The Bingo Sheet 💰

It’s funny how you can make anything into a game.

On gym days I’ve started doing this thing where after our boot camp I reward myself by grabbing a basketball and shooting around for a while, patting myself on the back for making it. But then I started feeling guilty for having fun when I’m supposed to be “working out,” so I made this arbitrary rule that I can play for however long I want, but I’m not allowed to *leave* until I make a half-court shot :)

Which in itself is pretty hard of course, but then I added a twist where when I miss it I have to RUN AFTER THE BALL and try over and over and over again, running back and forth from opposite sides of the court, until finally making it. And when that got easier because I’m now better at making shots!, I upped the game to making THREE half-court shots before leaving, and then after each one I drop to the ground and do 15 pushups for good measure 😂

I often wonder what the people around me must think watching this lunatic running around launching balls into the air and then falling to the floor, but it’s made my gym days 3x more exciting while still accomplishing the mission.

I thought of this when I got the following message, only instead of silly basketball games it’s a savings one!

Years ago you shared a simple grid which my husband and I call the bingo sheet – each square contains a dollar amount to put away each week and at the end of the year, if done faithfully, results in saving an extra $1k.

I use this every year, but with a twist: I try to double or even triple the amount each week to save even more. This year I’m on track to hit $4k… it’s really a fun way to save, so thank you for sharing that!!

– Denise B.

Beautiful!! She made savings fun by taking on the challenge, and then when she was ready to up the game she threw in a twist! Because why not?! Life is boring playing it straight… Sometimes you gotta shake it up!

Here’s that “bingo sheet,” made by the fabulous Jamie from

money saving chart[Click to download]

As Denise mentioned, the game is pretty straightforward: each week just pick a new square, then throw in the corresponding amount right into savings – and BOOM! You’ll have an extra $1,000 by the end of the year, which just so happens to be the amount you should spend on me for Christmas ;)

And if you really want to *see* your results, open up a brand new savings account and start saving fresh so it doesn’t get muddled with all your other dollars! You want to SEE and FEEL your progress as much as you can so it continues to motivate you. Then when you’re done, empty it out and challenge yourself next year with a twist!

It really can be as easy as that. This stuff isn’t complicated, but oftentimes our *emotions* can be. I don’t know why we’re wired like we are, but keep trying new ways to keep it fun and fresh, and with a little luck you’ll be FIREd in no time…

Thanks for reading today! Have a very merry holiday season, and we’ll see you out there on the courts (like a wild man) 🎄🏀

j. money signature

PS: If this challenge doesn’t dingle your dongle, here are 8 more to try on.

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  1. Robin December 13, 2023 at 6:26 AM

    I did this same sheet a couple of years ago, but multiplied it by 10

    1. J. Money December 13, 2023 at 11:19 AM

      oh $hit – you don’t play around, lol…

  2. Jim December 13, 2023 at 11:40 AM

    I like it J, thanks for sharing. I think instead of putting into savings though, I’d put it into my stack of SCHD which then pays a quarterly dividend. Anyway, love the half court shots you’re making, I’d prolly be there all day and night waiting to make one. Happy Holidays Brotha!

    1. J. Money December 14, 2023 at 4:31 PM

      I’ll shoot one tomorrow morning in your honor! :)

  3. J December 13, 2023 at 12:41 PM

    I like this idea, but I think I’m going to modify it to make those investments into our taxable brokerage account instead. I’m good with our tax advantaged accounts (401k, Roth, HSA, etc), and I’m very good with putting money into more liquid interest earning accounts (Savings, CDs, MMA). I’ve been sluggish on getting the taxable brokerage up just because there is only so much money, and it makes our year-end tax situation messier. That being said, we do need some more tax diversity in our investments.

    1. J. Money December 14, 2023 at 4:34 PM

      I remember that feeling well! Took me 10 years to finally pull the trigger on our brokerage, but as you can suspect once you get going it’s not bad at all :) Make this challenge the impetus to start and I guarantee you’ll be happy you did! Even if it only makes your brain feel better about taking action on it once and for all 👊

  4. Impersonal Finances December 13, 2023 at 5:58 PM

    Love the bingo sheet idea–I still prefer to automate everything, which is a lot more boring, but boring gets results in the world of personal finances! Maybe I’ll convert it to an activity bingo sheet–might be a way for me to cut down on my dining out budget!

    1. J. Money December 14, 2023 at 4:36 PM

      Hah – that’s a good idea!! Could also make it a charity card too really? Every week donate (or tip?) the amount and end up doing $1,000 by the end of the year – not bad!

  5. Bryan December 14, 2023 at 7:51 AM

    Superfun chart! Take your game up a notch by knocking out a burpee instead of a push-up :-)

    1. J. Money December 14, 2023 at 4:41 PM

      Haha… I would, but we already do those in the class I take right before I hit the courts! Our instructor likes to make us do one every time the word “Thunder” comes up in AC/DCs “Thunderstruck” song – which is about a billion 💀

      1. Bryan December 15, 2023 at 7:11 AM

        You’re crushing it!

  6. Financial Fives December 14, 2023 at 1:23 PM

    Love the $0 squares, gives you permission to splurge a little, on a coffee, tennis racket, treating a friend, or cooking utensil!

    1. J. Money December 14, 2023 at 4:43 PM

      You just went shopping didn’t you? :)

  7. Megan December 17, 2023 at 3:44 PM

    I think I may use this idea, but put the money in my student loan payoff bucket. I have a stretch goal to pay off the last $15,000 or so in 2024, this would help.

    1. J. Money December 18, 2023 at 12:37 PM

      That’s a fantastic idea!! Double the win since you get to clear some extra *interest* away with it! DO IT! :)


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