It's 2013! Welcome to a new year, new opportunities, and most importantly a chance to be a better (not a new) you! If you are reading this blog post you have successfully proved the Mayans wrong and lived past 12/21/12. Congratulations on surviving the "end of the world"!
I would like to thank all of you for your continued support of D.R.E.A.M. and our mission to empower youth through financial literacy. Our organization could not operate without the support you provide. I would like to send a special shout out to all of our avid blog readers. The messages I received during my brief sabbatical from blogging were very inspiring and encouraging. And now I'm back ba-by!
2012 was a great year for D.R.E.A.M. We accomplished many of our desired goals and even things we didn't expect to accomplish at the onset of the year. For instance, participating in the New York City AIDS Walk at Central Park was a major accomplishment for D.R.E.A.M. in 2012.
We reached hundreds of students and families last year and spread the message of financial literacy. The feedback we received from all of our events was astounding. I am truly happy that we are able to positively impact our local, urban communities and look forward to doing this for many years to come.
The Scholars of our "Invest-in-Success" program progressed by leaps and bounds in 2012, I am extremely proud of them. Each of them saved weekly and began taking the steps to build a solid financial foundation. An inspiring moment for me was watching the Scholars deliver flawless business plan proposals during our first annual “Invest-in-Success Biz Competition". The Scholars presented like CEO's of Fortune 500 companies and blew the judges away. I get goose bumps just recalling the experience.
I look forward to future memories like the ones described above. And I, of course, look forward to reaching more students as we spread the gospel of financial literacy.
The 5% Challenge
This year we are launching The D.R.E.A.M. 5% Challenge. The idea is quite simple; the challenge is for you to save 5% more than you did last year. Very simple, straight forward. (For example, if you saved $100 in 2012, you need to save $105 in 2013)
Now, some of you are probably reading this and saying to yourself 'I already save all that I can'. I highly doubt this is true. I guarantee if you analyze your spending habits for just a week you will be able to identify areas in your spending where you can cut back to save more. Perhaps this means eating out less, fewer purchases from Starbucks, or fewer trips to the movies. Whatever the decisions may be, I guarantee you can live without whatever you opt to cut back on or give up. (Trust me on this)
Share your savings methods with us via Twitter and Facebook, use photos to tell your story if you like! We will post some of the most inspiring stories we receive on our blog throughout the year. The person with the most creative savings method/story will win a prize from D.R.E.A.M.! (And of course feel free to save more than 5%, we actually encourage it)
Make 2013 special and start down the road to financial prosperity. Peace and blessings in this new year.
Your Chief Savings Officer,
About the Author: Femi Faoye is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of D.R.E.A.M. He’s a staunch and passionate financial literacy education advocate.
Notwithstanding any language to the contrary, the views expressed in this post reflect those of the author and are solely theirs and do not reflect the views of Developing Responsible Economically Advanced Model-Citizens, Incorporated or any affiliates. Opinions are based upon information the author deems reliable but Developing Responsible Economically Advanced Model-Citizens, Incorporated does not warrant its completeness or accuracy and should not be relied upon as such. Neither the author nor Developing Responsible Economically Advanced Model-Citizens, Incorporated guarantees any specific outcome or profit from recommendations presented and you should be aware that losses may occur following any strategy or investment discussed. This material does not take into account your particular investment objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on information in this post you should consider whether it is suitable for your particular circumstances and strongly consider seeking advice from your own financial or investment adviser.
The contents of this post cannot be redistributed without the explicit written consent of the author and Developing Responsible Economically Advanced Model-Citizens, Inc. All images in this post owned by Developing Responsible Economically Advanced Model-Citizens, Inc. may not be used in any advertising, publicity, or otherwise to indicate members' sponsorship or affiliation with any product or service without the prior express written consent of Developing Responsible Economically Advanced Model-Citizens, Inc. All other images presented not owned by Developing Responsible Economically Advanced Model-Citizens, Inc. are the property of the author, respective company, or photographer. The rights to the images and likeness represented are under explicit ownership of the person(s) aforementioned.