Now that I’m in my 40s, with two kids graduated from college and only one left in school, I’ve decided it’s time to become debt-free. I’ve been a single mother for the last 22 years, and I’ve had to use credit cards to help me get through birthdays, Christmas, and my kids going to school. I would spend up my credit card and then I’d have to find a way to pay it down, and I don’t want to have that hanging over for me forever. 

“I was spending $3 to $4 on breakfast alone.”

When I first downloaded the app, I saw it had a lot of interesting money savings tips. I read stories of how other people decided to use the tips to help them save money, so I started cutting back on a lot of my spending as well. I decided that I would make lists whenever I go to the grocery store, to stay within the budget I had set. Then I prepared meals with whatever I bought so I wouldn’t have to purchase meals at work. I was spending $3 to $4 on breakfast alone (usually bacon, sausage, and eggs). I didn’t eat lunch at work that often, but when I did, I’d spend $10 to $14. On average, meal-prepping saved me about 20 bucks a week. 

“I always thought I wouldn’t be able to do that.” 

Doing this to save money actually killed two birds with one stone: Before I started meal-prepping, I was having all this pain in my stomach. And by not eating all this pork, I was able to eliminate the foods that were causing me pain. I drink protein drinks in the morning now, and I always thought I wouldn’t be able to do that. I didn’t believe in it. I was brought up in a country family that thought a full breakfast — biscuit, rice, bacon, egg, coffee — would get you through the day, but I’m learning the right protein drink will also help me get through a day.

“If I can adapt and change my ways, anybody can.”

I’ve lost about 15 pounds in the last six months, and I want to lose at least 100 pounds. I don’t want to be in pain. I don’t have grandchildren yet, but if I do, I want to be able to get on the floor and play with them. It’s those small things that people take for granted. I want to get off work every day, and if my daughter wants to go somewhere, I want to be able to take her, and not be like, “Oh, I’m too tired today.” 

I would encourage anybody to try the Challenge. We’re never too old to adapt to different things. If I can adapt and change my ways, anybody can.

Through the Thrive ZP Challenge, our community is making Better Choices, seeing big results, and winning big.

Stories from past winners, such as Sakina Madison, prove that every individual has the power to transform their life every day through a combination of small, sustainable changes and peer-to-peer inspiration.