Brad And J’s 1st Annual Christmas Stimulus 2009


Are you ready to hear my super secret surprise? You should be because I am so excited to tell you about it! It all started with a post I wrote titled, “Help Your Neighbor Christmas Stimulus“. My idea at the time was to take a portion of your Christmas budget and use it to help someone close to you feel a little less stressed this holiday season.

Originally, our Christmas budget was $250, and I pledged to take $150 of that, and use it to “help my neighbor”.

Although I will admit we spent a little more than the $100 we originally had left for Christmas presents AFTER gifting the $150, we still kept our Christmas spending below $150. So all and all, our Christmas spending budget was $300.

I have decided to put my money where my mouth is and give away $150 to you, my awesome and loyal readers, right here and right now!! You did not read that wrong—I am going to give you $150!!!!! ARE YOU PUMPED!?!?

You didn’t think that was it did you??? To top off an already awesome gift giveaway, I have teamed up with J. Money from Budgets Are Sexy to make this even bigger and better! J. Money is also giving away $150 over on his blog. That means that you have the chance to win $300!! NOW I KNOW YOU ARE SUPER PUMPED!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

WIN $300 Baby…YEAH!!

J. Money and I are so very excited to be bringing you this special gift giveaway. We felt it would be AWESOME to give back at a time when you, OR someone you know, could use the extra money.

If you do not feel you need this extra money, first let me pay for your head to be examined, and second, let me suggest that you not forget about someone close to you that could use the money. You could either enter to win yourself, or tell someone you know how to win this Christmas Stimulus money. Pay off debt, throw it in your savings account, or use it to help someone you love! We don’t care we just want to help and this is our attempt to do so.

This is only the beginning for J and I! Be prepared to see more from us in the future! Be sure to subscribe to Enemy Of Debt and Budgets Are Sexy to stay updated. We will definitely be back in December 2010 with another bigger and better Christmas Stimulus—count on it baby! ๐Ÿ˜€

Important: PLEASE READ!

Here’s how you can win $150 from each of our blogs:


All you need to do to have a chance to win is leave a comment in the comment section of this article giving me at least 2 financial goals you wish to accomplish in 2010. Make your financial resolutions now, and give yourself a head start in 2010!


All you need to do to have a chance to win is leave a comment in the comment section of Brad & J’s Christmas Stimulus 2009 (J. Money’s post) giving a few things you are thankful for this holiday season. Could it be any easier to win $300 smack-a-roos?


You MUST leave your comment by midnight on Saturday December 19th! No exceptions. Winners of the Christmas Stimulus money will be announced Monday.


About Brad Chaffee

169 Responses to “Brad And J’s 1st Annual Christmas Stimulus 2009”

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  1. Very cool Idea Brad and J.Money,

    Here are my financial goals for next year.
    1) Pay off my 2 401K loans totaling $14,600
    2) Pay off my last credit card of $18,400 (good interest rate so it’s further down my snowball)
    3) Put $3,500 away toward a new used car for my wife
    4) Put $1,000 away early so we can take a cheap vacation.

    The list can go on and on….

    If I was to win the money, I would donate it to a family member who just lost their job last week. We’ve already put money aside to help them with some grocery money, but $150 would be great.

    Keep up the SUPER DUPER work Brad and J.

  2. Payoff my home loan
    Invest $100k into shares

  3. Beckey says:

    Its funny, my boyfriend and I were just discussing last night what we wanted to do Financially next yet. So, here are two of them:

    1) pay off at least 2 more credit cards, our remaining cards have higher balances but we are determined to do this.
    2) automate all our payments (credit cards, loans, utilities, rent) through our bank website. We already have all our Payees setup with our Online Banking so the rest is just making sure the money is there to cover the payments. We are working on this part now. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Whoooo hoooo! Free monay I can taste it! It’s only 5:15am here and I’m already imagining spending it on some new socks and a cheesburger!

    2 Goals

    1) Create a $1,000/month on average alternative revenue stream that is scaleable and consistent.

    2) Not be a sissy and actually deploy some of my cash into new private equity or speculative stock investments because fortunes are made every single day!



  5. SS4BC says:

    1) To become debt free

    2) To eat out only 345 days in 2010 (see my website for details!)

  6. Julianna says:

    My 2010 Financial Goals:
    #1 Finish paying off my undergrad loans by Dec 2010
    #2 Start paying off my graduate loans, so I can have my degree paid for before I graduate next May

  7. Leah says:

    1) Use budget for planning, not just spending reporting. Main action item is to set a monthly date to look at it with my husband.
    2) Bump up church giving to 10% before taxes.

    Thanks for the chance to articulate my goals!


  8. Meghan C. says:

    1. I hope to save an EXTRA $5,000 before my wedding in May, in addition to my current savings goal.

    2. I hope to pay an extra $100 to the principal on my home loan each month as I have been doing since I purchaced in August.

  9. Suzanne says:

    Hi Brad, followed J’s link over here…

    There are several goals on my “wishlist” for next year, however, the 2 financial goals that I will absolutely meet are:

    1) Putting money into a high-yield savings account every month that will become the money I spend on 2011 expenses … I’m tired of living paycheck-to-paycheck and will eventually be using money that’s spent a year gaining interest instead of new money that hasn’t!

    2) Continuing to live a cash-only lifestyle (started in 2009).

  10. Phanzy says:

    1) pay off my last two major cc’s
    2) finally start saving, and perhaps max out my roth ira (i’m 26 so I don’t think I waited too long but I should have started saving earlier)

  11. Goal 1: Find low-cost, pro-active ways to boost the income from my home-based massage biz.

    Goal 2: Find a decent health insurance plan under $350/month (savings of $75 plus whatever the 2010 raise will be).

    I intend to send $50 to my little sister, who is still financially recovering from 2 weeks’ unpaid sick leave for the flu last month. The other $100 will be spent helping that Mom-of-10 I’ve “adopted” survive for a month until her food stamps get reinstated.

  12. Dottie says:

    This is very generous of you. Thank you.

    1. Pay off at least one credit card this year.

    2. Get the furnace and furniture paid off before the interest kicks in.

    3. Put aside $3,000 for a newer car.

  13. Hey Brad! I’m here via Budget’s are Sexy. I don’t think I’ll be a drive by though, I love the site!

    Anywhos, my two financial goals for next year are:

    1) Develop a budget (I failed miserably in ’09 with this)
    2) To double my savings (E fund, 401K, Roth, Investing)

    Wish me luck!

  14. Brandi says:

    My financial goals:

    1) Pay down another 30% of my student debt this year with tight budgets and smart spending

    2) Pay off my car BEFORE March

    3) Use ‘extra’ money earned next year to finance participation in charity runs – 5k’s, 10k’s and half marathons!!

  15. N. Dade says:

    2010 Financial Resolutions –

    #1: Payoff the remaining Credit Card Debt. Less than $2K to go & i know i can make it.
    #2: Build up my Efund & savings. I expect to have $5K saved by the end of next year. Current savings is at $1K.

  16. me says:

    I intend to rollover my 401K funds to an IRA
    I intend to increase my giving

  17. Hans Mix says:

    I would put the money toward my bills. I will starting using the envelope system to pay bills, groceries, fuel, vacation, etc. I will have an emergency fund by the end of 2010. I have already cut my all of my credit cards and will never use a credit card again. I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

  18. Way to go Brad and J. Money!

    My goals for 2010:
    -Will be debt free in January with a serious effort
    -Fully funded emergency fund for 6 months of expenses by years end

  19. Great idea, who doesn’t love getting a stimulus check!

    My financial goals for 2010?

    1. I want to build my blog to the point where it would be sufficient to become a full time income.
    2. I want to complete our emergency fund and start funding our Roth IRAs to the max.

    If I were to win the $150 – I pledge to give the entire amount to one of my favorite charities, 2nd Harvest Heartland ( – a food bank that helps to feed thousands of needy families every year. Good luck everyone!

  20. Shelley says:

    Goal 1: Pay off our last credit card by July 2010.

    Goal 2: Work nights and weekends with my husband to grow his business to double his 2009 revenues.

  21. Mike TM says:

    I want to fully fund my emergency fund, and pay off one of my wife’s student loans.

  22. Kelly says:

    This is so inspiring! What a fantastic gift you are offering!
    2 of my financial goals this year:
    1) to get a full month ahead of the bills
    2) to create a larger buffer in our checking account so I can finally close our overdraft protection

  23. Lee says:

    Thanks for the giveaway…I could really use this money for Christmas or bills.
    Two goals I have for this year is :
    1. Get caught up on bills, and make payments ahead of time, instead of being behind. (We’re two months behind on the mortgage.)
    2. Build up an emergency fund…so everything that happens is not a crisis.

  24. Chad says:

    My Financial Goals for next year

    1. Finish BS2. I have less than $25,000 on my HELOC.
    2. Fully Fund Emergency Fund.
    3. Restart the Retirement.

    If I was to win the $150, I would give it to my best friend of 17 years. He has been hit hard this year. His business has been tanking over the past year. He thought he was dealing with depression issues, only to find out he actually had gastric cancer. There is no cure, and he is the primary bread winner. We have already given them our entire Christmas budget rather than buying each other gifts this year. I am still in shock over this and try to do anything I can to help them.

  25. Shauna says:

    1. Save enough cash to take a fully paid maternity leave.
    2. Move e-fund from 6 months of expenses to 12 months.
    3. Continue double payment on student loans.

  26. nia says:

    1. pay off the last credit card @$2500
    2. Pay off the car @10k
    3. Max out both Roth IRA’s

  27. Evan says:

    Goal 1: Create additional streams of income beyond my 9 to 5.

    Goal 2: Start pre-paying my law school debt

  28. Beth says:

    Hi Brad,
    Wow-cool challenge.
    My 2010 goals:
    1)develop my blog/website to earn some good supplemental income. I just applied to be an online affiliate and I was accepted! Now I just have to get a business license and start. I am on a budget and every penny is assigned. I am hoping to somehow get the funds to pay for the license.
    2) In two months I am moving to a cheaper apartment to be able to put more to my debt snowball. I am hoping to somehow get enough funds to move!
    I have a “crazy” goal to pay off 10,000 a year and get out of deb in three years!

  29. Only two goals?

    1) I want to get a good start on a savings fund to eventually replace our van.

    2) I want to keep my Quicken records updated every week (this was a goal last year, but I kinda failed!).

  30. tiffany says:

    1. Put 10,000 in my savings account
    2. Use the envelope method for my shopping budget…my true weakness and arch nemesis of the savings account.

  31. Patti says:

    You guys are awesome and like I told J. Money over at his blog, truly an inspiration.

    For that reason, there are two financial goals that the s/o and I are striving for this year:

    1. Pay off the remaining balance on a *hitting head on desk* timeshare that he purchased before we knew better

    2. Save enough to pay $$cash$$ for a wedding in 2011

    2009 has been such a blessing to us both that we can only strive to continue working as hard to reach our ultimate goal: be totally debt free.

    Our best wishes to you all in 2010 and may your financial goals come true…

  32. KelsaLynn says:

    Wow! Very cool! I’ll leave a link to your post on my twitter–hopefully some of my friends will check it out too!

    I would like to submit my entry to win $150. We have various financial goals for 2010 but I guess I will pick just two! ๐Ÿ™‚
    1. Increase net worth- ours is currently negative $35k (yikes!). Our goal is to have positive net worth. I like this goal b/c it actually requires a bunch of things to happen- we must continue to live below our means, we must contribute to our 401ks, we must not take on debt, etc. So yeah, $35K swing in the right direction- that’s our goal!

    2. Budgeting- our goal is that each month, our monthly expenses do not exceed 60% of our income. That leaves 40% of our income to go toward goals/savings- vacation, retirement, 2nd car, etc. That is our greatest wealth-building tool after all, right?

    Thanks again for the fun contest! Happy holidays to you and your family.


  33. disha says:

    My financial resolutions are:
    1) pay off my last credit card before May 2010.
    2) not to inflate my lifestyle after I move to a bigger city.

  34. Awesome idea, fellas!

    Two of our financial goals for 2010:

    (1) Make my initial purchase of stock in my company. It sounds like this goal will finally be realized early in the year as I’ve been invited to become an owner.

    (2) Purchase a new-to-us used car for cash!

  35. Laura M. says:

    My financial goal for 2010 is to continue to remain debt-free and to put more money into our savings.

  36. My Goals include:

    1. Saving a minimum of $12,500 in our house down deposit fund, and
    2. Paying off my student loans ($8,500 to go baby!!)

  37. My financial goals for 2010:

    1. Complete my savings to pay cash for a newer car for my wife. We already have a decent vehicle, but we would like something nicer.

    2. Increase my net income by 5 to 10%

    Great giveaway! Thanks for the stimulus!

  38. Erin A. says:

    My husband and I still have to finalize our goals but here are my ideas:

    1. Max out our 401k contributions, this will be the first year I fully understood the value of this.

    2. Save $30,000 towards our down payment fund.

    3. Do not buy a second car. Work it out with one car and two people who work outside the home

  39. Laura says:

    Two of my financial goals for 2010:

    1. Help my boyfriend (we are living together) to pay off his high interest credit cards and get rid of them for good!!!

    2. Focus on spending money more efficiently (ie. grocery shopping, entertainment expenses, etc.)

  40. Shannon Lutz says:

    My financial resolutions are as follows:

    1) I am pledging not to eat out with friends next year at all and to use the money that I would have used at restaurants to pay off my car.

    2) I am also pledging to grow my savings account by saving 25% of my earnings each month next year.

    Good luck to all!

  41. Trey G. says:

    1. Get current on BILLS. We received our first (and last) letter from citimortgage telling us our loan is in default. Scary time for my family right now. (due 2 Jan 10) so needless to say no-one will be getting much for Christmas.
    2. Change our spending habits!!!! We still have not cut on our heat this winter. Cable/Internet/home phone are all being cancelled for one year atleast. My wife and I sat down and agreed on that last night! We are going to learn to say know to people in need. My wife is giving through and through, but there MUST be a Limit. We just found It looks like a good budget.

    This oppurtunity could not have come at a better time! Please consider me!

  42. cat says:

    1) Pay off the car before the baby comes in April.
    2) Max out our ROTH IRAs.

  43. At least 2 financial goals you wish to accomplish in 2010:

    -Be completely financially independent.
    -Have a $2500 ‘Just in case’ account…..and NEVER use it except for Just In Case reasons
    -Buy a house/condo
    -Go to Vegas and blow $500 for fun. Financial Goal? Yes. If I can blow $500 in Vegas and not even think twice about losing it and only think about the fun I am having, I must be in a good position financially.

    David Damron

  44. Nicole says:

    My two goals for 2010 are to pay off my maxed out credit card which currently has a balance of $1,280 (YIKES!) and to save as much money as possible to pay for my senior year of college.

  45. Kevin says:

    1) Reach my savings goal of $6,000 toward a summer study program at Oxford. ($1,500 to go, 4 months left, and a low paying student job = creative tactics to be developed)

    2) Continue to fund my Roth IRA to take advantage of compound interest over time

  46. deb h says:

    I want to save $2500 this year and pay off $25,000 in debt. Thank you for your help and enthusiasm for getting out of debt.

  47. Julie says:

    My 2010 Goals would be pay off 2 Medical Bills that have been hanging
    around for a few years.
    #2. to pay off a 7 year loan (FINALLY!) in Nov.!
    #3. to put myself in a position to help others financially

  48. amy says:

    We wil re do the budget and increase payments to the Home equity
    loan by at least $100 per month.
    Re evaluate homeowners insurance to see if we can lower the premium
    and still keep the coverages we have.
    Continue to fund our contingency accounts (home and auto repairs,
    taxes, etc)

  49. Meredith says:

    My two financial goals for 2010 are (1) Save up $1000 throughout the year for Christmas and (2) Add another $1000 to my savings account!

  50. Adam says:

    Great idea, Brad!

    I will be starting my first job in July 2010, so most of my financial goals will revolve around spending time to set up my 401k and related benefits package to ensure a financially healthy future. Additionally, I would like to start planning my student loan debt repayment.

  51. thisisbeth says:

    Hmm. I haven’t gotten my financial goals onto paper yet, so I haven’t worked out HOW I’m going to do them, but rather that I am. This is important for me to work on today, because I found out my house payment is going up next year due to hypothetical shortage in escrow. Thanks for this contest for making me think sooner than I normally do!

    1. Keep track of my money and keep on budget. I usually do pretty well starting in January, but without fail in about May-June life gets busy and I lose track. This year I intend to keep going.

    2. Pay off $6,000 in credit card debt.

  52. Nick says:

    1. Finish 3-6 month emergency fund.
    2. Do Roth IRAs for my wife and I.

  53. Christina D says:

    1 – Pay off student loans (very very close!!)
    2 – Create a security savings (maybe 6 months rent).
    3 – Keep to a VERY strict budget. I don’t get swayed easily, but sometimes when all the rest of my friends in their 20s are going out and living paycheck to paycheck, I feel like I’m missing out. I must stop feeling that way!

  54. Maritza says:

    I would LOOOVE to get the following done in 2010:

    1 – Contribute the full amount to my Roth IRA.
    2 – Pay off at least half of my debt… I hope! =)

  55. 1. Pay off either (a) my highest interest-bearing student loan debt (~$29,000 at ~3.96%) or (b) two other student loan debts (totaling ~$38,000 at ~3.36).

    2. Continue socking away money to put towards whatever debt I don’t fully pay off this year.

    3. Put money towards an engagement ring for my girlfriend (I have a family heirloom, but I’d like to add to it to make it special and unique for her).

    4. Do all of these without tapping into my emergency fund of $15,000.

  56. Donna Korzun says:

    Thank you for your generosity!

    My goals are as follows:

    1. Set-up a fund for our next car. My Subaru has 180,000 miles and my husband’s Honda CRV has 150,000.

    2. Save up to pay cash for sorely needed repairs to our downstairs half-bath.

    It is so exciting to be able to save!

  57. Kelly says:

    Financial Resolutions:
    1- Get out of credit card debt (about 5k)
    2- Cut up said credit card
    3- Save. Save. Save. And spend a little to keep me sane. ๐Ÿ™‚

  58. Shelly D says:

    Save an Emergency Fund of $2000 (I have low expenses right now) and save $15,000 for a downpayment for a townhouse, all while saving for a trip (Egypt? Greece?)

  59. Diamond says:

    My two financial goals for 2010 are 1) to pay off my remaining debt (I’m on Baby Step 2 of the Dave Ramsey plan) and 2)Beef up my emergency fund!

  60. Ninja says:

    Two Goals:

    1) Win this drawing cause that $150 sure would be nice
    2) Get married, but have wife’s parents pay for wedding!

  61. Kyle says:

    My two goals are too 1.) start contributing to my wifes Roth ira 2.) contribute at least $1000 into a non tax sheltered investment

  62. Jan says:

    Goal 1: Pay off student loan by Dec 31 2010

    Goal 2: Max out my Roth IRA

  63. Nola says:

    Pay off last C/C ($6000) even though husband is laid off, by Nov. 2010
    AND Save $3000 in my TFSA (like your Roth IRA)

  64. Dena says:

    What a wonderful & generous thing to do! My financial goals for the coming year are to:

    1. Pay down my student loan debt by at least half. That will take me from -24,900 to -12,450.

    2. Pay off my credit card completely and cancel/cut it up! Thanks to your advice I’ve already taken my credit card debt from -3,700 down to -960. I’m almost there!

    3. Continue to place at least 15% of each paycheck into savings & CDs. By the end of the year I would like to have at least $5,500 in savings.

    …Pretty ambitious goals but I am confident that I can get there. I can’t wait to read your *inspiration* in 2010.

    No matter what, thanks for posting this and for helping people transform their lives!


  65. Wow – so very generous! We are on Baby Step #2, so our goals are to pay off our credit card debt and our cars. If we sell our Durango and my husband gets a bonus check, we should be able to accomplish both by April. At that point, we’ll start on Baby Step #3 – finishing our emergency fund. The most important thing to me is to reach Baby Step #5 – saving for my girls’ college funds.

    If I win the money, I will not put it toward Baby Step #2 (we’re blessed enough to be able to finish that ourselves). I will give it to a family of 8 (single mom with 7 kids) living in East Nashville who doesn’t even have enough pots and pans to cook in, much less other necessities. Why? Because this year there will be less under my tree and more for others.

    Thanks, Brad! Merry Christmas! ๐Ÿ™‚

  66. Mikki says:

    I hope I win!!!

    become debt free
    bring financial peace university to my church

  67. SavingDiva says:

    My financial goals for 2010 are:
    1. Contribute $1k to my Roth IRA. I only contributed $500 in 2009, so I’m going to try to double the contributions.
    2. Increase my emergency fund to $10k. I currently have about $6,500 in the account, so I really need to get my butt in gear!
    3. Stick to $200/month food budget (includes eating out and groceries).

    Great giveaway!

  68. Marci says:

    goal 1: Buy a house. I’ve been saving and I should have a nice chunk for a downpayment.

    goal 2: Pay off the remaining balances on my credit cards. It’s about 12K and I should be able to knock it out by the end of the year.

  69. Kimberly says:

    This is pretty awesome!

    Goal 1: Every week, work to generate one revenue producing lead for my business. Ultimate goal is for that to lead to a 10 percent revenue increase.

    Goal 2: Start saving with a plan instead of kind of randomly sweeping cash into ING or HSBC. Set savings targets and review quarterly.

  70. Christine says:

    You guys are awesome! Thanks for doing this!

    2 goals for 2010

    1. start my emergency fund with my new hubby. ๐Ÿ™‚
    2. Pay off my credit card

  71. Devin A. says:

    1. I would love to save more money!
    2. I would love to pay off my student loans!
    I think its going to be a great year! Thanks for all you do!

  72. Ali Pepler says:

    My two financial goals are:
    1. Become totally financially independent.
    2. Save $2,500.

  73. Melissa Luna says:

    Hi Brad:

    Goal 1 is to pay off about $700.00 worth of doctor bills.
    Goal 2 is to pay off my final debt of $4182.00 and be DEBT FREE (I cannot wait for this day)
    Have a great day ๐Ÿ™‚

  74. 1savvysaver says:

    Goal 1: Fully fund my 2009 Roth IRA
    Goal 2: Have $10,000 in my Emergency Fund

  75. Toma says:

    My family and I have a few goals…

    1. Increase our income (additional jobs seems like the only option right now).
    2. Decided not pay FULL price for anything if we don’t have to.
    3. Get more out of debt so we can give more (charity, church, family in need – right now WE are the charity).
    4. Dream more using the word “when” instead of “if”.

  76. Shane says:

    Goal 1: Is to work on growing a business of my own.
    Goal 2: Do more investing.

  77. mila says:

    1. Pay off credit card at least half by the end of 2010
    2. Do extra work to increase income —

  78. Doctor S says:

    I am thankful for my family, my health, and my fiancee and her family. Not to mention the great reads I find on a few of my fellow bloggers sites

  79. Megan says:

    1. pay down our mortgage to get rid of PMI
    2. pay ahead on hubby’s student loan so that we will qualify for the interest rate reduction early.

  80. Doctor S says:

    Not only am i thankful for the things above..

    Goal 1: Not carry over any Credit Card Debt throught the year of 2010.

    Goal 2: Get my student loan down into the $50k range.

  81. 1.) I want to pay off both my credit cards.
    2.) I was to start REALLY saving in an emergency fund and a “rainy day” fund
    3.) I want to pay my car loan off.

  82. Red says:

    Oh wow! This question is too easy for me, but that’s because I have a crap ton of financial goals to get to. 1) My number one financial goal for 2010 is to pay off all interest on my student loans. On my unsubsidized loans, I’ve accumulated about $2,200 in interest alone. I’m terrified of having that added to my principal. I’m not going to pay interest on my interest! ๐Ÿ™‚ So I’ve resolved to pay all of it off before the end of next year. The principal balances on these loans will be plenty enough to keep me busy after graduation.

    2) I don’t have a full-time job right now (because of school), so I’m not able to participate in a 401(k) match. But one thing I desperately need to do – and have needed to do for years – is set up an emergency fund for unexpected expenses. I’ve never needed one until this past year when my car was creamed. I had just increased my deductible to $1,000, trying to save on car insurance, and I sure didn’t have $1,000 to pay for my car to be fixed. Luckily for me, a family member does autobody work and covered me until the money was reimbursed through the insurance of the guy who hit me. But I don’t want to put my family in that position again. I’d like to build up six months of living expenses (A little over $3,000) because I have no idea what the job market is going to be like when I graduate. I want to use my time to find a job I know I’m going to love, and I’ll be able to do that with a decent-sized emergency fund. Of course, I’ll continue working at the place I’m currently at part-time if that’s what it takes to have income coming in. Still, I like knowing that I’m covered should an emergency arise.

  83. Mike says:

    1. Pay off as much of my wife’s new car as possible. (This is the only debt we have!)
    2. Max out my Roth IRA to $5000 each. (Currently, we are at $3600 each)

    That’s it! Again, we are basically a debt free family and our goal is to officially retire for the second time (I just retired from the Navy after serving 20 yrs) at age 55. Possibly as early as age 50! Thanks!

  84. I want to accomplish:

    1. opening and maxing out my first Roth IRA!
    2. Saving $20,000 in my personal savings!

    Awesome giveaway!

  85. Sheri says:

    (1) Live on a cash-only basis
    (2) Get at least two more credit cards paid off

  86. Yana says:

    1) Remain debt-free
    2) Continue saving, with the aim of 35% of our income to be saved
    3) The biggest threat to our financial security is the medical system. Along these lines, the most profitable resolution we can make is to avoid that system.

  87. Lynda says:

    Goal 1: Save enough $ for a decent wedding by the end of 2010 without getting into debt.

    Goal 2: Learn more about investing and taking better care of my investments, starting with an IRA.

  88. Angie says:

    My two main financial goals for the year are:
    1. Finish a 6 month emergency fund (I’m only half way there – ugh!)
    2. Bump up the 401k to 15% by the end of the year.
    Boy, it’s scary to see that in writing!

  89. Nysalia says:

    1. Fixing up my credit, bringing it up at least 100 pts.
    2. Up the anty on Retirement & Home savings.

  90. AG says:

    1. Increase emergency fund from 3 month of expenses to 6 months of expenses.
    2. Reduce auto expenses from 35% of monthly expenses to 15% of monthly expenses.


  91. Inness says:

    I’m a graduating senior at college, so I have a couple of goals:

    1) Find a job that a) helps people in some way and b) makes me happy most of the time.

    2) Start a regular budgeting system and put at least 10% of my monthly earnings into my savings.

    Extra: Become a financially independent “grown-up”!

  92. philip says:

    To get ahead on paying my long term loans. i.e. Truck, Student Loan, Mortgage… probably in that order too.

    To (re)start tracking my spending, I used to track closely then I lost interest (pun intended) and started spending more without tracking.

  93. Megan says:

    My goals are:
    1 – Pay off my remaining cc balance ~$3000
    2 – Schedule more payments in advance/automate more bills. I was late on one payment a couple months ago because I forgot to schedule it before i went out of town. So basically no late payments in 2010.

  94. Sandy says:

    My goal is to save an emergency fund and to start a debt snowball. I am ordering Dave Ramsey with my Swagbucks.

  95. My 2010 financial goals:
    1. Become debt free ($2500 left baby!)
    2. Save $10,000 in my E-fund
    3. Reach $20,000 net worth
    4. Give 10% away

    Thanks for the chance to enter!

  96. Goal 1: Continue my current savings rate and increase my net worth by at least another $22k in 2010.

    Goal 2: Develop a business so that I can earn income on my own!

  97. mkg says:

    My 2010 resolutions are to
    1. get out of my credit card debt
    2. make a significant DENT in my car loan.
    3. simplify my life financially and material possession wise

    contact me at

  98. TS says:

    There are certainly many who are in greater need than me, but I JUST paid off 1 credit card, and I WILL have another paid off by mid January, and a loan paid off my April.
    My sister could use the money for groceries, so I’d buy her groceries for her and my niece

  99. I am thankful for blogs like yours and for groups like DA and BDA who work with people to remove stress and mentor through example. I am thankful that I have come up with my own way of sharing Christmas, and eliminating debt, by asking the people I love to let me pay a bill for them for Christmas so it frees them up financially in December and I don’t spend time trying to find a gift that they likely didn’t want adding to more clutter in their lives. I will expand this concept of bill paying next year to all my gift giving. I vow to pay an extra payment on the principal of my mortgage each payment over they year so I actually am paying off an extra year of mortgage for 2010. Further, I am further creating a data base to document all my spending in 2010 so I can develop some clarity and make better choices how I spend my hard-earned money. Contact me:

  100. Kim says:

    My 2010 financial goals include making 10 extra payments on our mortgage, increasing my emergency fund by $5k, and building up a cushion (outside my emergency fund) for when I take my maternity leave next year.

  101. Bryan D says:

    My two financial goals for 2010:
    1) Increase my net-worth by at least 25%.
    2) Double my contribution level to my 401k.

  102. acastlegirl says:

    I have many financial goals for 2010, but here are just a few of them:

    1) Get out of our stupid tax early (lease on our home) and move somewhere much cheaper.
    2) Find a way, once and for all, to convince my fiance that we are not millionaires and we have to stop living like we are.

    Once the first two goals are accomplished I should be able to make significant progress on the next two.

    3) Save up emergency fund.
    4) Save up for a small wedding.
    5) Pay off at least 3 smallest debts.

  103. Money Funk says:

    Great surprise, Brad!

    My two financial goals (although not specific yet as I have not drawn my road map yet):

    1 – stay on my snowball path (and hopefully exceed it)
    2 – keep selling all my stuff and apply those funds to that nasty debt!

  104. Laura says:

    Two main goals:
    1) Finishing paying off my mom the loan she gave me
    2) Visit my best friend in China while still saving $10,000 over the year!

  105. sarah r says:

    I have several big financial goals for 2010.
    First, I’m going to be really excited to take my debt load from 20% paid off to 55% paid off by year-end 2010.
    Second, I’m determined to stay within my budget every pay period. I’m making this possible by keeping my BEF funded at $1000 and by creating an “extras” slush fund for fun things like vet visits for the kitty’s chronic eye and teeth conditions.

  106. Sarah Fowler says:

    Financial goals for 2009:

    1) Pay off debt
    2) Move to a new place

  107. Eric says:

    1) Finish paying off my student loans. Less than 12K left!
    2) Up my 401(k) contribution to 7%

    Totally gonna hit them in 2010! Thanks for a great contest!

  108. Ken Kurosawa says:

    1 – Get rid of car payments by downgrading my car and upgrading my savings

    2 – Finish paying off my student loans

    3 – Max out 401K

  109. Austin says:

    Thanks for a great giveaway!

    My two financial goals for 2010 are:
    1) Open a taxable investing account and allocate a certain percentage of income into it every 3 months. I’m working abroad so I can’t invest with a Roth IRA but this is my biggie for 2010.

    2) Increase my income by 30% through blogging/side businesses/etc. I have a comfortable job now but I want to pursue my own ventures and need to start expanding now. This number should push me to follow through.

    Thanks again and happy holidays!


  110. Patty Reiser says:

    My two financial goals for the year 2010 are:
    1. Live within our monthly budget of $2500 for a family of four
    2. Any income over the $2500 will go towards paying our debt of $25,000

    If I were to win this money, it will go towards the $250 deposit I need by the first of the year to pay for my daughter’s trip to NYC for 10 days to a National Leadership Conference she was invited to. Overall we have to raise $3,000 by March 1st to pay for her trip.

  111. Daniela says:

    Thank you for this opportunity!

    My top 2 financial goals for 2010:

    1) Reach my savings goal for my wedding in Fall 2011
    2) Max out my Roth IRA

  112. Ken says:

    1) Create $100 a month through blogging
    2) Reduce credit card debt by $5000.00

  113. NotABear says:

    My 2 financial goals for 2010
    1. Start a Roth IRA
    2. Start a sub savings account on ING and have $3000 in it by the end of the year to fund my entepreneurial ambitions

  114. Brian Barnes says:

    Two big goals for our family in 2010

    1. Fully fund both our Roths – so 5k each
    2. Pay off that 2nd mortgage – about 16k left on it

  115. Chrissy says:

    1) Pay off remaining credit cards.
    2) Bump up savings and church giving.

    If I were to win the $150 it would be going to Kenya. Our church supports children in Bomani and Vipingo (partnering with MANNA worldwide) by providing feeding centers and schools. $150 is enough to feed, clothe and educate one child for 30 weeks!

  116. E.C. says:

    My goals for 2010 are to contribute the maximum to my Roth and track every penny I spend. I’ve been getting careless and letting lifestyle inflation creep up over the past few months so I need to become much more conscious of my spending.

  117. 1. I plan on my fiance and I having our wedding entirely paid for with cash when we throw it in October.
    2. I plan on being out of credit card debt by the end of the year.

    Thanks guys for a fantastic contest!

  118. Joe says:

    If I win – I would donate it to a food bank!

    1. Pay off both credit cards with a balance of approximately $12,000 in 6 months.

    2. Create an emergency fund of $18,000 from June-December.

  119. Abella says:

    I hereby resolve:

    1. that 2010 is the year I pay off my last outstanding debt.

    2. that my kids and I will have six months worth of living expenses to count on by the end of the year.

  120. Ryan says:

    My 1st goal is for my wife and I to pay off our remaining credit debt by the end of the year. The 2nd goal is to set up a monthly contribution towards my son’s RESP, probably around $200/month.

  121. Sarah says:

    As a student, I resolve to MAKE some money and reduce the financial burden of college on my parents’ shoulders.

    1) Selling off stuff on eBay (i have two boxes of clothes waiting to be listed)
    2) Getting a summer job (my parents don’t want me to work while I’m in school)

  122. Ashley says:

    My two goals for 2010 are:
    1) To get my Emergency Fund back up to $2,000 (or more!!)
    2) Pay my student loan down to $14,500.

  123. kasey says:

    My first goal is to have 6 months expenses in an emergency fund, and my second is to better plan my eating out expenses (reduce them, but also just knowing how much they are and being conscious).

  124. Jill says:

    Goal 1: Bring my student loan balance under $12,000 (an additional $1,000 below what is would be with the minimum payment).
    Goal 2: Make at least $3,000 in income from sources other than my primary full time job.

  125. b trader says:

    pay off a loan with my parents
    start a high interest savings account

  126. Jaylin4dc says:

    Goal 1 – Not pay any late fees on any bills (credit card, utilities, doctors, etc.) in 2010.

    Goal 2 – Prepare my own taxes and get refund before half of the year is gone!

  127. Goal 1: Pay off my last credit card debt.

    Goal 2: Max out my cash value life insurance.

  128. Great idea with this post! Two of my financial resolutions include:

    1) Give more to my church and missions organizations in 2010 than I was blessed to give in 2009.

    2) Grow my businesses even more in 2010 than in 2009.

  129. lory says:

    two of my financial goals for 2010:

    1) increase savings by $8k

    2) increase giving (church/charities) by 5%

  130. Karilou says:

    Great idea for the holidays!

    2010 Goals:
    1. Get my emergency fund up to $10,000 which would cover 5 months of expenses.
    2. Bring down student loan balance to under $14,000.

  131. Brandon says:

    Goal #1 – Save $5,000.

    Goal #2 – Start telling my money where to go, instead of watching it vanish!

    Goal #3 – NOT file bankruptcy!! (per Brad’s adamant objection to doing so.)

  132. Erin says:

    1. Pay off car loan and personal loan
    2. Save $8000 for emergency/house fund
    3. Put 7% into 401(k)

  133. Tina Fortune says:

    Great Post!
    If I win, I pledge to donate 100% of the funds to my non-profit for Single Parents!
    My 2010 financial goals include:
    Pay off car loan
    Save $6K
    Double 401K contribution

  134. Tracy says:

    I resolve to pay off the rest of my credit card debt in 2010 as well as my tax debt.

    I also resolve to live without incurring further debt for 2010. I plan to live within my earnings and save money every day to fund my emergency and fun accounts.

  135. Maria says:

    I have been unemployed for almost a year. So my goals for this year are to:
    – get a new job soon
    – put the federal max into our IRA’s before april 15th (for last year), and later in the year max them out for 2010
    – convert our roth IRA’s to traditional over this year and next
    – continue to save money and live below our means so we can continue to build up our house fund

  136. Brad S. says:

    Two goals for 2010:
    1) Pay off the air conditioner, in our old home, that someone else is living in (stupid payment & intrest that we are still paying for).

    2) Build up our emergency fund that we just depleted because both my wifes car and my car had to have some work done on them in the month of December (Merry Christmas to us!)..$800 & $750 worth of work done on them.

    Brad S. wants to be like Brad Chaffee… rock!

  137. Tyffanie says:

    Hello…what an awesome giveaway!
    My financial goals for 2010 are the following:
    1. Build our emergency savings fund to 3 months of our salary
    2. Start saving to buy a car without having to take out a loan
    3. Pay off the last of my student debt.

    Here goes to a financially sound 2010!

  138. Chris says:

    1 go on a honeymoon with my wife… we marry on jan 1

    2 don’t spend too much on the honeymoon

  139. Ashley says:

    You guys are always coming up with something awesome ๐Ÿ™‚
    Two of my biggest goals are to 1. finish my emergency savings fund and to 2. figure out how to either decrease my monthly spending or increase my monthly intake by $500 a month. I know it’s possible, I just have to get to it!

  140. lee says:

    my two financial goals for 2010 would be:

    save 15K in cash.
    shop LESS, much LESS.

    :)) there, you have it.

    i hope i’ll be able to stick to these two…


  141. David says:

    So many goals… so little time.

    1) I will finish paying off my VISA… only $4,250.00 to go.
    2) I will finish my emergency fund… Baby e-fund is already in place.

    Thanks for a shot at that $150.

  142. Gina says:

    Two of our goals for 2010 are to pay off our mortgage (we’ve been doing extra each month for over a year now) and to save for a family vacation to Florida in November.

    If I won I would give the $$ to friends of ours who have BOTH been out of work for 8 months. Very tough situation.

  143. Suzanne says:

    Financial goals for 2010 – fully fund retirement – 15% of our income – and start a college fund for future kids. Love your blog – we saved this year and Christmas is fully funded and then some! We actually saved about 1/3 of our income (with a mortgage – and we’re both teachers!) and are investing heavily. ๐Ÿ™‚

  144. Angie Hall says:

    Two resolutions for next year – to get our emergency fund fully funded and to get sinking accounts set up with automatic withdrawals for insurance and other known expenses. Every dollar that comes in will be assigned!

  145. Abigail says:

    My resolution is to win this gift card. That counts, right?

    Okay but seriously…

    My main resolution is to work as hard as I can to stick to the plan I’ve laid out for repayment. I am sure some variables will come and muss things up from time to time. But if we can keep going like we have recently, we can be done with one credit card in early February (!!!) and done with all of our credit cards by mid-May.

    After that, my financial goal would be to save up an emergency fund — I’ll start by aiming for 3 months — and to start a small fund so that we can finally get a dog. My husband has been willingly (sorta) putting it off for 3 and a half years while we worked our way around difficult finances. So it’ll be a really rewarding thing to crown the achievement.

  146. Bucksome says:

    Brad, this is so cool!

    Two of my financial goals for 2010 are:

    1. Eliminate remaining credit card debt
    2. Prepare a will

  147. PDX TerriKay says:

    Pay off $1400. Visa and Medical bills.
    Put away at least $100 a month emergency fund.

    I am thankful my kids are healthy.

  148. Melissa says:

    1. Have a completely debt-free wedding!
    2. Use any profit from wedding to pay off considerable amount of remaining student loans (with maybe a little skimming of profit to enjoy the honeymoon…)

    Thanks Brad!

  149. Sheena says:

    My 2 financial goals are:
    1. Save an additional $5,000
    2. Pay for our Disney world trip in CASH!!!

    Hope I win!!!!!!

  150. Steven says:

    hmmmm…it would be to :
    1. Pay extra on my mortgage…
    2. Eliminate credit card debt..all of it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  151. Sage Norbury says:

    My financial goals are
    1. Adhere to my budget (unlike 2009!)
    2. Increase my contribution to my church

    By the way, I really like your idea of using some of your holiday budget to “help your neighbor.” If more people thought and acted like this, our world would be a much better place. Thank you.

  152. San says:

    Awesome! It’s nice that you want to give something back to your loyal readers.

    1) Pay off my wife’s student loan in 2010
    2) Max both our Roth IRAs

  153. Alison says:

    My financial resolutions for 2010 are to sell our home and use some of the equity to pay cash for a car. We would also like to fully fund our ROTH IRA’s in 2010. Thanks for the opportunity to win some extra cash!

  154. Kandace says:

    1) master budget
    2) streamline savings plan– emergency fund, retirement, and “fun” funds (kitchen, bathroom)

  155. Megan says:

    2 Financial Goals:

    Goal 1: Find a 2nd job/income source

    Goal 2: Pay off all credit cards – hopefully that will be easy after accomplishing goal 1. ๐Ÿ™‚

  156. Michelle says:

    about to start my first job in may! i want to…

    – automate savings to 30% of income
    – get my long term emergency fund from 0 to 4000
    – travel for free (coach surfing & frequent flyer miles)
    – go to chamber of commerce events to meet entrepeneurial ppl

  157. Trena says:

    Goal 1: Don’t pull money out of savings to cover our checking account
    Goal 2: Actually create an “entertainment budget” and actually stick to it.

  158. Emily D says:

    Sweet give away!

    Goal 1: Have a 6 month emergency fund by summer. On our way there already!

    Goal 2: Pick up our retirement investing promptly following the emergency fund being completed.

  159. Jon Roberts says:

    Goal 1. Complete our debt elimination this year.
    Goal 2. Have a fully funded emergency fund by year end (6 months living expenses).

  160. Brian R says:

    1. To fully fund my 401K
    2. To pay off1 of my silly car loans

  161. peggy says:

    My 2010 financial goals:
    1. Contribute the max allowed amount to my Roth IRA.
    2. Cut out one small expediture (e.g., coffee, magazines) each month and put that amount in savings.

  162. Michelle says:

    2 of my 2010 financial goals will be:

    1] Pay off 3 debts by June 2010
    2] Stick to my budget – Really think before making any purchase on whether
    the purchase is a “need” or “want” and only allow a small, small portion of
    budget for “wants”

    By the way, I just added your blog to my list of blogs to follow. Great information. Thanks.

  163. Elisabeth Norris says:

    1. Make a realistic budget
    2. Actually stick to it.

    I’m tired of our money disappearing. It’s time to start making it work for us.

  164. 2 financial goals I wish to accomplish in 2010:

    1) Save at least $100,000 for a house down payment
    2) My business (blog and products) should make at last $10,000/month


  165. Single Ma says:

    In 2010, I plan to 1) focus more energy and resources on increasing my non-retirement investments and 2) take my daughter on a (cash only) 7-10 day European vacation for her HS graduation.

  166. Goal number 1: Max the Roth IRA
    Goal number 2: Pay for wife’s first year of grad school without taking out a loan.

    Thanks, guys!

  167. Leah says:

    goal 1. pay off all credit card/car loan debt
    goal 2. save $1000 in an emergency fund

  168. Patrick says:

    2 goals:

    1. Max out retirement plan contributions.
    2. Purchase a new home.

    #2 is actually more likely to happen. ๐Ÿ™‚

  169. Sam w/Ducks and Dollars says:

    I’ve got more than two goals for 2010, but here’s the top two:

    1. Pay off auto loan (was at 12,775 but is now around 3,650)
    2. Pump up all savings accounts (vaca, emergency and a new baby fund)