000 in 52 weeks with a money savings challenge is definitely possible.

    Saving up this amount of money could help you build an emergency fund, pay off debt, or start saving for your first home.

    If you use this challenge you will have $5,000 saved up after 52 weeks.

    Could you use an extra $5,000 one year from now?

    $5,000 Savings Challenge Tracker

    Want to save $5,000 in one year? This savings challenge tracker is the way to do it! This $5,000 Money Saving Challenge is designed to help you save up $5,000 over 52 weeks with either one of the two different savings plans.

    Lasso Brag

    Why Do A 52 Week Money Challenge?

    Saving money can be hard. It often takes consistency over long periods of time like 52 weeks.

    Doing a 52 week money challenge to save $5,000 allows you to work towards saving up $5,000 in one year.

    Here are some of the benefits from doing a year long money challenge:

    • Saved money ($5,000). The money saved up at the end of the challenge is the main benefit of doing a challenge. This is the first benefit of doing a money challenge – you actually save up money!
    • Improved savings habits. A savings challenge helps many people improve their relationship with saving money. A money challenge might be the thing to change your lack of savings habits. During the savings challenge you will be creating a new or better habit of saving money.
    • Improved discipline. Savings challenges help with discipline because you have to work towards the goal every week. Forcing yourself to start and finish the challenge means you’ll develop good routines and discipline over 52 weeks.

    Those are just a few of the benefits and reasons why you might want to do a savings challenge.

    52 Week Money Challenge $5,000 Printables

    There are multiple 52 week money challenges available in my money printables library bundle but a very popular one is the $5,000 in 1 year savings challenge.

    Money Savings Challenge $5,000 In 52 Weeks

    The 52 Week Money Challenge $5,000 printable is available in the Pennies Not Perfection shop.

    This challenge gives you a certain amount to save each week so you have $5,000 at the end of 52 weeks.

    There are TWO different options included in this money savings challenge:

    • $5,000 money savings challenge tracker with random amounts to save each week
    • $5,000 money savings challenge tracker with the same amount to save each week for slightly over 10K

    This challenge is a PDF file you can download, print, and use again and again. You can print it at home or have it printed at your local print shop. To adjust the size you can print scaled to fit the correct planner sizes.

    Or you can also upload it to apps like GoodNotes to use digitally. This is how I use many of my savings trackers after switching to planning on my ipad.

    I’ve also found printing the challenge and putting it up somewhere you see it daily can be very motivating!

    Starting A 52 Week Money Challenge

    Many people start savings challenges in January. This is a great time for making financial goals and resolutions to save money.

    However you can start a 52 week money challenge at any time!

    Regardless of when you start you’ll have saved up $5,000 a year from that beginning.

    When you start you have a few different options for how to complete the challenge. You can follow the challenge in order that the amounts appear on the paper. Or you can skip around the page and tailor the challenge to your lifestyle.

    Some weeks you may need to save less and others you can save more. For example, maybe you want to save more in the beginning because you will be motivated.

    If you know that January will be your best month then choose some of the higher amounts for each week.

    Or you could plan to pay bigger amounts in December when you get a yearly bonus. Then you would start out with the smaller amounts in the beginning of the year.

    The most important thing is to actually get started.

    There is no “perfect” time to start a savings challenge. Why not start today?!?!?

    Easy Savings Challenges (Save $1,000 To $20,000)

    Tips For Saving $5,000 In 52 Weeks

    I’ve now multiple savings challenges. During these I’ve found a few ways to make sure you are successful.

    The list of tips below can help you successfully save money during the 52 week challenge.

    Follow your savings plan.

    Having a clear savings plan with exact numbers to save makes you much more likely to succeed. This is why many people choose to follow a savings challenge.

    It’s also why I created and offer a $5,000 in 52 weeks savings challenge printable.

    It gives you a clear plan to follow in order to save $5,000.

    Obviously you might not want to spend even a couple dollars on a plan. Luckily there are also many free 52 week money challenges available online.

    No matter which plan you choose to follow, commit to doing the savings plan for the whole 52 weeks.

    Budget your money every paycheck.

    If you want to save money then you need to budget your money.

    Budgeting your money and knowing how much you have going in and out of your account is critical for success with a money challenge. Budgeting will help you find the money to put towards your savings challenge.

    If you’re new to budgeting, here are some helpful resources:

    Finding the right budgeting methods for you over the 52 weeks will help make the challenge successful. It will also set you up for a lifetime of good money management.

    Pick a day of the week to contribute money.

    Making savings contributions weekly on the same day can help you complete a money savings challenge.

    When you always contribute on the same day each week you are much less likely to forget about your savings challenge. You’re also more likely to continue doing this as it becomes a habit.

    Consistency is one of the best habits leading to financial success.

    My version of weekly consistency is my Transfer Tuesday series on YouTube (feel free to join me) where I transfer money to savings every Tuesday

    Use a high yield savings account.

    When you are completing a money challenge you want to put your somewhere safe that earns a little bit of money. Using a high yield savings account (or the M1 Finance spend account) can accomplish this.

    You’ll earn a bit of money while working on your 52 week challenge but it won’t be at risk by being invested in the stock market.

    Keep yourself motivated for the year.

    Making sure you are motivated and stay motivated is the best way to successfully complete a money savings challenge.

    You can do this in a number of ways based on what motivates you mentally.

    Maybe you print your challenge and place it so you can see it daily. Maybe you have to check in each week with a friend. Maybe you give yourself a reward at the end for completing the goal.

    Find the motivation techniques that appeal to you and it will help you stick to the 52 week journey.

    Plan for potential setbacks over time.

    You will have some setbacks or difficult times during your year long savings challenge.

    Making a plan for this will help you get through it.

    For example, maybe you know that you’ll have a large expense during the year. You can plan to contribute smaller amounts for the challenge during that time. Instead of giving up, plan around things that come up or make changes.

    Remember it’s also ok to pause the challenge and pick it up again when you can.

    In the end if doesn’t matter if your 52 weeks are consecutive or not – you’ll still have $5,000!

    Challenge Yourself To Save More

    Sometimes you start a challenge and realize you want to challenge yourself even more.

    If the $5,000 challenge sounds too easy you can always challenge yourself to save more money during the 52 weeks.

    Instead of $5,000 maybe you decide to save $10,000 in 52 weeks instead.

    $10,000 Savings Challenge Tracker

    Want to save $10,000 in one year? This savings challenge tracker is perfect for you! This $10,000 Money Saving Challenge is designed to help you save up $10,000 over one year with either one of the two different savings plans.

    Lasso Brag

    Or maybe you really challenge yourself to save up $20,000 in those 52 weeks.

    $20,000 Savings Challenge Tracker

    Want to save $20,000 in one year? This savings challenge tracker is perfect for you! This $20,000 Money Saving Challenge is designed to help you save up $20,000 over one year with multiple different savings plans.

    Lasso Brag

    Changing your savings plan or doing a different challenge might be more motivating if you know you won’t achieve the $5,000 goal. That’s ok! You can readjust your plans at any time.

    Check out the savings challenges in the money printables shop to find more options for challenges you can complete.

    Money Making Ideas To Save More

    If you want to complete your $5,000 savings challenge you might need to earn more money.

    There are a number of ways to earn extra income on the side. You could get a part time job or a seasonal job or try an online side hustle.

    Try out some of these ideas for making more money for your savings:

    These ideas can help you earn a little bit of extra money throughout the year while you complete your challenge.

    Read More

  • 52 Week Money Challenge $20,000

    Are you looking for a 52 week money challenge with $20,000 as a savings goal? This $20,000 in one year savings challenge might be perfect for you!

    $20,000 In One Year Savings Challenge Video Review

    Using a money savings challenge can help you save more money than you otherwise would without a plan.

    Saving up $20,000 in 52 weeks with a money savings challenge is definitely possible. Saving up this amount of money could help you build an emergency fund, pay off debt, or build a down payment for your first home.

    With this challenge you’ll have $20,000 saved up after 52 weeks.

    Could you use an extra $20,000 in a year?

    Would it help you buy a home? Send your child to college? Fund an early retirement? Just having an extra $20,000 saved allows many people to dream of new possibilities.

    $20,000 Savings Challenge Tracker

    Want to save $20,000 in one year? This savings challenge tracker is perfect for you! This $20,000 Money Saving Challenge is designed to help you save up $20,000 over one year with multiple different savings plans.

    Lasso Brag

    Why Do A 52 Week Money Challenge?

    Saving money can be hard for many people especially when the amounts get larger.

    Doing a 52 week money challenge to save $20,000 allows you to strategically save up the amount over a year.

    Here are some of the benefits from doing a year long money challenge:

    • The saved money. Obviously the amount of money saved up at the end of the challenge is the main benefit. Having your money goal reached is a huge benefit to doing a money saving challenge.
    • Improved relationship with savings. For many people a savings challenge can help them improve their relationship with money and saving it. If you’ve always spent every dime you had available a money challenge might be the thing to change that tendency. You will also be creating a new or better habit of saving.
    • Improved discipline. Saving money is hard. I run a personal finance blog and I still struggle with saving money sometimes because it’s much more fun to spend. Savings challenges can help with this because they force you to be more disciplined with money. Forcing yourself to start and finish the challenge means you’ll develop good routines and discipline over 52 weeks.

    52 Week Money Challenge $20,000 Printables

    There are multiple 52 week money challenges available in my money printables library bundle but the most popular is this $20,000 in 1 year savings challenge.

    Save 20,000 Dollars In One Year | Money Saving Challenge 20K | 20,000 Dollar Savings Challenge Tracker Printable

    You can get the 52 Week Money Challenge $20,000 printable in the Pennies Not Perfection shop.

    This challenge is designed to give you a certain amount to save each week so you have $20,000 at the end of 52 weeks.

    There are TWO different options included in this money savings challenge:

    • $20,000 money savings challenge tracker with random amounts to save each week
    • $20,000 money savings challenge tracker with the same amount to save each week for slightly over 10K

    It’s a PDF file you can download, print, and use again and again. You can print it at home or have it printed at your local print shop. To adjust the size you can print scaled to fit the correct planner sizes.

    Or you can also upload it to apps like GoodNotes to use digitally which is how I use many of my savings trackers.

    Personally I’ve found printing the challenge and putting it up somewhere you see it daily can be very motivating! Creating a wall of visual trackers is a great way to stay motivated financially!

    Starting A 52 Week Money Challenge

    Many people start savings challenges in January when they are making financial goals and resolutions to save money.

    However you can start a 52 week money challenge at any time!

    You could start the challenge on your birthday. You could start the challenge a year before you want to buy a home. You could start the challenge any time before you want to save up $20K.

    Regardless of when you start you’ll have saved up $20,000 a year from that beginning.

    When you start you can follow the challenge in order that the amounts appear on the paper. Or you can skip around the page and tailor the challenge to your lifestyle. Some weeks you may need to save less and others you can save more.

    For example, maybe you want to save more in the beginning because you will be motivated.

    If you know that January will be your best month then choose some of the higher amounts for each week.

    Or you could plan to pay bigger amounts in December when you get a yearly bonus. Then you would start out with the smaller amounts in the beginning of the year.

    The most important part is that you get started.

    It doesn’t have to be on January 1 and it doesn’t have to be the “perfect” time. You just have to start and be consistent each week.

    Easy Savings Challenges (Save $1,000 To $20,000)

    Tips For Saving $20,000 In 52 Weeks

    After completing multiple savings challenges I’ve found there are a few ways to make sure you are successful. The list of ideas below are tips to help you successfully save during the 52 week challenge.

    Follow the savings challenge plan.

    Having a clear savings plan with exact numbers to save during the year makes you much more likely to succeed.

    That’s why I offer a $20,000 in 52 weeks savings challenge printable. It gives people a clear plan to follow.

    If you prefer to find another plan there are also many free 52 week money challenges available online. No matter which you choose, commit to following the savings plan for the whole 52 weeks.

    Budget your money every paycheck.

    You can spend your entire income no matter how high that income is.

    Many six figure earners save no money and never build wealth.

    Budgeting your money and knowing how much you have going in and out of your account is critical for success with a money challenge. In order to save money you’ll need to budget and plan to put the money into the savings challenge.

    There are many different ways to budget from paycheck budgeting to anti budgeting.

    Finding the right method for you over the 52 weeks will help make the challenge successful and set you up for a lifetime of good money management.

    Pick a day of the week to contribute money.

    Making your contributions on the same day every week can help you complete a money savings challenge.

    It is a great way to keep yourself consistent and accountable. When you always contribute on the same day you are much less likely to forget about your savings challenge.

    Consistency is one of the best habits leading to financial success.

    I personally do this with my Transfer Tuesday series on YouTube (feel free to subscribe and join me).

    Use a high yield savings account.

    When you are completing a money challenge you want to put your somewhere safe that earns a little bit of money. Using a high yield savings account (or the M1 Finance spend account) can accomplish this.

    You’ll earn a bit of money while working on your 52 week challenge but it won’t be at risk by being invested in the stock market.

    Keep yourself motivated for the year.

    Making sure you are motivated and stay motivated is the best way to successfully complete a money savings challenge.

    You can do this in a number of ways based on what motivates you mentally.

    Maybe it’s having your challenge printed and in a visual places so you can see it daily.

    Maybe it is accountability so you have to check in each week.

    Find the motivation techniques that appeal to you. Put these into practice and you’ll find success with your challenge.

    Plan for potential setbacks over time.

    You will have some setbacks or difficult times during your year long savings challenge.

    Making a plan for this will help you get through it.

    For example, maybe you know that you’ll have a large expense during the year. You can plan to contribute smaller amounts for the challenge during that time. Instead of giving up, plan around things that come up or make changes.

    Remember it’s also ok to pause the challenge and pick it up again when you can.

    In the end if doesn’t matter if your 52 weeks are consecutive or not – you’ll still have $20,000!

    More Savings Challenges

    Sometimes you recognize that a goal is beyond your capacity due to many reasons. In this case you might want to adjust your challenge goal.

    Instead of $20,000 maybe you decide to save $10,000 in 52 weeks instead.

    $10,000 Savings Challenge Tracker

    Want to save $10,000 in one year? This savings challenge tracker is perfect for you! This $10,000 Money Saving Challenge is designed to help you save up $10,000 over one year with either one of the two different savings plans.

    Lasso Brag

    Changing your savings plan or doing a different challenge might be more motivating if you know you won’t achieve the $20,000 goal. That’s ok! You can readjust your plans at any time.

    Check out the savings challenges in the money printables shop to find more options for challenges you can complete.

    Money Making Ideas To Save More

    Completing a big $20,000 savings challenge can be difficult and you might need to make more money to reach your goal.

    Below are some ideas to help you make money over the next 52 weeks as you work on your money challenge.

    These ideas can help you earn a little bit of extra money throughout the year while you complete your challenge. You can do it!

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  • Our Mortgage Payoff Journey

    In this post I’m sharing the mortgage payoff journey for our first home purchased in Tennessee in 2016.

    We are not outright opposed to debt but see the value in eventually living without tons of payments taking our income. Because I’m also a business owner with variable income it makes sense to us to have lower month obligations.

    For these reasons we want to eventually pay off this mortgage and any additional real estate we buy.

    Buying Our House

    We bought our home in 2016 at a very reasonable price that no longer exists in our area.

    We purchased the home with an FHA loan instead of saving up a larger down payment. I’m glad we did so at the time because what followed was 5 years of consistent price growth in our area.

    We purchased our 1700 square foot home for $158,900.00.

    Here are all of the important home purchase numbers:

    • Purchase price: $158,900.00
    • Deposit: $1,000
    • Down payment: $5,304.00
    • Closing costs: $8,342.21 (Seller paid: $6,093.22)
    • Upfront PMI: $2,641.71 (Monthly PMI: $99.00)
    • Loan interest rate: 3.65%
    • Loan amount: $153,596.00

    Taking out a FHA loan meant we would pay thousands in PMI both upfront and as a monthly amount but we planned to refinance once we hit 20% in equity.

    Early Mortgage Payoff Progress

    Our early mortgage payoff process was slow but we did make small amounts of progress.

    You can see this in one of our earliest mortgage payoff update videos back in 2019.

    After three years of making mortgage payments we were down to a balance of $137,550.67.

    By December 2019 when I made this video we were about one year and 10 months ahead based on our amortization schedule. It felt great to be making the “October 2021” payment in December 2019.

    This inspired me to keep going and eventually pay off this loan whether we planned to live here or move and keep it as a rental property.

    Our Mortgage Payoff Strategies

    For the first five years of paying down our mortgage we used two main mortgage payoff strategies.

    The first mortgage payoff strategy was to make biweekly mortgage payments.

    With this mortgage payoff strategy you make enough biweekly payments during the year so that two go straight toward paying down principal. This means we were making one full payment per year towards principal.

    The second mortgage payoff strategy we used was to round up our mortgage payment.

    Each month we rounded up to an even number and made the extra apply straight toward principal.

    This was an easy thing to set up with our mortgage company and we did not miss the small amounts per month. Sending an extra $7 or $10 per month doesn’t seem like much but that adds up over time.

    Since we were not aggressive without payoff plan these two passive payoff strategies helped us get to the point where we could refinance our loan and drop PMI.

    Refinancing Our Mortgage

    One of the goals we had for our mortgage payoff plan was to stop paying $99 per month to PMI and instead pay that towards reducing the loan balance.

    To do this we refinanced our loan in 2020.

    I previously wrote about the new mortgage details and our refinance closing costs.

    Our new loan details:

    • Mortgage balance: $142,000 (closing costs rolled in)
    • Loan interest rate: 2.75%
    • Loan details: conventional, 15 year fixed

    We refinanced during a period of very low rates. We also switched to a 15 year loan because it would barely change our payment but would double the amount going toward principal each month.

    Dropping PMI meant $99 of our month payment was going toward the actual mortgage loan instead.

    The balance started dropping at a much faster rate at this point.

    Mortgage Payoff Progress Updates

    Despite having a very low interest rate we do still intend to pay off the loan earlier than 15 years.

    Because of this I’ve started doing quarterly mortgage payoff updates on my personal finance YouTube channel.

    After using YouTube for accountability while paying off student loans, I know that it is a great way to stay accountable to financial goals.

    I shared multiple mortgage payoff updates in 2020 and 2021 that can be found in my mortgage payoff series playlist.

    2020 Mortgage Payoff Update

    In 2020 I made several big moves that did not immediately reduce our balance but would pay off in the future.

    Mortgage payoff highlights in 2020:

    • 2020 Starting mortgage balance: $137,550.67
    • 2020 Ending mortgage balance on 12/22/20: $135,434.00
    • 2020 Ending mortgage balance on 12/31/20: $134,773.69
    • Mortgage balance reduced over $2,700.00
    • Loan changed from 30 year to 15 year

    After the video above on 12/22/20 I had an additional mortgage payment applied which reduced the balance even further to $134,773.69.

    The actual numbers did not change much in 2020, but the payoff velocity ramped up dramatically at the end of the year after refinancing.

    Before refinancing, $282 per month went towards principal reduction. After refinancing, $651 went toward principal reduction each month.

    While the actual loan balance did not drop much we started paying more than double towards principal each month.

    2021 Mortgage Payoff Update

    In 2021 we made much more progress with the actual reduction of the mortgage balance.

    Mortgage payoff highlights in 2021:

    • 2021 Starting mortgage balance: $134,773.69
    • 2021 Ending mortgage balance: $124,661.70
    • Mortgage balance reduced: $10,111.99
    • Transfer Tuesday principal payments: $1,478.46

    In 2021 we did not focus much on paying off the mortgage, but the mortgage payoff strategies we already put in place did a lot of work.

    Because we have a biweekly payment, $650 went straight toward principal twice during the year. That reduced the mortgage balance by $1,300.

    Since we switched to a 15 year loan, over $650 per month was going to reduce the balance automatically. That only grew throughout the year so every month more money went to paying the actual balance of the loan.

    Overall I was very pleased with the pay off progress in 2021. We did not devote much money or mental energy toward this goal and it kept going!

    mortgage payoff update paying off our home mortgage

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  • Net Worth Tracker Options

    If you want to calculate your net worth there are multiple net worth tracker options available.

    Net worth is one of the most motivating things to track during a financial journey. Every debt you pay off, every dollar you save will reflect in your growing net worth numbers.

    How To Calculate Net Worth

    Calculating your net worth is a very simple equation.

    Your assets (what you own) – your liabilities (what you owe) = Net Worth

    How to Calculate Your Net Worth

    Assets – Liabilities = Net Worth

    Asses are anything you own that has financial value. These things can be cash or something that can be sold for cash.

    Assets include things like:

    • real estate value
    • automobile value
    • personal property value
    • retirement accounts
    • investment accounts
    • savings accounts
    • bonds
    • stocks & mutual funds
    • cash value of life insurance
    • cash

    Liabilities are debts or other outstanding financial obligations that you must repay. It does not include monthly bills unless you are behind on them and owe a debt for back payments.

    Liabilities include things like:

    • home mortgage
    • any other mortgages
    • auto loans
    • student loans
    • credit card debt
    • personal loans

    To calculate net worth you add up the value of your assets and subtract the value of your liabilities.

    The equation to calculate your net worth is simple but there are many ways to actually run the math.

    Below are three popular ways to calculate your net worth with my favorite option for each.

    Net Worth Tracker App

    Calculating your net worth via an app is one of the easiest ways to do it because all of your numbers are pulled in automatically.

    Personal Capital is my favorite option for calculating and tracking net worth.

    use-personal-capital-to-track-roth-ira

    When you sign up for a free Personal Capital account you can see all of your assets and liabilities in one place.

    The free and secure net worth tracker allows you to see your net worth in real time. You link your bank accounts, investments, retirement accounts and more so your numbers are updated instantly.

    Net Worth Tracker Google Sheets

    The best net worth tracker Google Sheets options come from the Etsy shop MyWealthDiary.

    net worth tracker google sheets MyWealthDiary

    In this shop there are multiple Google Sheets based wealth dashboards and net worth trackers. These allow you to track all of your financial numbers in a beautiful spreadsheet.

    net worth tracker google sheets spreadsheet
    net worth tracker google sheets spreadsheet
    Via: MyWealthDiary on Etsy

    This is a great option for anyone who wants the numbers calculated automatically but does not want to use an app that connects to financial accounts.

    Net Worth Tracker Printable

    As a paper planner I love to track my net worth the old fashioned way – writing it all out on paper!

    I created this simple Net Worth Tracker Printable that can be used each month for a financial health snapshot.

    net worth tracker from Pennies Not Perfection

    With this printable net worth tracker you can write out your net worth numbers and do the calculations yourself.

    This method is definitely the most time consuming but it is also affecting a different part of your brain when you walk through writing out these numbers.

    It is a good exercise to do at least once even if you plan to use an app or spreadsheet in the future.

    Writing out the numbers can be eye opening and start you down a new financial journey like paying off your mortgage.

    Why Is Net Worth Important?

    Net worth is one of the most important numbers indicating your financial health.

    This number gives you a quick snapshot of everything you owe and everything you own.

    Even more important is the value that net worth gives you as you track it month over month.

    Tracking your net worth over time gives you an effective way to see if you are moving in the right direction financially. You will see the number decrease if you take on more debt or increase as you build wealth.

    When you are paying off debt your net worth will be increasing. When you are investing your net worth will be increasing. Seeing the numbers grow is very motivating for many people.

    Calculate Future Net Worth

    If you want to calculate your net worth into the future there are calculators online that can run those numbers.

    This net worth calculator at Bankrate allows you to enter your assets and liabilities to calculate your current net worth. Then it also estimates how your networth could grow or decline over the next decade.

    With this future net worth tracker calculator you can enter some assumptions about annual asset growth and annual liability growth to determine your future net worth.

    If you are paying down your debt and increasing your investments this calculator will show drastic net worth growth in your future.

    Building wealth and growing your net worth is not complicated but it does require consistent action.

    How To Increase Net Worth

    Many people are shocked to discover their net worth for the first time. The number is ofter much lower than you would want. If you’re in debt then the number is often negative.

    There are a few ways to increase your net worth:

    1. Pay off debt. Reducing your liabilities (debt) is one of the quickest ways to improve your net worth. This is especially important with things like credit card debt that have a high interest rate and send you backwards financially.
    2. Increase your savings. Increasing your savings rate can help you improve your net worth. The more money you save the higher your net worth will grow and the more money you have to either pay off debt or invest.
    3. Invest your money. Investing your money so it will grow and beat inflation is one of the most important things many people can do. After building an emergency fund you should invest to grow your net worth.
    4. Set up automated savings. Many people struggle to save and invest more money until they automate the process. It’s much easier to save or invest money that never hits your checking account. You can set up automated transfers each month so you grow your net worth without thinking about it.
    5. Budget and spend less. The more money you have the more you will grow your net worth. Budgeting and spending less is one way to find that extra money for building wealth. Find a budgeting method you like and then budget your money every time you get paid.

    Those are just a few ways you can work to increase your net worth.

    Remember that net worth is something that is built over time through consistent financial habits. You don’t have to be perfect to do it you just need to consistently move in the right direction!

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