Is it really as simple as just having a plan? The first quarterly report

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Google Doc spreadsheet showing all 250 levels of the Money Game

Having a plan that was easy to start and that got just a bit more challenging each time seemed achievable. It was fun to think about it and not very difficult to start or track.

But having that plan got me looking and got me thinking. I’m going to summarize my results each quarter and recap what I’ve learned. I hope it inspires you to think about what you might achieve. If you come up with a way to actually earn 5% with each transaction, you will leave me behind in the dust. I don’t care what your situation is. 5% growth each time yields the same results. The math doesn’t care if you are well off or struggling. The math just works.

Monthly Deposits Beginning Gain Ending % Growth
July, 2016   $509.86 $509.86 N/A
August, 2016 $509.86 $1,214.77 $1,724.63 238.26%
September, 2016 $1,724.63 $1,422.87 $3,147.50 82.50%

Most of what I’ve gained has been from watching the budget more carefully. It’s an important skill but I’ll level off soon. The six months from getting our tax returns to paying annual taxes will be level. That’s why you can beat my performance if you have the skills to buy things that are undervalued and resell them. It’s a skill I hope to learn and develop. There are other ways too – you could write a book and sell it. You could write an app (or pay someone to write it for you) and sell it.

If you have great skills in buying and selling but don’t know how to budget your money, you could end up just spending what you make.  That’s why I think controlling your spending is important too.

I started the Money Game in earnest on July 13 so this first quarter is nearly two weeks shy. I’ll try to do a better job keeping up with how the deposits break down – how much are from coming in under budget, from rebates, from sales, etc.

I leveled up 94 times in July, 25 times in August and 13 times in September.  Even though the number of times I leveled up went down, the amount of money deposited each month went up.

I sold one “yard sale” item (the grain mill).  Any time you can pick up an extra $10 for something you aren’t using anyway, please do it.  The buyer messaged me that it works well and I know it was a big savings for her.  My other foray into sales was the RTIC tumblers and that was a great experience.  I bought a case for $321 and sold them all for $15 each.  That was a 40.2% increase on that money and helped me level up several times in the early stages.

I was able to stick to my rules.  I  never cut the budget but I am allowed to get anything left over at the end of a pay period if we come in under.  I didn’t cut our lifestyle for anything we budget as a couple.  I did divert my own personal spending a few times. Another rule is this has to be a game.  Any time I felt myself thinking about this with any pressure or as if it were a “quota”, I made myself back away, go outside and do something different.

We did make a few budget changes. One was to start depositing $125 a month directly into the Money Game account.  This money was going in savings anyway but since our emergency funds are flush, we diverted this particular budget item to the Money Game fund.

We actually increased the food budget $25 a week to give George a bump.  He has developed some food allergies and the extra is so he can grab organic fruit, kombucha, etc. when he’s out without wrecking the regular weekly grocery budget.  We both like that change and it’s helped keep things under control.  We also started buying spring water again and we think that’s helped with his skin reactions.  The chlorine in our city water seemed to affect him.

Our final rule is that once we deposit money into our Money Game fund, it has to stay there.  If we make more money using Money Game funds, only the original amount HAS to stay.  For example, if I used $100 to buy a piece of furniture at a yard sale and sold it later for $125, $100 has to go back to the Money Game fund.  We can spend the profit or roll it back into the MG fund.  Once it gets deposited into the MG fund though, it has to stay there.

For now, it just makes sense to keep rolling profits and found money into the fund.  It’s going to be exciting to see what this next quarter brings and especially what it teaches us.

Level Completed: 135 out of 251
Amount Deposited this month: $601.47
Total Balance: $3,748.97

Our Money Game fund has increased 19.1% so far this month.

$59.19 is needed to reach the next level.

Have fun, grow money and level up!


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