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I can't believe the month of November is over! It's now time to announce the 50/50 Challenge finalists.

Why I Started the 50/50 Challenge

Too many personal finance bloggers focus on either cut expenses to the bone or how to make money online. Neither is wrong, but truthfully most of us need to do both. I wanted to encourage both frugality and entrepreneurship.

What's the Prize? Kindle Fire!

kindle fire We’re giving away a Kindle Fire! This is a big challenge to undertake and I think it deserves a fun prize. For those not familiar with the Kindle Fire, here are some features:

  • 7″ vibrant color touchscreen
  • Over 100,000 movies and TV shows re available to stream or download, purchase or rent
  • Kindle Fire gives you free storage for all your Amazon digital content in the Amazon Cloud
  • Battery Life: Up to 8 hours of continuous reading or 7.5 hours of video playback

I believe that having Kindle is a sweet little prize. I hope the winner enjoys using it.

50/50 Challenge Finalists

After reviewing everyone's goals and their progress, I feel really good about who picked. My original plan was to go with 5 finalists, but when I looked at all the comments, I saw that 4 stood out. Here are my reasons for picking the finalists.

I picked each of them for a few reasons:
  • Big Goal: Believe it or not, I expected people to set goals of $100-$200 range. These finalists have surpassed that and went big on their goals.
  • Regular Updates: I appreciated reading their updates. They were inspiring and exciting to read as I went through the Challenge myself.
  • Hard Work: They made sacrifices to reach their goals and didn't make any excuses. Whether they made the goal was my focus, it was the work involved.

Ok, here's what you've been waiting for – the finalist list!

  • Julie Anthony Murphy – Julie  is a new mom (congrats!), which can be very time and energy consuming  (speaking from personal experience 😛 ). However, she has regularly nailed vutting back expenses AND getting more income.
  • Sam from Financial Samurai – I've never known Sam to be a sit on the sidelines person, so when I his first comment I knew he would dive in with both feet!
  • Max from Maximizing Money – Max has lived up to his name and gotten a great deal on selling 2 of his guitars. He for the word out and managed to snag a nice little profit.
  • Darris – I love that Darris gives consistent updates on her progress. Achieving goals takes accountability and she has been regularly commenting on her challenge.

Congrats to all of them for their effort. I wish all of the the best.

Pick the Winner

Now it's up to you to decide who's the 50/50 Champion. I'll need your votes to decide who gets the prize. Please leave your pick in the comments below. Not required, but I'd also love to hear why you pick that person. Did they inspire you? Were they creative with finding extra money? I also ask that you could spread the word on your favorite on Twitter and Facbook.

You'll have until December 4, 2011 (11:59 PM Eastern) to vote. After tallying and confirming I'll announce the winner on Couple Money. Best wishes to all of our finalists!

Thoughts on the 50/50 Challenge

What do you think about the 50/50 Challenge? Should I do it again sometime? Any suggestions on making it better?

About Elle Martinez

Elle Martinez helps families at Couple Money achieve financial freedom by sharing tips for reducing debt, increase income, and building net worth. Learn how to live on one income and have fun with the second..

65 comments add your comment

  1. my vote goes to Julie Anthony Murphy! Way to go, you saved a ton more than you expected AND you’ve got a new baby in the house!!

  2. My vote goes to Julie Anthony Murphy! She deserves this so much or how she inspires others to SAVE SAVE SAVE!

  3. My vote goes to Julie Anthony! Congrats!!! I think it’s awesome how much you save!

  4. I feel that Julie Murphy should win this kindle product because she is a new mom and may need some new tech to help her relax when the baby naps!!

  5. I am voting for Julie Anthony Murphy…..she is a hard-working, diligent new Mom, who we like to call the “Coupon Queen of Queens”. Julie is crafty, thrifty and saves her Family and others a LOT of money with her guidance and experience on the subject. I am always amazed at the stories she has to tell about how much in $$$$$ she continues to save on all her shopping journeys.

  6. My vote is for Julie Murphy! She is always looking out for others to save them some money. And as a new mother this would be a great item for her!

  7. Thanks for the nod of confidence!

    The challenge has really helped me realize some things:

    1) Getting income and one’s portfolio right supersedes any kind of cost cutting, since there’s only so much one can do.

    2) Following up with international clients, even on Thanksgiving (see can and will lead to positive income.

    3) There are many more needs than one thinks.

    4) People take care of their own.



    • Thanks Sam for picking up on #1. I do believe that frugality has its place with finances as we all need to evaluate how to maximize our money. However it’s possible to also boost income, either temporarily or on a long term basis.

  8. My vote is for JULIE MURPHY!! She is my WIFE and I am blessed to have her as my wife!! She has done a tremendous job being a new mother and she blesses so many other people’s lives. She is a beautiful person inside and out and she deserves any good that comes her way 🙂

  9. My vote is for Julie Murphy. She has been a welcome addition to our family. Not sure if her ambition outdistances her intellect but she has plenty of both. And she is one heck of a Mom. Grandpa

  10. Julie Murphy is an energetic bright light to many! I vote for Julie : )

  11. Thank you for the acknowledgment Elle! Because of my unusual name I am often mistaken for a male but in fact, am a female. I’m a 56 year-old mom of an amazing teenage son and married to a dreamboat husband. With four, full, floor to ceiling bookshelves in the house I could really use a Kindle! It would be another way to earn income . . . or better yet, donate the books to our local school and library. Thanks again Elle!

  12. I vote for Julie. Every mom saviors the little bit of quiet time they get each day and what better way to enjoy it then with a kindle!!

  13. Thanks for the opportunity Elle! Thanks for choosing me as a finalist!! I am so excited and thankful. I have gotten the word out on my Facebook page. I learned a lot through the challenge and was surprised at how much I did save. I think its a great idea to do another challenge in the future. I also liked the posts you did on grocery food shopping and making homemade baby food.

    Thanks again for the opportunity:)

  14. I cast my vote enthusiastically for Julie Anthony Murphy. She and her husband are awesome people and I know that she would be thrilled to win this prize for her efforts in this contest. May God continue to bless the “Murphy 3 !”

  15. Thank you very much for selecting me and for running this contest. It really helped to get me motivated. I think the biggest thing I learned was that saving and earning more money requires constant effort and reflection. Once you become complacent and lose focus, things tend not to change, but if you keep putting forth effort, you can always achieve bigger and better goals.

    I’d like to cast a vote if that’s allowed for Darris. I just found her updates to be full of great little ideas for cost-cutting, plus she canceled her Audible account as well as her account, and she stopped her yoga class, so that’s some dedication. I haven’t even been able to cut my Sirius subscription, which I don’t even listen to that much lately. Plus, since she mentioned her reading habit here, she’ll definitely get good use out of the prize.

    However, I have to give credit to Julie, as she started cloth diapering, and that’s pretty major in my book. Hope you’ve had good luck with getting your husband on board, I know I’d just want to throw that mess in the garbage like any other guy I’m sure.

    I also give kudos to Sam for going big-time with the challenge. No guts, no glory.

    Thank you, Elle, great job with the challenge.

  16. I vote for Julie Anthony! All the best to you and you’re family!

  17. Hi Elle,
    My vote is for Julie Murphy. For me, the proof is in the pudding. How can you argue with bringing in more income; especially when it is so easy to spend spend spend with a newborn. Go Julie go!

  18. Julie lives life with gusto and with like fashion rose to the challenge of saving and reigning in her expenses. Great job Julie.

  19. And I can say from experience Max, that you are right on the money with Julie’s efforts in cloth diapering but it’s not only cost savings, it’s best for the planet : ) Hang in there Julie, you’ll end up potty training with gusto!

  20. my vote is for julie murphy. she is my daughter-in-law. she is an answer to prayer for a wife for my son !!!! pray for your kids spouses, God has a plan !!!

  21. I vote for Darris!! She has inspired me financially as well as being a walking inspiration in all she does.

  22. My vote goes to Julie Anthony Murphy! She is an awesome Mom and Saver!

  23. My vote is for Darris! She DEFINITELY deserves this Kindle!!!! Come on people show her some love!!!!!

  24. Julie Anthony Murphy! she’s got ‘cent’s’ smarts and common ‘cents’!
    her saving trips (aka: shopping trips) are most inspiring and awesome!

  25. Julie has my vote. She gave me some great pointers to save money and maximize coupons. More importantly, her giving spirit is pure. I’d love to see her be on the receiving end!

  26. I vote for Darris. As her husband it’s fun and inspiring to see the integrity she brings to a new focus/project. She made saving and making more money fun. And a Kindle could definitely support her longer standing mantra of, “simplify, simplify.”

  27. I vote for Darris. She’s my mom and a new kindle would help consolidate the shelves of books in the house.