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Turn your $10 into $100 In Just 10 Days

     Let me begin by saying, "Ladies, it's time to shoot, move, and communicate."  What does that mean exactly?  Well, think about the phrase for just a moment.  Being a military brat, my father would have these catchy military phrases with which he'd solve our life problems, one of them being, "shoot, move, and communicate."  First, you shoot - give it your best, sure-fire shot.  Then, you move because now your location has been exposed.  Lastly, you communicate - informing your teammates as to where you are.  Whether you are working full-time, part-time or no-time outside of the home, I have a solution for you to shoot (save), move (gather that savings together) and communicate (get your teammates on board).  So, let's get started.

     Shoot - It was about a year ago that I was driving through my favorite fast food restaurant when I had a "light bulb" moment about money.  I had gone through the drive-thru to bless my husband and son as they both love the sandwiches from this establishment.  I had only ordered two sandwiches (and they are worth every penny) but at the end of it all, I had spent almost $8.00 for these mouthfuls of Heaven.  As I drove away I said to myself, "Well, golly . . . if I can so easily spend almost $10.00, I wonder if I could just as easily save $10.00.  That's when the fun began.  I created a challenge for myself.  I was going to save $10.00 every day (five days a week - giving myself Sunday off and Saturday to make up for any day that I wasn't able to reach my goal).  Selling items I didn't need or want, not spending when I didn't absolutely have to and cutting out expenditures that were just unnecessary were only a few ways that I began this new adventure.

     Move - So now I was saving but what if I saved more than $10.00 a day, did I get to carry over to the next day?  NO!!!  Every day started over with needing to save $10.00.  (Make your coffee instead of purchasing out, pack snacks and keep them in the car so you're not stuck with hungry children who convince you to go through the drive-thru.  Ten percent tax at the restaurants adds up.)  So, I began gathering and moving my funds around.  I called my auto insurance company and increased my deductible for my older cars which decreased my premiums.  I made a list of necessities and passed the list to loved ones as gift ideas (for example, stamps, batteries . . . things I don't want to buy but do need in the house).  This saved lots of money.  I found old gift cards that I hadn't used and sold them to friends who would use them.  It's amazing all that you can gather in your home that's extra or unused and turn into cash.   I took all this money and started plunking it into a savings account - then began to attack our first debt we wanted to pay off . . . the credit card.

     Communicate - My husband saw how excited I had gotten about saving and he was proud of me, but it didn't really hit him until I communicated to him that we had paid off our credit card ($7,000) in about 7 months.  I would try to pick up some cleaning jobs, babysitting and dog sitting to help me reach the goal, but I was not working outside the home.  I was a stay-at-home mom just trying to utilize all resources to reach a goal.  (REMEMBER:  if you SAVE $1.00, you get 100% of that dollar.  If you earn $1.00, you pay about 30% in taxes, so you're really only earning 70%.  I'd rather keep 100% of my efforts!)  When my husband recognized how much we had paid out just by saving, he sat down with me and we discussed our next debt to eliminate.  We communicated how we would accomplish paying off our vehicle and how we would work together to reach that goal.  I must say, it's been easier to pay off the van because my husband and I are both on board about saving.  We just finished paying off this debt and now we're working towards paying off school loans.  My goal is to be totally debt free by 40!!!  Yes, including the house too.  Wouldn't that be incredible?  With God, and of course hard work, all things are possible.  (Oh yes, and let me clarify, I am now working full-time outside the home.  My husband works nights so he can stay home with the kids and I work days.  It is a choice we have made until the girls are a bit older to be in school and we have to be very purposeful in making time for each other.  Remember, it's a team effort.)

     So, what do you think?  Are you ready to start saving?  Let me tell you two things to help you out.  One - for you $10.00 might be too much or it may be too little.  I want you to ask yourself a question, and BE HONEST.  How much can you spend in a day without really thinking about it.  Take that number, and that's what you need to start saving.  Again, if you save that amount plus some, you may NOT carry the extra over to the next day.  You put the extra in the pot and start over - except on your days of rest.  Two - you can treat yourself OCCASSIONALLY but don't tell yourself because "you deserve it."  If you do that, you'll convince yourself you "deserve" it every day.  As you see your money grow or your debts decrease, YES, you should reward your efforts with a small treat.  Make sure your reward fits the efforts.  After paying off $10,000 for our van, we did buy each other new running shoes (which cost a total of $175.00).    That's not even 2% of what we had just accomplished.  You know best what motivates you.  Use that to your advantage.

     Well, many blessings to those of you who are saving and spending His money to His Glory.  He will amazingly provide in ways you would never imagine - like finding an old silver coin stuck in your couch (worth $25.00).  Yes, that really happened!!!  And it was in a case and everything.  Amazing, I know. As a pastor once told me, "When God shows up, He shows off!"  Isn't that so true!

Copyright © 2008-2015 Cindy Aitken

Reader Comments...
2011-02-15 16:47:04
"This is a great inspiration! I am working through the Dave Ramsey's money makeover - and he suggests - #1) save 1000.00 in an emergency fund- to be sued ONLY for emergencies (ie:your car breaks down, you become ill and can't work.) #2)do not use your credit cards - at all. 3) List all your debt from largest to lowest amounts. Monthly payments, and total debt. After you save the 1000.00, start paying towards your lowest debt with the extra money you have - and pay them off from lowest amount to highest. The goal is to become totally debt free. It's a great plan.

Hope this helps someone.

Regards, "
        - Renee

2011-02-07 10:57:36
"Cindy, that was a great article (as most of yours are). I read all your articles and you have a gift of writing. May I make a request? You are so good at also managing your food intake. Is it possible that you can share some knowledge and wisdom with us about "saving" our calorie count? Love you lots!! "
        - Amy

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