A power up ramble

If this last 10 months has taught me anything, it’s taught me that everything I thought I knew was wrong.

  • We weren’t as great with a budget as I thought. (George would nod his head at “we”.)
  • I had no clue how much that was costing us.
  • I thought making more more money would have the greatest impact on our net worth.
  • We think we plan and manage but when we actually pull the trigger, it’s driven by emotion.
  • We’re taught that going to cash will cost us money but now we have more than ever (even though the Money Game is in cash).
  • I thought I’d be able to defend my financial beliefs and decisions. Now I see that I can’t.

I’m pretty confident that if you start playing the Money Game, your core financial beliefs will be challenged too. I’m sure you’ll learn things and I’m pretty sure they’ll be different from what we’re learning. It takes on a life of its own.

If you decide to play along, start by writing down how much you think you can save in a month or a quarter or a year and tuck it away somewhere. It will probably surprise you later. My number was a couple of thousand dollars in a year and that was if I could figure out how to sell some things.

I don’t know if we would have hit the same result if we had set out to gather $15,000 the first year. All I know is I tracked each level and it was fun. Since it was fun, we did it again. And again.

Posting income and charges to YNAB used to be a small chore. When I was done, we’d usually have less than we started with. Now it’s a treasure hunt. It’s a game. When I’m done, if anything is leftover, it goes to the Money Game. That’s a game and I see the score. Hey we get to KEEP the score!

Something about the whole process also helped us recognize other places where we could pick up a few more dollars. This isn’t magic and there’s no “secret”. It was always there. We just couldn’t see it maybe because we didn’t appreciate its impact.

I know if we earned extra money, we would have spent some extra money. I can always find things to spend money on – legitimate needs like home updates, tree removal, etc. – let alone some luxuries. We haven’t splurged in a long time. So far, the most important lesson I’ve learned is keeping a part of what you’ve earned is more important than making more. It doesn’t take brains to keep spending.

Today’s power up is $28.48 from the fuel category that came in under budget again this week.
 
Level Completed: 163 out of 251
Amount Deposited this month: $326.78
Total Balance: $14,673.84
Our Money Game fund has increased 2.3% so far this month.

$254.62 is needed to reach the next level

New? Start here …

Google Doc spreadsheet showing all 250 levels of the Money Game

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