Mixing Maroons - Spend Less, Save More … Get Marooned!

Mrs. Maroon

February 2, 2015

Moneystepper 2015 Savings Challenge

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We are very happy to be participating in the Moneystepper’s 2015 Savings Challenge. I have been woefully lax in preparing for it, but seeing how the calendar has turned to Groundhog Day, I think it’s high time I get serious about it.


In short, the participants submitted financial goals to achieve for the year – net worth increase and savings rate. Each month we track our progress and share with the community. That community works together as accountability partners and motivators so that we all up our game to stick with it. Mixing Maroons established goals of a 25% increase in net worth and a 55% savings rate for the year.


All of the 36 participants are grouped together based on ranges of starting net worth so that we can encourage folks in similar financial situations. We have been grouped with Mr. Captain Cash and Vawt at Early Retirement Ahead. Then a couple days ago, Mr. Captain Cash really upped the ante by turning it into a little bit of friendly competition within our Group F. Side Note: Group F sounds so generic, I’m thinking we can come up with something better. Since I have asked no one else, I am going to take it upon myself to dub us Group Freedom. All three of us in the group are seeking early retirement – the freedom to do as we please each and every day. Seems fitting if you ask me. Hope everyone else agrees with me!!


Mr. Captain Cash has an impressive goal of achieving financial independence before his 28th birthday. WHOA! The Maroon household blew through that year without even thinking about finances!! Good for you. Vawt is working feverishly, as he says, to execute an early retirement plan to implement at age 45. Considering our goal is to reach retirement as Mr. Maroon turns 40, Vawt’s goal seems MUCH more reasonable. Perhaps we should have all met Mr. Captain Cash when we were younger so that we could start this crazy thinking earlier in life!


Anyway, back to the challenge… Graham Clark at Moneystepper has been kind enough to assemble a wealth of information to educate and encourage anyone and everyone that your financial dreams are well within your reach. All you need is a goal, a plan, and a community to support you along the way.


I’ve been assembling numbers to submit for our first month in the challenge – it’s looking really good too! I can’t wait for Graham to issue the first set of results so that we can really get this challenge off the ground. We hope you’ll follow along in the challenge and encourage all of the participants in their quest. If you’d care to join us, that would make it all the better. Stay tuned for results…


January 2015 Update
Optimizing Debt Repayment and Retirement Contributions
  1. Comment by femmefrugality — February 2, 2015 @ 9:55 PM

    Super cool! 55% savings rate is no joke! And it’s always good to have super ambitious people around to motivate us!
    femmefrugality recently posted…$50 Target Gift Card #Giveaway!My Profile

    Mrs. Maroon Reply:

    I think the 55% goal is outstanding. Then come to find out, we are the lowest in our group… Yeesh!

  2. Comment by Mrs SSC — February 3, 2015 @ 7:25 AM

    Wow! You have some lofty goals! That is really impressive! That sounds like a fun challenge – maybe we will have to check it out next year.
    Mrs SSC recently posted…Why FIRE “Freaks me out, man!”My Profile

    Mrs. Maroon Reply:

    I have to believe there is still room to join in the fun! The more the merrier 🙂

  3. Comment by Laurie @thefrugalfarmer — February 3, 2015 @ 7:46 AM

    I love me a friendly competition! You guys are going to kick it at this. Can’t wait to hear about the results!
    Laurie @thefrugalfarmer recently posted…Movin’ OutMy Profile

    Mrs. Maroon Reply:

    Results should be coming in about a week. Looking forward to it! Won’t you come cheer everyone along?!

  4. Comment by Robin — February 3, 2015 @ 8:07 AM

    Two serious and challenging goals, but I think you can do it!
    Robin recently posted…Why is Talking About Money So Taboo?My Profile

    Mrs. Maroon Reply:

    I think we can do it too. I really hope we far exceed the goals – but who doesn’t?

  5. Comment by Emily @ Simple Cheap Mom — February 3, 2015 @ 12:25 PM

    I’ve been having a lot of fun getting our January numbers together for this! Sounds like you’ve got a great group! Mine will be pretty interesting because our goals are all over the place! Going to be a fun year guys!
    Emily @ Simple Cheap Mom recently posted…Update: January No Eating Out ChallengeMy Profile

    Mrs. Maroon Reply:

    I agree that it’s going to be a fun year. I’m looking forward to getting to know everyone better too!

  6. Comment by Mr. Captain Cash — February 3, 2015 @ 6:32 PM

    Fully support your idea of renaming Group F to Group Freedom.

    Great to see you’ve embraced the gauntlet that was dropped so well. It will definitely make the 2015 savings challenge more interesting having a little friendly competition.

    Great post Mrs. Maroon,

    Mr. Captain Cash
    Mr. Captain Cash recently posted…Cash Accumulators Purchase Additional Investment Skill!My Profile

    Mrs. Maroon Reply:

    Glad you’re on board with my naming. Looking forward to the coming year!!

  7. Comment by Mrs. Frugalwoods — February 4, 2015 @ 8:44 PM

    55% is an awesome goal–way to go! Best of luck to you and Group Freedom (definitely better than Group F). Looking forward to hearing the results!
    Mrs. Frugalwoods recently posted…Frugal Hound Sniffs: DebtFreeJDMy Profile

    Mrs. Maroon Reply:

    Thanks for the encouragement!

  8. Comment by Vawt — February 4, 2015 @ 9:44 PM

    Hi! I like the Group Freedom name! I would have liked to aim for retiring by 40, but having two little ones recently sort of made that more difficult. I look forward to pushing each other to reach our goals this year.
    Vawt recently posted…My Travel Reward Point ValuesMy Profile

    Mrs. Maroon Reply:

    Little ones definitely alter the financial picture – A LOT!! Whether it’s 28 (still I’m astonished!) or 40 or 45, it’s still so much better than 65! Or even later…

  9. Comment by B — February 6, 2015 @ 8:58 PM

    Hi Mrs Maroon

    I realized that you have dependents with kids and parents and still yet manage to save 55%. How did you do it? Its incredible.

    I just had a kid recently and found that our expenses have shot up by quitr a mile. Definitely looking forward to learn a tip or two from you.
    B recently posted…How much am I making from online income?My Profile

    Mrs. Maroon Reply:

    Kids definitely put a different spin on your finances. We are fortunate that we had all of the gear from Mini #1 to use for Mini #2. That helps a lot. But other than that, we focus on simple toys – my favorites don’t have batteries! And we make smart choices on clothes. Diapers are just something you have to accept. But day care is by far the biggest part of it. We tried to cut expense there by a little bit by using an in-home provider. It didn’t work out for us. We switched to a center, but stayed away from the designer ones. We could easily be spending $150-$200 more a week between the two to go to the ‘best’ place in town. But so long as they are safe and get some stimulation we are good. As parents, we are the ones ultimately responsible for their education. No day care can substitute for good parenting.

    Happy to have you following along. And hope we can share some ideas!

  10. Comment by Brian @ Debtless in Texas — February 11, 2015 @ 8:13 AM

    Those are some ambitious goals, good for you! Does that 55% include pre-tax contributions (401k, etc.)?

    We have been doing the same thing with goals, I had no idea there was a community online that provides some healthy competition.
    Brian @ Debtless in Texas recently posted…Preparing for a Baby Without Breaking the BankMy Profile

    Mrs. Maroon Reply:

    Yes, that goal includes all of our savings vehicles, including maxing out our 401(k) and even paying down the principal on our mortgage. If you’re interested in the group, I highly encourage you to get in touch with Graham over at Moneystepper. We still have a lot of time left in 2015!!

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