a year of Wooden: week 17

Hi, friends! Happy Monday! Time for this week’s year of Wooden challenge, wrapping up our last week of April before we transition into May…

a year of wooden

  • January: Drink deeply from good books.
  • February: Make friendship a fine art.
  • March: Help others.
  • April: Build a shelter against a rainy day (financially).

Last week, the challenge was to make a small change of habit that results in more money in your savings account. When I was working as a graduate student teacher at Purdue, my paycheck was deposited into my checking account automatically each month, and I began immediately transferring a couple hundred dollars into my savings account. And as a result, my savings grew steadily each month.

Now that I’ve graduated and stopped working at Purdue, I’m working as a freelance writer and editor and don’t have a paycheck automatically deposited into my checking account each month. So for this week’s challenge, I’ve made a small change of habit of depositing a quarter of the checks I receive into my savings account instead of my checking account.

For this final week of April, the challenge is to make a financial goal that you want to accomplish this year and an action plan to achieve it. My goal is to put $1,000 into my Roth IRA by the end of the year, which means I need to save $20 a week, or about $85 a month.

I’ll leave you with this quote from Coach Wooden that always inspires me:

John Wooden fortune cookie

Question of the day:

  • What is a financial goal you have for this year?
  • What steps might you implement to achieve this goal?

a year of Wooden: week 15

Hi, everyone! Monday means it’s time for this week’s year of Wooden challenge!

a year of wooden

  • January: Drink deeply from good books.
  • February: Make friendship a fine art.
  • March: Help others.
  • April: Build a shelter against a rainy day.

This metaphorical shelter includes family, friends, good work, faith — but, since we will focus on these elements in other months, right now we are focusing on the financial interpretation.

Last week, the challenge was to keep track of where you spend your money — even small amounts. Not counting staple items like groceries and drugstore purchases, I tend to spend my discretionary money at Starbucks, bookstores, the movie theater, and going out to lunch at places like Panera.

This week, the challenge is to take just ONE of your weekly discretionary purchases and drop the money into your spare-change jar instead. For example, maybe I’ll swap one of my Starbucks chai lattes for a mug of home-brewed green tea on my own back porch. Or instead of meeting up with a friend for lunch at a restaurant, maybe we can meet up for something free like a walk outside in this beautiful weather.

Having a savings safety net is so important, and these little actions can really add up! I’m inspired by these words from Coach Wooden:

john wooden quote

Questions of the day:

  • Where do you tend to spend your discretionary money?
  • What small change are you going to make this week to drop a little extra money into your spare change jar?
  • Have you ever had the experience of not taking the time to do something right the first time, and having to go back and do it over?

a year of Wooden: week 14

Hi, friends! It’s time for this week’s year of Wooden challenge!

For this month of April, we’re going to be focusing on Coach Wooden’s creed to “build a shelter for a rainy day.” This metaphorical shelter includes family, friends, good work, faith — but, since we will focus on these elements in other months, right now we are focusing on the financial interpretation. In other words: save now to weave a safety net!

a year of wooden

  • January: Drink deeply from good books.
  • February: Make friendship a fine art.
  • March: Help others.
  • April: Build a shelter against a rainy day.

Last week, the challenge was to create a “spare change jar.” Instead of pocketing spare change to spend somewhere else, drop it into the jar. This week I ended up with $3.49. I’m planning to continue this spare change jar throughout the year!

This week’s challenge is to keep track of where you spend your money — even small amounts, like that Starbucks pick-me-up or the impulse drugstore purchase. For the next three days {or the entire week, if you’d like} make note of every penny that leaves your pocket. We’ll work with the results in next week’s challenge!

coach wooden quote details

Questions of the day:

  • Have you ever kept a strict budget before?
  • What are the “little details” that have made a big difference in your life?

a year of Wooden: week 13

Hi, everyone! Apologies for my extreme delay with this year of Wooden post… this week has flown by incredibly fast. My mom was in town, I had two job interviews, and last night was my final reading as part of my Steinbeck Fellowship. {More about that in tomorrow’s fabulous friday post!}

Now that we’re into April, we’re going to be focusing on a new topic for this year of learning from Coach Wooden’s philosophies and teachings.

a year of wooden

  • January: Drink deeply from good books.
  • February: Make friendship a fine art.
  • March: Help others.

Last week, the challenge was to help someone less fortunate than you are. I dropped off a donation of clothes to a local thrift shop; books and magazines to the library; and canned goods and toiletries to a homeless shelter. In these next two weeks, I’ll also be volunteering at an event my church is holding called “Winter Nights” in which we feed and shelter homeless families from the area until Easter Sunday. I’ll be helping cook and serve dinner and leading some activities for the kids.

  • April: Build a shelter against a rainy day. 

This month’s challenge also comes from Coach Wooden’s 7-Point Creed. I thought rainy April would be an appropriate time to focus on this credo! I like to interpret “building a shelter” in a multitude of ways: family, friends, work that satisfies and sustains you — but, since we will focus on these elements in other months, I’m going to focus this month on the financial interpretation of “building a shelter against a rainy day.” In other words: save now to build a safety net!

For this week, the challenge is to create a “spare change jar.” Instead of pocketing spare change to spend somewhere else, drop it into the jar. You could continue this challenge all month — or even {as I plan to} all year long! How much spare change will you wind up with at the end?

I’ve always loved this wise sentiment from Coach Wooden:

wooden quote peaks valleys

This month, we’ll work on building a shelter to keep life’s inevitable valleys that come along from getting too low!

Questions of the evening:

  • What are your favorite tips for saving money?
  • In what ways do you “build a shelter against a rainy day” in your life?