The ‘Get Your Finances Off to a Good Start’ Giveaway!

by Kelly · 78 comments

in Giveaways

This contest is now closed.

A new year means new financial resolutions. And to help you along, Almost Frugal is giving away a fantastic financial planning tool package to help you succeed (finally!) in keeping your New Year’s Resolutions.

A year’s subscription to Pear Budget. I’m so excited about this one! I think Pear Budget is a great service, and easy to set up. And beyond being easy to set up, it’s easy to use, which will make tracking your saving and spending second nature in no time.

What else do I like about it? You’re not adding any sensitive financial information to the system, so it’s completely secure. And I love that you can access it from anywhere: my husband could enter his receipts on his lunch break at work, while I might want to check our budget from a computer at school. It’s customizable too- you don’t need to fit into one category or another in order to use it.

My only quibble? It’s a picky and persnickety one: I wish that you could choose the currency you’re entering your data in (even though it makes no difference whatsoever).

Edited to add: Guess what? It turns out that you can change your currency! Charlie writes: “just click on your e-mail address (upper right corner of the page) and there’s a place where you can input your currency (it defaults to ‘$’, but can take anything).”

A year’s subscription to Green Candy. What’s Green Candy? It is an annual subscription program and financial assessment tool that “aims to get Gen Y-ers on the right financial track before the debt hits the fan.” While designed for the 18 to 34 year-old set, Green Candy is actually full of good advice and information. Using lessons and exercises in the ‘pods’ of budgeting, debt, investing, risk management, major purchases, charity and Gen-Y problems, Green Candy “encourages users to start their journey to financial responsibility by focusing on their most daunting financial weak spots.” Check the volume on your computer before clicking on the link, as there’s an automatic video launch.

A deck of NURU’s Personal Finance Cards: 30 ultra-thin, waterproof, and durable pocket-sized plastic cards that take potentially complex topics and break them down into easy, everyday language, using simple examples to make the concepts stick. Such topics include investing, loans, credit, insurance, retirement vehicles, etc.

What’s more, those who purchase Personal Finance will be able to access the deck’s content on their mobile phone or computer. These cards actually really helped me when I was studying for my Economics’ exam- they make complicated information easy to understand!

A beta subscription to Pocket Smith. PocketSmith takes a unique calendar-based approach to your money that you can easily identify with and use. This makes working with real-world forecasts fast and easy. You enter your goal, and the amount of money you can dedicate to meeting the goal, and the system shows you ways of getting there.

These four tools will work together and help you be smarter about money and your finances. I’ll be posting over the next few months on my progress in keeping my financial resolutions for 2009, using these tools and others.

There are four ways to enter:

1. Leave a comment on this post with your financial resolution for 2009.
2. Tweet about this on Twitter, and make sure I find out about it.
3. Post about this giveaway on your blog, then make sure I find out about it.
4. Stumble any post from Almost Frugal and make sure I find out about it.

This contest begins on Monday, January 5, 2009 at 12 noon GMT and ends on Tuesday, January 13, 2009 at 12 noon GMT. It is open to entries worldwide. Best of luck!


1 Jessica January 5, 2009

My financial resolution is to actually keep the budget we have written down and save the money we always plan to save every month!

2 Lucie @ Unconventional Origins January 5, 2009

My financial goal is the same as Jessica’s. This year I want to actually stick to the budget I make! It HAS to happen.

Lucie @ Unconventional Origins´s last blog post..Ringing in the New Year Part III – Setting Goals

3 marissa January 5, 2009

My one and only resolution this year is to get rid of all credit card debt! We made slight progress last year, but this year- it’s going for good!!

marissa´s last blog post..Neither rain, nor sleet, nor snow….

4 Therese January 5, 2009

I plan to make more healthy meals at home and eat out less often.

5 Denise January 5, 2009

My goal is to keep detailed records of how we are spending our money. We have found this is the greatest motivation to stay within our budget. I have also started a blessings book, where I write bargains and blessings, often unexpected, that have helped us stay within budget.

6 Kimberly January 5, 2009

My goal is to get my financial house in order – actually track spending and save (in a bank, ING) at least $1,000 per month.

7 Umberto January 5, 2009

My goal is to set aside money for college

8 Carrie January 5, 2009

My financial resolution would be to stay within our budget on food and household…the hardest 2 categories for me for some reason and for my husband to be able to quit his 2nd job.

9 Sarah January 5, 2009

My financial resolutions are to not buy what I don’t need (specifically, bath products… I have too many!) and to use any leftovers in my transportation budget to save for a bike.

I’m also working on trimming my budget and upping my savings.

10 Jason January 5, 2009

I resolve to live below my means and to rebuild my nest egg that has been blow apart by being out of work for four years undertaking study and Peace Corps service. With the birth of my daughter, it is time I return to the work world and save for her future.

11 Ashley @ Wide Open Wallet January 5, 2009

My financial resolution is to pay off my husband’s car and start a replacement car fund.

Ashley @ Wide Open Wallet´s last blog post..Interview with Mrs. Money

12 Kasey January 5, 2009

Resolution 1 is to stop wasting money, especially when I see a sale or have a coupon – it’s not a bargain just because it’s cheap. I need to be especially careful in the health & beauty category.

13 Angela V-C January 5, 2009

I’ve decided to make monthly resolutions this year rather than one big yearly resolution. Some of my monthly resolutions are financial — a one-month coffee diet in which I vow not to buy coffee outside of the house for a month, one month I’m going to try to reduce my grocery bill by 5%. This is a year with a lot of big financial stresses for me (new baby, possible kitchen remodel), so I’m try to focus on small bits of time!

Oh and for everyone making resolutions, we use yodlee, which is a free bank account/money manager to keep track of our expenses, spending, and net worth. It’s a good tool and free is the best price!

Angela V-C´s last blog post..Finding the Perfect School

14 CarrieO January 5, 2009

We’re going to pay off my husband’s student loan and our 2nd mortgage.

15 EmJay January 5, 2009

My goal is to create a budget with my hubby and stick to it. We would like to lower/eliminate our debt, have 6 months of living expenses in savings and bolster our retirement accounts.

16 CC January 5, 2009

I've always lived within my means, but have never actually kept track of my spending or saved much. So this year, I'd like to make a budget and live within it so I can try to save up to buy a house. Thanks for the chance to win and happy new year!

17 Heather January 5, 2009

Our financial resolution for 2009 is to double our “emergency fund”. We currently only have about two months living expenses, which is not enough for our one-income family.

18 Sarah H. January 5, 2009

My financial resolution is to increase my passive income earnings!

Sarah H.´s last blog post..Thank you, Walgreens, for frugally satisfying my candy cane addiction

19 Amanda January 5, 2009

I didn’t make any resolutions this year, but due to some careful planning we will almost certainly be credit card debt free with a substantial amount in our emergency fund!

20 Julie January 5, 2009

My plan in 2009 is to track every penny I spend!

21 Angie January 6, 2009

This year, I’m going to spend less money on clothes and only make purchases if something is worth it for the price or it’s something that I absolutely love.

22 jen January 6, 2009

My financial resolution is to save a portion of my paycheck towards my emergency savings fund.

jen´s last blog post..decorating inspiration…

23 Benjamin January 6, 2009

I will be debt free this year and will also finally have that rainy day fund!

24 Amiyrah January 6, 2009
25 Vintage Mommy January 6, 2009

My resolution is to find a way to live on just one income (my husband's) and sock mine away (just a little bit from a part-time job).

<abbr>Vintage Mommy´s last blog post..A Big Milestone and a Small Milestone</abbr>

26 jenny January 6, 2009

Save enough money to support my elderly father is this year's resolution!

<abbr>jenny´s last blog post..Annual Book Roundup 2008</abbr>

27 kate January 6, 2009

become debt free-almost there!!

<abbr>kate´s last blog post..We Must Be Doing Something Right</abbr>

28 Jb January 6, 2009

I have a few financial resolutions for 2009, but an ambitious one I have is to not buy a new clothes this year…at all.

<abbr>Jb´s last blog post..Beware the Pitfalls of Being Eager in Your Payments</abbr>

29 Maren January 6, 2009

Get out of debt.

30 Lauren January 6, 2009

Our resolution is to save money (and be wise in our spending) so we can be prepared to have a baby this year!

31 Erin G January 6, 2009

oooh, count me in. My husband and I are establishing an emergency fund as one of our resolutions this year. I blogged about it here:

thanks for the great giveaways!

<abbr>Erin G´s last blog post..First Big Boy Shoes</abbr>

32 Jason January 6, 2009

(BTW – don’t count this as an entry 🙂 )

My main financial resolution for 2009 is to pay off three debts this year (a loan and two credit cards) – I have a goal of paying off all my debts (aside from the house) by October 2010. A related resolution is to increase my online income.

Jason´s last blog post..Making Resolutions That Work – Financial Or Otherwise

33 Robin January 6, 2009

Get rid of unused/unneeded HELOC and close a bunch of credit cards.

Make a will.

<abbr>Robin´s last blog post..Links for 2009-01-04 []</abbr>

34 liz January 6, 2009

Neat! I have been trying to decide if Pear Budget is worth the money for me. It looks useful. Our money goal this year is to live on one paycheck (I make substatially more) and save the other. 5 days in, we're doing OK. 😉

<abbr>liz´s last blog fog after a week of -40 temps</abbr>

35 NancyJNB January 6, 2009

Resolutions for 2009……Get rid of credit card debt, save more (I don't need everything I want RIGHT NOW), and hide money saved from spouse as he believes that money that you have is money to be spent.

36 Beth Ryan January 6, 2009

What a great giveaway. I'm using the trial Pear and I really like it

37 Heather January 6, 2009

I am hoping to pay off all my debt this year (~$25,000). I have many long term goals that I’ve set in place, and this is just the beginning! 🙂

38 Kara January 6, 2009

My 2009 financial goal is to pay off my auto loan and installment loan! If I stay on track I should accomplish this goal by the Fall, and this giveaway would only help with the progress. Thanks Kelly! 🙂

Kara´s last blog post..The break is over – Happy 2009!

39 amaranta January 6, 2009

Keep funding my e-fund, and close some credit cards

40 Frugal Trenches January 6, 2009

Yes please! What a fab giveaway!

Frugal Trenches´s last blog post..What do you do?

41 Melinda January 6, 2009

Our goal is to get rid of all consumer debt.

Melinda´s last blog post..Back by Popular Demand

42 Lori January 6, 2009

Our financial goal this year is to actually have a emergency fund and get credit cards paid off. I kind of did some rough figuring and figured out why we don’t have an emergency fund and why we owe so much on the credit cards!

43 Christa January 6, 2009

Make an actual budget…don’t just assume that we don’t spend a lot of money so we’re probably doing fine. 🙂

44 MB@WrittenByHerself January 6, 2009

My fiance’s and my financial resolution is to complete our emergency fund (to cover 6 months of expenses) and start designating 10% of our income to saving for a house.

45 Jenn U January 6, 2009

We’re buckling down, and will be debt free in 2009…that’s the plan, and we’re going to STICK TO IT! (My own personal pep talk…)

Jenn U´s last blog post..Service Provider Review: Cheerful Chimney Sweep

46 Ryan B January 6, 2009

I’ll be using a budget and tracking my spending in order to regularly save specific amounts each month. I’ll be saving for new musical equipment, travel to Central America, and a deposit for my first home!

47 JenC January 6, 2009

My number one financial goal for 2009 is to pay off my one remaining credit card.

48 Paul Brycki January 6, 2009

My financial resolution is to sit down and do the budget that we have been meaning to do, and continue to get it done every month, as well as educate the kids on spending.

49 Jill January 7, 2009

My goal this year is to get my budget, spending and debt under control, so I no longer have moments of panic (like 2am!) about the house of cards falling down. We are making it month to month, but one wrong thing, and it’s blown. Enough. Debt needs to go away, so I don’t have to say “sorry kids, we are out of money this week.” I don’t use credit cards any more, but simple things like needing to get my brakes check and any possible charges from that shouldn’t be so stress inducing. We can do it with effort and diligence – we being myself and two children.

50 Jamie Griffith January 7, 2009

New Years Resolution
Pay down debt!

51 alison January 7, 2009

Start and stick to a budget and save for a house.

52 Metromom January 7, 2009

My financial goal is to earn more, especially since my husband just lost his job. I’ve been working part time since my kids were born and am able to increase my hours in the office, I’m trying to get more freelance work, and I’m starting a new business with a friend. We hope that the extra income will enable us to continue to afford health insurance and enable us to continue to pay down debt.

53 Tito January 7, 2009

My goal this year is to stay under budget, pay down debt, stock my RothIRA, and save up for a house.

54 Kelly January 7, 2009

@Metromom, I’m sorry to hear about your husband’s job- good luck on your plans!

55 Kelly January 7, 2009

@Jill, I understand all about the 2am panic attacks!
@Everybody- I’m so impressed about the scope of your resolutions! There’s so much debt to be paid off, but I’m hearing a lot of determination too.

56 Keilah January 7, 2009

My husband and I are in the process of being debt free. We plan to have one of our two credit cards paid off and hopefully pay down half of the other. We are also planning on selling our car that we a have a loan for and drive an older but paid for car. This will be interesting driving a 1991 Suburban around Orange County. But I don’t care because it is paid for!

Keilah´s last blog post..Kids Say The Darnest Things

57 Nicole January 8, 2009

Love the giveaway items! Perfect for the time of year where everyones resolution is to be more conscious of what we’re spending, including myself!

58 Cindy January 8, 2009

We have a monthly deposit that automatically goes into savings – my goal is to be able to ACTUALLY leave it alone so that we begin to have a small savings account!

59 wendy wallach January 8, 2009

My financial resolution is to save all my loose change in a big jar and use it for a family vacation later on in the year.

madamerkf at aol dot com

60 Jenny January 8, 2009

I want to pay off our vehicle loan by June. I also use weekly meal plans to save money and not eat out so much. I would like to do a better job of sticking to these meal plans and not deviating from it.

Jenny´s last blog post..Happy New Year!

61 Kath January 8, 2009

Prepay for our travel expenses, not put them on our credit card this year.

Kath´s last blog post..Craftiness

62 Anni January 9, 2009

what a great giveaway! woo-hoo!

63 Shevy January 9, 2009

Pay down at least $6,000 of our debt. (I have other financial goals too, that I’ve blogged about but this is the most important one.)

64 Brian January 9, 2009

great giveaway

Brian´s last blog post..Which would you rather do? Pay for waffles or jail?

65 pam munro January 10, 2009

My husband and I are already paying down our credit cards. I would like to re-spark myself with the enthusiasm to be able to put some money away toward a future goal – a trip perhaps? – however little that may be….

66 Gypsie January 10, 2009

My financial goal for this year is to get rid of Credit Card debt. We have too much!

67 Jaimie January 10, 2009

My financial goal for 2009 is to buy as little as possible. I will either make, repurpose, buy used, or buy handmade if at all possible for all of our needs.

68 Kelly K. January 10, 2009

Our goal is to make the largest lump sum permitted on our mortgage anniversary. I will forgo the ridiculous amount of magazines bought on impulse and subscribe to three instead. We will eat out only once a week (instead of twice) and we will set up automatic transfers of 10% of paycheques to our NO TOUCH savings account. Fingers crossed!

69 Megan January 10, 2009

Our financial goal is to pay off a household loan, a credit card, and my car loan.

70 Rachel January 10, 2009

Be disciplined with the budget we have.
They’re easy to make, but hard to follow sometimes!

Rachel´s last blog post..Mini Scrapbook

71 Courtney January 11, 2009

Thanks for the chance to win! One of my financial resolutions for 2009 is to stay within my own personal “fun” money budget for the year. I ALWAYS go over, so my goal is to only spend what’s been budgeted.

Courtney´s last blog post..But we don’t even own a horse…

72 Quadelle January 11, 2009

The goal this year is to stay within our very tight grocery budget.

Quadelle´s last blog post..New Year’s Eve

73 Francine January 11, 2009

My financial goal for the year is to start and build up our savings by automatically transferring 10% of my income to a savings account.

Francine´s last blog post..Just a heads up

74 LeAnne January 12, 2009

My financial resolution this year is to make my debt snowball significantly smaller.

LeAnne´s last blog post..I’ve Been Tagged!!

75 Meegan January 12, 2009

Hi Kelly!
Awesome competition – perfect for this time of the year.

One of our goals for this year to is to save the difference between our current rent and a mortgage payment on a realistic loan amount.

76 shannon January 12, 2009

pay off our student loans. finally

<abbr>shannon´s last blog post..Nourishing New Year’s Goals</abbr>

77 Kristen January 12, 2009

Our financial goal this year is to pay off credit card debt once and for all. (We're getting closer!…)

Thanks for the giveaway!

78 Amy W. January 12, 2009

My financial goal for 2009 is to contribute at least 5% of my income to my 401(k) plan every paycheck.

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