Pay Yourself First

October 28, 2008

Hi Friends – sorry I haven’t written much lately. We hit the ground running as soon as we got back from Denver and life has been pretty stressful. I still cannot figure out why the semester that I am taking the least classes ever is turning out to be my most stressful.

We did have a bright spot this past week though. A few weeks ago James’ boss hinted that he would be getting a raise on his next paycheck but didn’t indicate how much it would be. We got his paycheck on Thursday and were amazed to see that it was a 10% raise! That’s huge! I’m so proud of him, he’s worked really hard and deserves it.

One of the best parts of the raise is that it’s allowed us to increase the amount we put into savings per month by 50% so we’re up to putting about 13% of James’ income and 100% of my income into savings. That all adds up to putting 30% of our total income into savings! Most of this goes into a separate account to save towards paying for my education while the rest goes into a savings account which is building toward things like purchasing our first home, getting James a “new” car, and taking an amazing vacation for our five year anniversary.

I hope that you’re putting money into savings. Whether you’re single, married, or married with kids you need to have something in savings. Saving money means that you’ll have to cut back on some things and you’ll have to learn to be ok with money that’s just hanging out in an account when you’ve got a whole list of things you could spend it on right now. A few years ago James and I went to a Dave Ramsey event that really benefited us. We got on a budget and have been on one every day since then. One of his catch phrases is “live like no one else now so you can live like no one else later.” First National Bank of Omaha has another way of saying it, “Pay Yourself First.”

The idea of paying yourself first led FNBO to run a challenge which is aptly named “The Pay Yourself First Challenge.” They asked people to submit videos about what they were saving for and five videos would be chosen as finalists. FNBO Direct will match each of the top five finalist’s savings accrued from October 2008 – April 2009. Each finalist will receive a 100% match, not exceeding $5,000 each.

My best friend Kristen and her husband entered the challenge. I know I’ve mentioned her on here before but here’s a quick overview: Kristen and Michael (Miguel) have been living as missionaries in the Dominican Republic for the past three years. They love the people there and over their three years they have especially fallen in love with the people of Guatupita – a slum near their home. The people there are poor and often sick, and struggle with a number of spiritual strongholds. They’ve been meeting their spiritual needs and some of their physical needs but their desire to strengthen their ability to help the people there has led them to return to the states for Kristen to go to nursing school. This is a big financial investment for them, especially since they have a ten month old baby.

So – they entered the contest and their video was chosen as one of the five finalists! FNBO is matching their savings dollar for dollar! But wait, there’s more and this is where you come in. Now the five finalists are in contest with one another for the grand prize – a “Restore Your Balance” vacation to a luxurious spa worth $7,500. The even better part is that they have the option of getting $7,500 in cash instead. If that happened Kristen could have her entire education paid off and they could return to the Dominican Republic debt free!! There are a few factors going into choosing the winner but a portion of it is based upon votes by the American public on their website.

And here is where I shamelessly ask for your votes for my very best friend Kristen. If I haven’t convinced you of the cause, here is their winning video:

One of my favorite things about the video is that they don’t exploit the people in the village. It would be easy to take some video of them and you would quickly understand how great the need is but Kristen and Miguel didn’t do that. I think that’s pretty awesome.

If you want to vote for Kristen all you have to do is click here and click to vote:

And by the way, please pay yourself first.

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3 Responses to “Pay Yourself First”

  1. peggy said

    that’s so cool about kristen. i voted. can you put in multiple votes?
    and i totally would let you be by financial advisor…
    you have it under control.

  2. jess said

    You can vote once a day so vote as often as you think of it! I’ll probably post a reminder.

  3. kristen said

    thanks jess! and hooray for the raise! love you guys!

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