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A clarification on the challenge

January 22nd, 2008 at 08:31 pm

Helpmefriend was questioning how I was coming up with my challenge money.

Aside from the fact that there's no written-in-stone rules for the challenge except for those you set yourself, I usually don't sell on eBay so it's not money I would normally be making.

Unlike some participants, I don't count things like coupon savings, walking stairs, etc., in my challenge money. Instead, as I explained when I first joined the challenge, I am only counting income above and beyond my base income that is stated on my spending plan. That base income is $8316.00 a month. Anything beyond that goes into the challenge.

The additional income usually comes from extra projects that I take on in my work, but I've also started to sell my stained glass supplies on eBay to supplement that income and to clear out the basement mini mart to make room for a new freezer. I also get occasional royalties and survey checks that I'm putting toward the challenge.

I can't see adding money for things like no spend days and exercising when those activities aren't bringing in any extra cold, hard cash -- just saving money I already have (or don't have in some cases) -- so thus my rules for the challenge.

4 Responses to “A clarification on the challenge”

  1. denisentexas Says:

    Your reasoning is very sound, I think! I hope to be able at some point to have extra income I can include in the challenge but right now I don't. What I like about the challenge is that everyone can do it whatever way works for them. No, the savings from coupons or eating a meatless meal don't bring in cold, hard cash but when you operate on very little of that, even keeping track of what you've saved is nice! lol

  2. compulsive debtor Says:

    I think whatever works for you is good as long as you're saving money, Denise. By writing my challenge money down, I've suddenly become accountable to put that money to good use -- either savings or debt payoff. I've always had a little extra money coming in every month, but I've never been accountable for it in any way. It was just "fun" money, but now I'm trying to be good and either put it into savings or toward debt repayment. This is a good way for me to keep track of it and actually do what I set out to do with it instead of blowing it on a new outfit or something utterly useless.

  3. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    What you are doing is more like what I originally understood the $20 challenge to be. I understood it to be a very small enterprise in which you give yourself $20 to start and then find out how much money you could generate from that $20 to put into savings. So for example, you might buy three skeins of yarn, knit some scarves, sell them, tuck away a bit of savings, reinvest in more yarn, sell more scarves, tuck way some more into in savings. Then maybe expand efforts, using some of the scarf profit to buy a gas powered lawn edger and go around selling lawn edging services to the neighbors. Using whatever ideas, wits and resources you have to start building up some new savings from new income. So your idea is very much in line with what I thought the $20 challenge originally was in the most general way.

    I would do it your way if I were going to do the $20 challenge. The alternative just seems like bookkeeping, not a new source of savings. I could report that I "pay myself" $1000 a month if I walk the dog 28 days out of the month, but that would just be me fooling myself. I can (and do) put that $1000 a month away anyway, regardless of whether I walk the dog. To save more money than previously possible, I'd have to bring more money in. (I'm already a pro at not spending, if I do say so myself, so there is no cutting back to save more.)

  4. disneysteve Says:

    One thing about ebay, it sounds like you deducted for shipping but don't forget to deduct your ebay and Paypal fees also. Those take about another 8.25% of the total sale.

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