Level 132: A budget change

Thank you for the messages concerning our family’s lost last weekend. Life moves on but every morning I can’t help but realize that everything could change in an instant. I’m hugging a little tighter and longer and my family is always in my prayers.

George’s pay has finally shifted to monthly and we made a budget change. $125 a month is automatically going into the Money Game.

Fuel also came in under this week making today’s deposit $157.48. Level 132 is in the books.

Level Completed: 132 out of 251
Amount Deposited this month: $1,422.87
Total Balance: $3,147.50

Our Money Game fund has increased 82.5% so far this month.

$142.13 is needed to reach the next level.

Have fun, grow money and level up!

Taking a moment …

We all have to support ourselves. Actually getting to better ouselves in the process helps make life fun and enjoyable.

Sometimes life makes us pause and reflect. It looks as though I’ve been posting as normal but everything that appears here was written and scheduled in advance. I’m usually about three days ahead.

My cousin and his wife are avid motorcycle enthusiasts. They were hit by a vehicle Saturday on a west Tennessee back road and she was killed. He’s had a major surgery at Vanderbuilt but is expected to fully recover.

It just feels weird to write about side hustles and power-ups right now. There’s nothing wrong with figuring out how to make some money work for you but this week, there’s not a whole right about it either.

What does feel right is drawing family closer and taking time to be together. I’m thankful for my family and even more thankful for our legacy of faith. Everyone says this when tragedy srikes – hug your family a little longer tonight. Cherish these times.

Day by Day

I started doing laundry this morning.  Laundry is the worst.  Something about sorting dirty clothes gets my ADD mind bouncing in unproductive ways.

“What if you can’t level up with $5,000?”

Whaaaaaat?

My experience with this so far has shown me that each level teaches you something. I thought I knew what was going to happen.  I was so sure of it, I almost moved a big chunk of money over from savings so I could get on it with it.

The first 50 levels taught me that I wasn’t careful with money or respectful of our budget.  When I corrected, the returns were a lot higher than I expected.

I stayed on course with that during the second 50 levels.  I also got some insight into sales.  I’ve never been a natural salesperson and I figured when the time came, I’d hire a broker and she would do the buying and selling for me.  I’m glad I played this game through these second 50 levels. The lesson I learned was so helpful.  Do the work to structure a deal so that it helps someone get a great product at a better price. If it helps them, they’ll want to buy it.

That could translate to other areas of life. Looking back, I could have coached my kids along as teens framing better school work in terms of what it would give them instead of focusing on grounding them when they didn’t measure up.

Now 100 levels are done and I’m well into the next 50. The biggest lesson I’ve learned so far is to concentrate on this day and this level. It’s okay to start educating yourself about what may come up later (I’m reading a lot about real estate these days) but it’s not okay to fret about it wondering how you’ll do it.

Today is here.  My current level needs about $143. What can I do with what I have to make $143?  Better yet, what can my $2,990 do to bring me $143? While I look around with optimism, are there any coins (remember Mario?) to grab? I may have to jump a little to get them but they add up.

The thing I love the most is the element of surprise. There are a few things coming up that are expected.  The monthly expense check is a first part of the month boost and it’s great to be able to deposit it now instead of allocate it to the food budget. At this level, it’s going to take more than what I can save out of our regular budget to level up. I’m honestly excited and waiting to discover how the next 20 levels are going to unfold.

Level Completed: 131 out of 251
Amount Deposited this month: $1,265.39
Total Balance: $2,990.02

Our Money Game fund has increased 73.4% so far this month.

$142.96 is needed to reach the next level.

Have fun, grow money and level up!

Levels 129-131: Shifting to monthly pay

New? Start here …

Google Doc spreadsheet showing all 250 levels of the Money Game

As George’s first monthly paycheck draws near, I realized we are a month ahead on utility bills.  $300 was budgeted and I’m moving it our Money Game fund.  The bill comes on the last day of the month due the following 15th.  We’re good there. I’ll continue paying it the first day of the month.

Level Completed: 131 out of 251
Amount Deposited this month: $1,265.39
Total Balance: $2,990.02

Our Money Game fund has increased 73.4% so far this month.

$142.96 is needed to reach the next level.

Have fun, grow money and level up!

An overlooked reason to come in under budget

Any time you save money that you’ve already earned, those savings are tax-free.

If I consistently save $25 a week on groceries, that is an extra $25 to use that is tax-free. If I earn an extra $25 on the job, that money will be taxed. I have to earn a lot more than $25 to get that same benefit.

I knew that but I haven’t thought about it in a long time. The first time I read that was in a book called The Wealthy Barber by David Chilton. He said some people who won’t take the time to shop around to get a good discount on a major purchase will gladly give up a weekend to work over-time to make the same amount – but it’s heavily taxed!

It underscored what I’m coming to realize is the first strategy of the Money Game. Make it fun to come in under budget. Outsmart yourself and the stores. Keep more of the money you earn.

If you start by selling something, but you don’t know how to keep the money you earn, it may not help you much in the long run.

Level Completed: 128 out of 251
Amount Deposited This Month: $965.39
Total Balance: $2,690.02

I need $16.37 to get to the next level.

Our Money Game fund has increased 55.98% so far this month.

Have fun, grow money and level

Passwords can be powerful reminders

I’m ADD and struggle to stay aware of time and to stay on track. I was telling George how much better my day goes when I take the time to dress as if I was going out and to knock out the basic home chores first. He nodded so I asked him how I could remember to do those things first before getting lost in my writing.

(I know that paragraph must sound crazy to “normal” people. My organized friends look at me with blank stares when I ask them questions like that. But my ADD friends get this.)

He had a brilliant idea to use my Windows password as a reminder. It works – one of the first things I did on my usual autopilot this morning was to turn on my laptop. As soon as I entered the new password, I was reminded that I wanted to shower and do basic chores first. Actually typing the reminder was powerful! I promptly showered, dressed and even did my makeup. It was a simple task from there to pick up after myself, make the bed, start laundry and unload the dishwasher.

I feel like a new person in a new house.

You can also use your primary password to reinforce a goal – like “growmoney5%”.

Level Completed: 128 out of 251
Amount Deposited This Month: $965.39
Total Balance: $2,690.02

I need $16.37 to get to the next level.

Our Money Game fund has increased 55.98% so far this month.

Have fun, grow money and level

Level 128: My hair takes one for the team

I don’t know if I mentioned it but I’m intensely allergic to ragweed. It’s ragweed season and I’m miserable. It’s a lot worse when I’m outside.

That’s been my excuse for not moving faster with sales.

Since I’m hibernating anyway, I decided that the money sitting in our budget category for coloring my hair is actually an extra level for the Money Game. Playing games always makes me feel better when I’m miserable!

It’s embarrassing to post how much has accumulated there and yes – I’m way overdue for a salon visit. I feel too yucky to even try to color it myself. Better days are coming as soon as the ragweed stops blooming. We also came in under on fuel for the week and that helped fatten up this deposit too.

Amount deposited: $231.29

Level Completed: 128 out of 251
Amount Deposited This Month: $965.39
Total Balance: $2,690.02

I need $16.37 to get to the next level.

Our Money Game fund has increased 55.98% so far this month.

Have fun, grow money and level

Level 127: Peter didn’t need it right now

Ever since I made the first post here, I’ve been tucking away a dollar here and there to save up for my own website.  I’ve been putting it in its own budget category and it’s been like a little pet that I’ve nurtured. Today I decided to put that money into our Money Game fund instead. I’m not robbing Peter to pay Paul as Peter doesn’t really need it. Having my own domain for this blog isn’t a need.

This month has been different. George’s pay cycle has changed from weekly to monthly.  (Warning! First world problem discussion is coming.) That has meant a month of no paydays. It’s also meant that months of extra paydays are gone.  It’s also meant that I can now budget for exact monthly amounts for things like our phone bill and our cable bill. I used to post his paycheck each week and go through all the categories that came under transferring the extra to our Money Game fund.

This game is constantly shifting just like a video game rewards you with a new challenge every time you beat a level.  Video games often let you build a reserve of extra lives or power to help get you through a challenge.

I’m claiming this extra level today!  Amount deposited: $109.22  Now if I could talk myself into coloring my own hair … that would free up some serious money each month!

Level Completed: 127 out of 251
Amount Deposited This Month: $734.10
Total Balance: $2,458.73

I need $118.78 to get to the next level.

Our Money Game fund has increased 42.6% so far this month.

Have fun, grow money and level