$196 Giveaway – Community and Charity 10% Monthly Blog Income Give Back # 4 – January 2012 Edition + 2 Year Blog Birthday Celebration


In case you missed the first (October)second (November), and third (December) 2011 10% Blog Income Give Back, after doing some thinking at the beginning of October about what direction I want this blog to grow and evolve towards in the future, I decided that any income made from this blog would have more significance to me at a personal life values level if I knew that a portion were being given back to the following places:
  • 1) The readers – Obviously, without you here to read my articles and interact with my ideas, there would be no blog in the first place (let alone blog income). As such, it is only fitting that you receive a portion of any blog income.
  • 2) Charitable organizations – If you’ve read my blog before, you know that I’m a big believer in donating a portion of my money to charity. Each year, I donate between 5-10% of my income to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society as part of the Bike for MS fundraiser that I do. Beyond the good that is done by donating your money, getting used to contributing to charity is also a good practice to emulate the actions of affluent individuals (T. Harv Eker discusses this in his book, Secrets of the Millionaire Mind, which I would definitely recommend reading if you have a few hours).
Because of these considerations, I’ve decided that each month going forward, I’m going to give away 10% of my net (after-tax) blogging income/profit to My Personal Finance Journey readers (5%) and to charity (5%). Listed below is how the process will work:
  • After each calendar month passes, I’ll tally up my net blog income and determine what Dollar value correlates to 10%.
  • I’ll post the giveaway (similar to this post you’re reading now), and you’ll have approximately 2-3+ weeks to enter.
  • Once the giveaway is over, a grand prize winner will be announced, and that winner will then select what charity they’d like to have 5% of my blog income sent to. Pretty cool idea, right?! I’m excited just thinking about it! I hope you are too.
  • So far, I’ve been very happy with the success of the OctoberNovember, and December 2011 10% income give backs.
    • In October, $205 total was given away, with $100 being donated to the charity,GreenPeace, selected by the winner.
    • In November, $201.40 total was given away, with $100 being donated to the charity,The Blue Ridge Area Food Bank, selected by the winner. If you’re interested, you can view the details of me going to drop off the check at the Food Bank by clicking here.
    • In December, $74.52 total was given away, with $37.26 to be given to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Blue Ridge, selected by the grand prize winner. I’ll be emailing my contact at that organization soon to arrange delivery of the donation check.
So, that’s the overall flow of things and a brief recap of what’s happened so far with the give back initiative. Now, let’s get in to the specific details for this month’s (January 2012) giveaway.
Details of January 2012 10% Blog Income Giveaway

  • $196 total blog income to give away – $100 to My Personal Finance Journey readers and $96 to the charity selected by the giveaway grand prize winner (see bullet point below for additional details on how the charity selection will work this month).
    • $100 in prizes available to two readers is broken down in the following way –
      • 1) Grand Prize = $75 Amazon Gift Card or $75 cash via PayPal (since I just found out that international readers cannot buy much on Amazon).
      • 2) 2nd place prize = $25 Amazon Gift Card or $25 cash via PayPal.
  • This month’s giveaway is also to celebrate two happenings:
    • 1) The coming of the time at the beginning of each year when people evaluate their performance in achieving their personal financial goals for the year that passed and set new ones for the new year.
      • As such, I’m requesting that entrants leave a comment below this post about a specific financial goal/resolution for 2012 that you have set for yourself in the new year of 2012.
      • In addition, since I recently saw a statistic about 90-95% of new year’s resolutions failing, I’m also asking people to share how they will hold themselves accountable and maximize the probability of achieving their 2012 goal.
    • 2) The milestone of My Personal Finance Journey reaching its 2 year birthday this month! That’s right folks! This blog was started back on January 16th, 2010 with a post about making some free money from a Chase Amazon credit card sign up bonus offer.
  • Charity selection for January’s give back – 
    • Because of the success experienced in the November-December 2011 give backs with building relationships with local charitable organizations (particularly the local Food Bank, Boys and Girls Club, and Alzheimer’s Association offices), I’ve decided that for January, we’ll keep how we select the charity that receives the 5% blog income donation the same as last month. Continue reading below for more details:
    • Instead of having each entrant specify any charity in the world, the goal for this month will be for My Personal Finance Journey to develop a relationship with one of the 8 charities listed below. The Grand Prize winner will select which of these 8 organizations receives the donation on behalf of the blog. I removed the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank and the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Blue Ridge from the running this month since they were picked already in prior months.
    • All of these charities were selected because 1) they are high quality organizations who do very good things and 2) they all have a significant presence/office in the area in which I live and operate this website (Central Virginia).
    • I have contacted the local offices of these organizations and told them that they are part of the 10% blog income give back in January. After the Grand Prize winner is selected and the selected charity announced, I hope to be able to visit the local office of the organization, meet their staff, and present them with the money personally.
    • It’s been very fulfilling developing a relationship with the local chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society through the MS150 fundraising bike ride I do each year, and I’m hoping that this experience will be just as awesome! I look forward to seeing which organization is selected.
How to Enter the Giveaway – Deadline to Enter is Midnight, January 31st, 2012

Like last month, I’ve decided to use the new RaffleCopter giveaway management tool to handle sign-up facilitation for the January giveaway, so simply go through the steps listed in the widget below to enter the running for the prize and accumulate entry points.

There is no limit to the amount of points you can earn. If you refer 10 subscribers – your name will have accumulated 170 entry points! Or, if you link to the giveaway more than once, you can accumulate those 7 entry points multiple times. You can also retweet the giveaway once per day. In the event of a tie, I will be using a random number generator to select the winner.

Important instructions: After you complete an entry method, make sure to click and fill out the “I Did This” or “Enter” button in the widget so that I have a record of your points.


Remember, the deadline for entries will end at midnight on January 31st, 2012 (a little over 3 weeks from today – the start of the give back). Good luck to you all! Please contact me if you have any questions. After the deadline for entries passes, the winner (one with the most points accumulated) will be contacted via email to receive their prize and select this month’s charity organization for the donation.

***Photo courtesy of http://stefanmarkov.com/family/images/yana_3yrs_1.jpg


  1. 1) My goal is to pay off $20,000 in debt! 2) I'm starting with my smallest, highest interest credit card, and I am paying that off in big chunks as fast as I can. I'm also working on increasing my income by selling more on eBay, boosting my blogging income and developing other passive income. It's going to be tough but I think I can do it!
    My recent post Debt Update: December 2011

  2. Adrienne Gordon says:

    i'm cutting down my debt by puttig 10% f my paycheck right towards cc debt.

  3. In 2012, I will save or donate a combined 50% of my take-home pay. Mostly, I'm making that happen with automated payments to various savings accounts and to my church, but I also have some leeway with “snowflaking” extra funds for grad school and deciding where to donate a set amount from my budget each month. Living on half my income means a few sacrifices (not eating out as much is a big one!), but it's worth it to me.
    My recent post Supermarket Savings

  4. My goal is to save up enough for new kitchen cabinets and counter tops. I am going to make this happen by transferring the money out of checking and into savings as soon as I am paid. Once it is out, I won't let myself transfer it back. I will live within my self-imposed means.

  5. Shannyn@FruBeautiful says:

    1.) My 2012 Financial goal is to earn $30,000 (ahh!) and to max out my ROTH IRA and get my emergency fund back up…I know that's three goals but they're all interrelated!

    2.) I am working on this now by getting some new sites launched and working on an ebook to bring in some income and am looking for other jobs. This month I will be contributing an extra portion to jumpstart my ROTH contributions for the year!

  6. My goal is to pay off my $8,000 car this year. I plan to take $350 of each paycheck and put it into a seperate savings account so I don't use it and at the end of the year I will take that money and pay off my car.

  7. My financial goal is to put 10% of my salary every month to my bank account. So starting January I will make this happen (I already have the bank account that was opened specifically for this money). So hopefylly at the end of the year I will have a nice sum at my account 🙂

  8. Joanne Schultz says:

    I don't make resolutions. As I have been unemployed for several years, my goal is to either find a well-paying job in my field, or to live simply enough that I accumulate no debt.
    I am fortunate enough to have the time to enter giveaways, so I am able to go out to eat once a week with gift cards I have won. I also have several gift cards to see movies, so that helps me feel like I am able to have some fun, regardless of my tight financial restraints!
    Thanks for the giveaway!

  9. Theresa Shafer says:

    To save 100 a month. The plan is to put away $25 a week. This should end up as $1300, 100 above my goal.

    tes 1283 yahoo

  10. simplydab says:

    My goal is to pay off my credit card debt by April and then to continue to make those 'payments' towards my savings/emergency fund. I'm making it happen by eliminating unnecessary spending, paying more than the minimums, paying the higher interest rate cards down first, and mostly by not using them!!

  11. Janna Johnson says:

    I am working towards loosing 80 lbs. I am exercising with my Kinect and Your Shape game and doing the Alli program!
    Happy Blogging! Thanks! Janna Johnson jannajanna@hotmail.com janna@feedyourpig

  12. my goal is to save, save, and save some more. also hoping to pay off debt, but that's pretty much set. saving will be much harder.

  13. ok didn't read the full instructions before i left my comment!
    my steps are that i am setting up automatic payments so that i pay myself first and save!
    My recent post The 10 Pound Challenge: Are you in?

  14. Shaun @ Money Cactus says:

    Nice work on the earnings mate, great to see you sharing the wealth! Hope this continues to go really well for you, you are helping some great causes.
    My recent post How Your Employer Can Make You Wealthy

  15. I am vowing to reduce my credit card debt by 10%. I know this is a small goal compared to others, but achieveable. I have already called 2 companies to reduce my interest amount.

  16. Christine S. says:

    To save more money. To use up what I have @ home before buying more of what I don't need!

  17. Ashley Tucker says:

    1) Pay off student loan completely
    2) I am paying lots more to get it paid off quicker..I'm actively paying attention to help me stick to it!

  18. 1) A specific financial goal/resolution for 2012 you have set for yourself: Save $20,000
    2) what steps you're proactively taking to ensure you achieve this goal and avoid becoming part of the 90% of New Year's Resolutions that fail each year: I have automatic savings plan that's dumping $1500 into my ING savings account every month, plus I'll be saving the majority of my tax return.
    My recent post My Dad’s Advice

  19. You are making the erroneous decision that everyone makes resolutions/sets goals at this particular time of the year. I do not. That does not mean I do not have goals, financial or otherwise. Right now, I have started a Christmas savings plan for the next holiday season, and expect to have at least $1000 in it by November 2012. I have an automatic payment into it each month.

  20. My goal is to build up an emergency fund through my TFSA. I intend to do this by making automatic payments.

  21. I am working towards my first time home buying fund, my aim is to pay it full, I am expecting a 20% increase of the fund this year.
    My recent post 25 Everyday Techniques to Save Environment

  22. Elizabeth K says:

    My goal is to pay off my 401k loan that I took out to buy a new air conditioning system. I am paying a double payment each pay period to make sure that I have it paid off early. . .in May.

  23. our goal is to get to 50k for a house down payment. we're taking steps by budgeting and tracking it in a shared google doc!

  24. blackasphodel says:

    I want to spend more time on my Japanese and Korean language studies. I was quite diligent in learning new things (vocabulary, grammar etc.) and doing daily exercises when I started learning and I want to be that passionate about it again.

    My e-mail: blackasphodel(at)yahoo(dot)com

  25. I am cutting down on frivolous spending by eliminating fast food stops altogether. I will ensure this by making sure the pantry is stocked with at least a few “super easy” meal options for those nights when I am exhausted and don't want to cook. Thanks!

  26. My goals are to 1) to budget and track what I spend and 2) doing this by scheduling 15 minutes everyday to record all of my spending transactions. It's been an eye opening experience to see how I spend money in just the few days of this year!

  27. I will get out of debt by following a strict budget and saving 30% of every paycheck to pay for my usual expenses with cash. Thanks for the chance!

  28. Edward Antrobus says:

    Like applying for college, I split my financial goals into two catagories: safe & reach. My biggest “safe” goal will be to save $500 in my IRA this year, doubling the amount of cash I’ve actually added to it since opening it in 2009. This is a safe one, because it’s already in the budget, a space created by paying off my Discover card last month.

    The reach goal is to pay off my remaining credit card, with a balance of ~$5000. The budget only includes $1200 in payments, possibly another $2000 depending on how the second half of the year goes. To cover the other $1800-$3800, I am starting a business on the side to convert bloggers ebooks and guides into e-book formats, and help them get their titles listed on Amazon & Barnes & Noble.

  29. Patricia Treskovich says:

    I need to save money so am putting a few dollars away weekly

  30. momisblessed says:

    My financial goal for 2012 is to pay of my credit card debt and then to close the accounts so that I will not be tempted to use them again. Taking the step to actually close the account is what I am hoping to ensure my success rate.
    kgkiml at yahoo dot com

  31. My resolution is to keep a monthly savings plan aside! That way at end of half year i can review to check if that money is being kept aside and if not then i make sure to make up for it another month. So I try my best to make sure to keep entering the plans. Its very important. I will continuously monitor these aims and make sure my savings are intact!
    My recent post Gustavo Cadile Masterpiece Dresses & ROMWE 2nd Discount Offer!!

  32. My goal is to be very careful with my spending. I am in the middle of a career transition and that requires doing several short, low-paid internships with a bunch of gaps in between them. However, I really want to switch to this career and will work hard to stretch my income and savings to get there.

  33. Great contest. I love it.

    1. Putting $500-$600 per month into my student loans to be paid off by the end of 2012
    2. Automatic bill pay
    My recent post How to Spot Investment Scams

  34. Well, I reached last year's goal of paying down my credit card debt (got it down to $ 50.00 by the end of the year).
    This year, I'm trying to only use my credit card for as much as I can pay off within 1 or 2 months. Also, the money I would normally put on my credit card debt will go into my money market savings account.

  35. My Financial goal is to get to $45k in my down payment savings account. I've got auto withdrawls from my paychecks set up so I won't fail.
    My recent post I Wish I Were A Different Blogger

  36. 1)Get a job and save money for college
    2)I have enrolled as a volunteer to gain experience and I work for my dad(I help him and earn some money)

  37. My goal is to pay off my student loans and I plan on doing it by spending a lot less then I make for the rest of the year

  38. My goal is to start increasing my savings and to meet that I'm cutting down on my restaurant and other expenses such as cable TV

  39. Ashley Boonin says:

    I've just started a personal finance blog called multi-millionaire road so my new years resolution is to keep motivated and to keep writing. Hoping to keep myself inspired to do this by reading other finance blogs. thankyou

  40. Chris Ziegler says:

    Im going to cut down on my debt! So much of it! I will be one of the 10% as I will have my friends or family make sure I stay accountable to my goal(s)
    My email- chrisziegler1969(at)gmail.com
    My nmae- Chris Ziegler

  41. I am glad to see you still doing these giveaways. I love it! I can't believe I missed this giveaway until now. 😉
    My recent post Protect Yourself from Debt

  42. I want to get out of credit card debt this year and I've cut way back and am selling things to reach that goal.

  43. we're paying off all our credit card and personal loan debt, the payments have already been set up to come out next week after we get our tax refund

  44. I made a pledge to tithe 10% of my income to my church. My income is tiny at the moment, so it's not much, but it's something. I already have an emergency fund established and I write the check at the beginning of every month, so I'm not tempted to spend that money elsewhere.

  45. I have two tricks to reduce my spending.
    1) Every month, try to beat the number of “no-spend days” from last month (or the prior highest, whichever is higher).
    2) Keep my unnecessary spending (the “I had to buy breakfast at work because I forgot to eat before I left the house” kinda spending) below $50.

    I'm tracking this on my spending calendar. I dumped a calendar template into Word and plug my spending into it when I spend money.

  46. ANGEL JACKLYN says:

    1) a specific financial goal/resolution for 2012 you have set for yourself and 2) what steps you're proactively taking to ensure you achieve this goal and avoid becoming part of the 90% of New Year's Resolutions that fail each year.

    I've set the goal to get a car as soon as possible this year. To ensure I don't fail like most others, I've started a savings account where $50 of each paycheck gets pulled right into that account.

  47. To stop drinking,that way i think i can stop smoking

  48. huston smith says:

    My goal is to add to my children college fund, I increased my automatic withdrawl into the college fund account by 25%.

  49. I'm working on paying off 2 of my credit cards & saving enough to go home next summer (Hawaii) to visit family & friends.

  50. 1) My wife and I are actually keeping a budget this year. 2) We've already downloaded Dave Ramsey's simple budget sheets and are actually using them!

  51. my goal is to save money for my son's future and education. we have opened a junior savings account for him already. so we start there and hopefully continue to save through it.

  52. financially I'd like win money thru contests sweepstakes and to achieve that I enter enter enter, trying is all u can do in anything

  53. get out of debt, which is near impossible because i'm disabled, trying to sell stuff on ebay but nobody's buying

  54. my resolution is to not use credit cards and i cut them up

  55. Thanks for the giveaway…paying off a credit card balance, about $7000, of my last remaining card. I will set aside enough money each month to pay twice the minimum payment until I pay it off !

    senorpiero [at] yahoo [dot] com

  56. I'm a little late this month posting an update, but the points have been tallied for this giveaway, and Donna B is the grand prize $75 winner and Teresa S. is the 2nd place winner of $25. Hope everyone enjoyed participating and a sincere thank you for your support! I look forward to putting up the Feb give back event!

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