Thursday, January 1, 2015

{10-Day Do Over Challenge}

New year's resolutions can be tough to keep. This year I'm changing it up a bit and approaching my usual list of yearly goals differently by participating in a 10-day challenge hosted by Jon Acuff. I also combined the first day's assignment with coming up with one word for the year.

Here's the first day's assignment:

Thursday, June 12, 2014

{Gotcha Day!} & Now Introducing...

...the Four Forman Brothers:

So glad to be celebrating this special day. I've been waiting and waiting to share these little faces and names!

Elijah John (5), Vincent Sheldon (3), Isaiah Frenzy (2), Joshua Isaac (9 months)

Jess and Luke first brought home Elijah, Vincent & Isaiah two years ago in March 2012. Isaiah was one week and a few days old. Isaiah birth name was Frenzy, but with the adoption came his name change.

We have celebrated several birthdays and all kinds of other special days, but today's celebration TAKES THE CAKE!

Welcome to your forever family, Forman brothers!


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

{52-Week Challenge} Update & Weekly Mission

Weekly Mission

You may recall that I'm participating in the 52-Week Challenge to create a habit of saving money. Occasionally the participants receive an email with an extra challenge. One week the challenge was to read this post and then list 3-5 things that make me wealthy besides money. 

Here's what I came up with for my wealth list:
  1. Jesus
  2. Family, Church & Friends
  3. Health
  4. Job
  5. Writing
I'm very thankful to God for the wealth He has provided me. I don't think I say, "Thank you, God," enough though. I think the next challenge should be to thank God more!

52-Week Update

So far I've been able to keep up with the weekly deposits of the 52-Week Challenge. I believe this challenge has promoted a culture of saving in my daily life, and I'm grateful. Not only do I have a savings account for this challenge, but I also have two other savings accounts (funds) with monthly contributions. Each month a set amount is automatically deposited into these funds - my travel fund and my miscellaneous/car repair fund.
Side note: I use CapitalOne360 which is an easy-to-use online bank. They let you set up as many savings accounts/funds as you need! As I look to the future of my savings culture, I get excited about the possibility of additional savings accounts/funds. 
Along with these savings accounts, I've been contributing to a Roth IRA account (also at CapitalOne360). My initial intention for the Roth account is for it to be my emergency fund with 6 months of expenses saved up. I opened the Roth at the end of 2013 with a small chunk from my year-end bonus which was a great start. Now automated monthly contributions are set with what I thought I could afford. My ultimate goal is to max out my contributions each year ($5,500 for 2014). $5,500 is a lot of money for a previous non-saver. As I'm now almost half-way through 2014 I am eager to reach this goal, but I realize the goal may have to be met through year-end bonus money. (just keep swimming, just keep swimming comes to mind...)
I know I haven't finished this year yet, but I plan to do the 52-week challenge next year, too!

One More Thing

So awhile back I read about this rewards site called SaveUp. SaveUp is a program that rewards you for saving money and paying down debt (think Facebook meets but with prizes!).

Well, I've been busy so I just signed up, but never add my accounts until a couple of weeks ago. And that's when I found out why I like the site - it encourages me to save! Just today it gave me a challenge to save $100 into my miscellaneous car fund. Wouldn't you know, I could actually accept that challenge and did so right away.

Now, I'm not sure that I'll spend a great deal of time on this site, but the few minutes I have spent are already worth it because it's encouraging me to save. Since "creating a culture of saving" seems to be my theme this year, it fits. Anyway, just wanted to mention the site here and if you want, give it a try! (Yes, I get points if you sign up with my link!)