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Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

****This contest is now over. Thanks for all who entered!!******

In the spirit of the New Year, I decided that it’s time to give away some money! Don’t worry, it’s in my budget.

There are many ways to enter the contest, and some ways are more beneficial than others – for example, if you subscribe – I’ll enter your name in the drawing twice instead of just once.

Ways to Enter:

1) Subscribe to my website (Place your email in the Feedburner subscriber box on the right) – Worth 2 entries

2) Refer a subscriber (send the email of the person you referred via my “Contact/Advertise” tab) – Worth 5 entries

3) Follow me on Twitter – Worth 1 entry

4) Leave a Comment below regarding your goals for 2011 – Worth 1 entry

5) Link to this page from your website – Worth 2 entries

6) Review my website on alexa.comWorth 1 entry

There is no limit to the amount of entries you can earn. If you refer 10 subscribers – your name will be in the drawing 50 times!

I will be using to select the winner, and e-giftcard will be sent to your email.

The deadline for entries will end on January 31 at 11:59pm. Good luck to you all!



My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.


  1. My main goal for 2011 is to stay committed to blogging. Financially, my goals are to press my debt down to the point of non-existent. From there I’ll have to weigh my options but may consider increasing my borrowings for investments.

    + Now following you on Twitter.
    + Subscribed
    + wrote Alexa review
    + Will link to your site in an upcoming post one day

    • Great goals! They sound a lot like mine! I am going to continue updating my site with quality articles and attempt to increase traffic. Also, we are going to try to pay off all our debts by March, 2011. 🙂

      Looks like you’re in the lead with entries for the gift card! Sheesh. The only thing you don’t have is a referral! 😉

  2. I followed you on Twitter and subscribed to your email.

    My 2011 goals are cliche, but have to do with losing weight and a bit of paying down my student debt. I don’t have much doubt hat I can go through with the financial goals, but the weight goal is more likely to be difficult. I’ve never made a lose weight resolution before, so first time for everything!

    • Thanks for the comment Val! I’ll make sure to give you the proper number of entries. My wife and I are paying down some student loan debt too, and I have a vague goal to exercise more… I really enjoy going to the gym, and it’s just not in the budget right now, so I guess I’ll need to swim in the pool and do some jogging. 🙂

  3. A great contest! I guess this comment telling you that, just earned me an entry, huh? 🙂

    Have a great new year!

  4. Hello!

    Goals for 2011:
    1. Save 40% of our income at least
    2. Continue giving more to charity
    3. Fully paid for trip to Mexico

    • Wow! Save 40% of your income? That’s awesome! I appreciate your goals to give to charity as well. It’s great to give back isn’t it?

  5. My main goal is to make at least $18,000 from various websites and put most of it into debt repayment!

    I am subscribed to your RSS feed
    Following you on Twitter
    and have reviewed your website on Alexa.

    I hope you get a lot of new subscribers!

    • Awesome goal! I am still working on making my websites profitable. I would be ecstatic with $18,000!

  6. Here are my 2011 resolutions:

    1. Lose 20 pounds.
    2. Bring emergency fund up to $15,000.
    3. Make $15,000 through blogging.
    4. Fully fund 2 Roth IRA’s.

    • Great goals Crystal! I’m almost certain you’ll make $15,000 this year – your blog is great! Fully funding 2 Roth IRA’s would be amazing too! Thanks for sharing!

  7. Thanks and happy new year,

    I have subbed via feedburner
    Followed you on Twitter (@FrugalZeitgeist)
    Commented here 🙂
    Reviewed you on Alexa

  8. I am subscribed to you, I am following you on twitter and I am linking to this post in my tomorrow’s post. Goals for 2011:

    No goals! Haha! You know me, I don’t set goals. I don’t like resolutions. I have random thoughts LOL: pay off more debt, keep writing, keep working out, save up some money.

    • Haha, yep, I know you – no goals. Hey, it’s been working for you so far. I can see your Alexa Rank going sub 100,000 by next week! Thanks for the future link, subs, and twitter following – I’ll make sure to enter you in the drawing…multiple times. 😉

  9. My goal is to save a quarter of my income so that I can graduate debt free from college. I’m running The Saved Quarter Challenge and hope others with money saving goals will save along with me!

    + subscribed
    + following you on Twitter

    Good luck with your goals!

    • Sounds like a good goal to me! Thanks for subscribing – remember to verify it in your email as well! I’ll follow you on Twitter as well.

  10. my main goal is to get a literary agent. it would be a dream come true, and i’m really going to work towards that this year!

    • A literary agent huh? Like with book publishing? That sounds very impressive. I wish you the best of luck, and thanks for commenting. I’ll make sure to enter your name in the drawing!

  11. My goals for this year are
    1. Bring more art into my life – I’ve always been into art on the side but my day job is a software engineer so the artsy half is always marginalised. This year I want to get into drawing, visit museums more, and indulge the artistic side.
    2. Go back to school and work towards becoming a user experience engineer – I’ve found that this will be a good way to merge the artistic visual side with the engineering. Hoping I can make this happen.
    Good luck with your site.

    • @ S. Carvalho. Thanks for the comment and thanks for subscribing! I have my minor in engineering, so I can relate with you. I do not have much of an artsy side though…. so you’ve got me there. Great goals and good luck in school! 🙂

  12. #1
    I’m an e-mail subscriber.

  13. My 2011 financial goals include learning more about the financial world and investing and being more mindful about purchases.

    • Those are great goals to have! I always strive to learn more about my finances and investing as well (plus I write about it for everyone)! 🙂

      I’ll make sure to enter you in the drawing for the gift card. If you refer others, I’ll give you 5 extra entries per person! 🙂 Just thought I’d let you know.

  14. My goals for this year are to take better care of myself and not procrastinate as much.

    • Good goals! I have a problem with procrastinating as well, but I think I’m getting better at it.

  15. Follow on twitter @amandawk

  16. I’m an email subscriber and follow you on twitter.
    My 2011 goals are to learn more about personal finance and to get better at yoga.

    • Let me tell you, Yoga is hard! I tried it a few times and you need some serious stablizer muscles for that. Good luck with your goals!

    • Haha. Just don’t go into debt in order to do it! Pay with cash! 🙂

  17. Goals for 2011
    1. save quarter of our income
    2. pay off heloc
    3. pay cash for cruise to Mexico

    • Awesome goals! Saving a quarter of your income will give you a great feeling! And so will paying off that heloc!

  18. My 2011 goals:
    — Learn more about monetization.
    — Keep writing.
    — Keep traveling.

    • I will be learning more about monetization as well! I think once my Alexa rank dips below 200,000, then I’ll start focusing on it a little more. Thanks for the comment, I’ll enter you in the drawing! 🙂

  19. My goal is to reduce our expenditures enough so we are not dependent on full time work.

    • Great goal Hana! We have somewhat of a similar goal, but ours largely depends on our debts. If we get rid of our monthly debt payment, we should have enough income to slow down on our career work. Thanks for participating, I’m putting your name into the drawing as we speak!

  20. Subscribed, following on Twitter, visited Alexa site, and… my goal for 2011 is to find something hubby and I enjoy doing to make some extra income. We have no debt, but our income is 25% of what it was 5 years ago. We’ve come slowly to this point and it’s been both manage-able and funny. Frugal people to start with, we are now doing some funny stuff we thought we’d never do to save some $$ everywhere we can. Maybe that could be an article for you… what do you do now because of the economy you’d never think you could have before!

    • Great idea for an article! Thanks for stopping by Johannah. All of your comments have been great! I’ll make sure to enter you in our $25 gift card drawing. Refer some others to this site and you’ll get 5 more entries! 🙂

  21. I subscribed, tweeted, and followed. I like how simple your contest is. And your reason is sound. Right to the point. You’ll do great!

    • Excellent! Thanks Barb. You didn’t want to add any goals for 2011? It would give you another entry! 🙂

  22. I posted my goals for 2011 here from my bucket list–> My Goals for 2011. Here’s hoping I win the contest, maybe I’ll add that one! 😉

    • Nice list James! You want to learn conversational Spanish eh? I was once fairly fluent, but it’s been about 6 years since I’ve used it. Needless to say, I’m a little rusty. Yo sólo recuerda un poco de español. 🙂

  23. Thanks for the generous giveaway 🙂
    I am a Twitter follower! (aubreyfick)

    • I’ll make sure I put you in the entry Aubrey! Thanks for stopping by!

  24. Subscribed, following on twitter, and my goals for 2011 are to get out of debt, lose some weight, be a better employee and husband, help my blog continue its progression, and save a decent amount of money…..should be easy, right?

    • Wow! That’s a lot of goals! Do you have a plan to get out of debt before the end of the year? My wife and I are shooting for March and I am uber excited!

  25. I just subscribed!

  26. I subscribed to the site 🙂

    • Excellent! Glad to have you Ty. I’ll add your entries to the drawing! 🙂

  27. I follow on Twitter. @poisonsix9

  28. In 2011 I plan to establish an emergency fund.
    I plan to spend only within my means, no unnecessary purchases.
    I plan to save all spare change until the end of the year.
    I plan to give more to my children’s college fund.

  29. I plan to save more this year. I would like to find the best savings acct that I can. I’m thinking the one that I have is as good as it gets right now — 1.5%.
    My checking is at 3%, so I’m keeping as much as I can in there. I started a Roth IRA in Nov and I will try to increase my monthly contribution from $150 to $200 if I can.

    • Great job Sharon! That savings percent is a good one, and so is your checking! And, you won’t regret upping your monthly Roth IRA contribution either. That extra $50 will turn into $30,000 after 20 years (figuring 8% interest)! 🙂

  30. I did #1, 3, 4, and 6 so I get 6 entries? :p

    I set 5 financial goals for myself for 2011, haven’t set any (yet) for my personal goals, still working on that. I have so much stuff I want to do and change that I almost feel like there’s too many goals to choose from. Hmmm.

    I did set some money goals for 2011 though: Financially I want to 1 – Take at least another 4 courses for my degree. 2 – Total combined savings of $3000 by end of year. 3 – Trip to see family & pay cash 4 – Student Loan below $10,000. and 5 – net worth above $18,763.51.19 (which means accomplishing goal 1-4 first) Looking back now I think I may actually be able to pay off a little more debt – I just realized my income will be a whopping $7,000 more this year than last so I’m hoping to drop that nasty student loan below $8,000 or maybe lower!

    • I count 5 entries, but that’s still pretty good! Awesome goals! We are very close to paying off our student loans and I can’t wait! 🙂

  31. My lone financial goal for 2011:
    Eliminate all credit card debt.

    • Sounds like a good goal to me! I’ll give you your entry points for the comment, and good luck!

      • I am getting closer by the day! $4000 approximately left to go.

      • Also, subscribed in google reader a few days ago.

  32. 2011 Goals… GET BACK INTO SHAPE! Take lots of group exercise classes, sell and donate clothes, visit family a lot, and BUY A CONDO! I just checked out your Alexa site. I remember when this site was kickin it old school 😛 I’m glad you are receiving the recognition you deserve. You really write some great articles.

    • Thanks for checking out my site again! So you want to buy a condo huh? My wife and I have a similar goal – we’re looking to save up some money for a downpayment soon (after we get rid of our debt). I hope you’re still writing on your site too! I love how you are so transparent with your income and expenses. Keep it up, and good luck saving for that condo! 🙂

  33. I want to take better care of my health this year. I’m so busy worrying about everyone else’s needs and give my own lower priority.

    • Good point. I need to get out and exercise more often as well!

  34. Very nice, generous giveaway! Anyway, I’ve accomplished one of my goals, which was to find a better-paying job than my last teaching job (which is sort of a good thing, even though I’m going to miss teaching), but my biggest goal is to live as frugally as possible so I can get myself out of consumer debt and make a big dent in my student loan debt.

    I’ve already come a long way from where I was 6 months ago when I started my blog, and I have a long way to go. Here’s to a great year!

    • Sounds like you have really turned the corner on your finances. Congrats! Keep it up and you’ll surely accomplish the rest of your goals!

  35. Goals for 2011
    1) Get myself to a holistic doctor, since regular ones aren’t helping. Accomplished – now we’re working on getting rid of this cold/allergies/annoyances.
    2) Read all the unread books in my house. One down! Many, many more to go.
    3) Get the credit card balances to $0. Currently at $1500 and $3300. I will get very close, but I don’t know if I’ll get the balances to $0.

    I’ve been reading finance and personal blogs for well over three years, but it was late last year that I started implementing the harder aspects of PF. Biggest change: cooking dinner at home. Woo!

    • Congrats on setting goals for 2011! Good luck on keeping all of them (especially the credit card payoff).

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