Moven is proud to announce the winner of our “Live Rich, Spend Smart” 2014 contest: Jill Kathan.
During the month of January Moven received submissions that resulted in thousands of shares and reached over 3 million people all over the U.S. about how they make smarter spending decisions to live rich each and every day. Many of the stories were inspiring, but one stood out the most.
Detroit is a city under siege. The recent financial crisis has had a devastating impact as auto manufacturers shuttered factories, banks foreclosed on homes, and the city even filed for bankruptcy.
Despite all this, it is still a city full of hope. There are many who still call it home and remain steadfast in their belief that Detroit will rise again. Among these is our winner, Jill Kathan.
A graduate of Michigan State, she served her city for seven years as an elementary school teacher. After marrying her sweetheart and having their first child, she chose to stay home with her daughter, Kelsey Anne. But that hasn’t kept her from volunteering at her daughter’s school whenever she can and keeping a strong network of friends and family around her.
Being a stay-at-home mom was part of Jill’s live rich and spend smart mentality. Switching from a dual to a single income household meant a tighter budget, but more time together as a family.
Jill and her husband met the challenge to live rich and spend smart in three ways.
Honoring the Future
Jill and her husband are always thinking about their future selves. Whether buying their first home, saving up for a dream car, or planning for retirement, every dollar was given a purpose. Together they have a clear set of long term goals that helps define how they spend day to day.
“When you plan, it’s easier to save,” she says. “We have a family budget and know what we’re going to spend and not spend. We have even started planning ahead for Christmas!”
Managing Money Hand in Hand
For any of their plans to succeed, Jill and her husband practice another spend smart, live rich principle: managing their money hand in hand. The two of them are in constant communication about their spending choices. With a clear vision of their shared future together, they almost never fight and find that working so closely together keeps their marriage strong.
“I am very communicative with my husband about money. Both of us always know what is going on with our money since we’re both equal partners in this,” Jill states.
Choosing Gratitude over Debt
The final piece of Jill’s approach to living rich and spending smart is to always choose gratitude over debt. Any budget, no matter how rich, always has its limits. And it’s always tempting to choose debt over making difficult choices. Jill and her husband have found that practicing gratitude for what they have, rather than obsessing over what they can’t afford has helped them maintain their financial health. They almost exclusively use debit cards and only buy what they can afford.
And now that her six-and-a-half year old daughter is old enough for an allowance, Jill is passing on her philosophies to her as well.
“Not only am I not living with debt, but I am teaching my daughter the importance of money. She knows she can’t have something if she doesn’t have the money for it in her piggy bank,” says Jill.
So join us in congratulating Jill and her family for living rich and spending smart. You’ll be hearing more about her and other contestants. We hope that they are an inspiration and help you reflect on the many ways that you can live rich and spend smart!
A big thank you to our partners David Bach, Wisebread, GoGirlFinance, Phroogal, Rockstar Finance, and MoneyDesktop for their support.
What are David Bach’s tips on how to live rich? Watch them here!