A few months ago J. Money from Budgets Are Sexy wrote about his efforts to save money by challenging everything and keeping all those savings in a separate account. He’s keeping it separate to demonstrate the power of cutting recurring expenses and to keep him motivated to keep saving and making that balance grow.
Well, I’ve really enjoyed reading his monthly updates and seeing how much money he’s socking away and it’s inspired me to tweak his idea and do something similar.
The difference is that instead of trying to cut expenses and save money, I’m starting a challenge to think of new ways to make money and increase our income.
I just opened a new sub-account at my favorite online bank and called it the “Creative Income Challenge Account”.
This account is not going to house any of my regular income like the salary I earn at my day job or the business income I earn from this blog. Instead, it’s going to hold all the random income we get through a variety of sources, including:
- Selling stuff around the house
- Mail-in rebates and eBates
- Loose change from pockets and couch cushions
- Cash received as gifts
- Earnings from surveys and focus groups
- Money “found” including pennies on the street
- Money received from jury duty or credit card rewards
- Basically any random and unexpected income
Why keep all this random income separate?
Good question, I’m glad you asked.
You see, if you don’t keep tabs on this type of money it just blends in with everything else and before you know it you’ve wasted it all away and don’t even know where it went.
But by putting it all aside you can watch it grow and save it up for something really special. Plus, it provides extra motivation to keep finding ways to add more money to the account.
So what am I going to use the account for?
Wow, you’re full of great questions today!
I decided to use the money that we save in our Creative Income Challenge to pay for a family trip to Florida! Two years ago we made our first trip to Disney World and we had a blast (click here to read more about our Disney adventure) and we’d love to go back…plus I’m dying to check out the Harry Potter stuff at Universal Studios.
Now some people will say that I should take all the money we save up in this challenge and put it towards paying down debt or investing in dividend stocks. And while that’s definitely some sound financial advice, I’m not following it for two reasons.
First, I think having something fun as a goal to look forward to will help keep me motivated to find more creative ways to earn extra income to grow this account. Remember, our money habits aren’t all that logical (RIP Mr. Spock). We humans are emotional creatures and sometimes it helps to use some little mental tricks to get ourselves to form healthy habits.
Second, it’s a lot easier to get my family to buy into the challenge when there’s a trip to Disney at stake!
I’m excited to see how much money we can save up over the next year or so and I’m going to share our progress with you every month, so how about you take part in the challenge with me? Just open up a Capital One 360 savings account for yourself and start saving away any extra money you can find or earn!