Are you looking to jumpstart your savings? Does saving money feel too hard or even too boring at times? Why not turn saving into a game and complete a 6-month saving challenge?
By completing a 6-month money challenge, you’ll end up with a pot of money, form new money-saving habits along the way, and be inspired to keep on saving.
Ready to get started? Read on to learn how to successfully complete a 6-month savings challenge!
What is a 6-month saving challenge and why should you do one?
First things first – what exactly is a 6-month saving challenge? There are many ways to complete one, which we’ll go into more detail about below.
But the main idea is that you save a little bit of money every week for the entire six months. And by the end of the challenge, you will have saved up thousands – yes, thousands – of dollars!
Second, you might be wondering, "why should you try this challenge?" There are many different types of money saving challenges out there. Why this one?
Well, for anyone who is serious about saving, there is nothing better than a 6-month saving challenge. Here are some reasons to try one for yourself:
1. Helps you reach a specific financial goal quickly
Do you have a specific financial goal you’re working toward? This challenge is especially great for someone who already has a financial goal in mind, like saving for an epic summer vacation or paying off credit card debt.
This is a great way to kick off your savings and reach your financial goal, especially if you’ve had trouble in the past saving for the future.
2. Proves to yourself that you can save
A positive, growth-oriented mindset is one of the most powerful financial tools you can leverage. One reason why you might not have a positive mindset when it comes to your finances? You haven’t yet seen the evidence that you can actually successfully save.
When you complete a challenge, that negative mindset will all begin to change. You will prove to yourself that you really can save. This will cause your confidence to increase and inspire you to try even more things!
3. A 6-month money challenge makes saving fun!
This reason is quite simple – participating in a challenge is fun! It’s fun to track your weekly savings, see it add up, and figure out what you need to do to ensure you meet your weekly savings goals.
Sometimes it really does help to put a little bit of fun and play back into something that can feel as serious as personal finance. Adults don’t have as much fun as we should to begin with. There’s no reason why you can’t treat saving like a game, with the prize being a ton of money!
4. Sets you up with good savings habits that reach beyond the 6-month saving challenge
The most impactful benefit of participating in this challenge is what will happen after it’s over. Sure, over the course of the challenge, you’ll save thousands of dollars. That will put you all that much closer to reaching your financial goals.
But, the real, lasting benefits of the challenge are the habits you’ll have created. If you stick to something for six whole months, you’re likely to integrate that habit into your life without having to even think about it. You will have turned yourself into a money-saving master!
Two ways to do the 6-month money challenge
The idea behind the challenge is to save a specific amount of money every week for the entire period. You can do this any way you want. Whether you save $5 a week or $500, you will still end up on top at the end of the challenge!
But it helps to have more guidance than that. So, here are two ways to complete the challenge that will save you either $2,000 or $5,000!
Option 1: Save $2,106
This is an excellent option for those looking to ease into saving, while still accumulating over $2,000 in savings in just six months. This is how to do this version of the challenge:
During the first week, you save $6.
Then, every week after that you contribute $6 more to your savings account than you did the previous week (i.e., on week two you save $12, week three $18, week four $24, and so on).
By the end of the challenge (week twenty-six), you will contribute $156.
And, by the end, your savings will amount to $2,106!
Option 2: Save $5,018
Want to save even more? If you’re really serious about saving in a short amount of time, try out this version.
This will help you save over $5,000 in just six months! It’s hard work, but it is worth it to see that number in your savings account:
Every week you save the same amount – $193. It’s really that simple and straightforward!
Alternatively, you could contribute twice that amount ($386) every other week. This is a smart option for those who get bi-weekly paychecks. Whenever your paycheck hits, you can automatically deposit $386 into your savings.
By the end of this version of the challenge, your savings will total $5,018!
How to successfully complete your 6-month saving challenge
Setting the goal to save a certain amount of money or do a 6-month savings challenge is one thing. But that’s just the first step, and, quite frankly, that’s the easiest part. The hardest part is actually saving the money and following through with the challenge when it feels impossible.
That’s where these tips on how to successfully complete your 6-month saving challenge should come in handy:
1. Set up a savings account
First of all, you’re going to need somewhere to stash all of the cash you’re saving. While you could save it under your mattress or in a dresser drawer, you’ll be way more likely to keep up the momentum if you deposit your money in a dedicated savings account.
If you already have an emergency fund, that’s a great place to put this extra money. If you don’t, set up a savings account.
Bonus points if you set up an automatic transfer from your checking account each week. This way, you won’t even have to think about the challenge as you complete it!
2. Live below your means
Where is all of this extra money to put toward your savings going to come from, you might want to know? There are a few ways you can save quickly, including living below your means and cutting back on your monthly expenses.
By curbing your expenses and living frugally, you’ll find yourself with extra money. Instead of splurging, dedicate yourself to saving during this challenge. This way, you’ll likely have plenty of money to fill up your savings account.
3. Combine it with a no-spend or low-spend challenge
Love a challenge? Why not double up? Another great way to save more money, fast, during the challenge period is to combine the 6-month money challenge with a no-spend or low-spend challenge.
During these challenges, you choose to spend little to no money on anything that isn’t essential. What is essential is up to you, but, generally, people cut out things like clothes shopping and eating out.
It’s basically impossible not to save money during one of these challenges, so they surely will help accelerate your savings if you do one in combination with a 6-month saving challenge.
4. Set a goal and keep that goal top of mind
When you begin the challenge, decide why you are doing it. What is your reason?
Do you want to save for college? For a new wardrobe? For a down payment on a house?
Whatever your reason, decide on it and what you are going to put your money toward.
Then, make sure to remind yourself of that goal throughout the challenge. You will probably be sacrificing to complete the challenge. And when you are giving up things you like to do or buy, you’ll need a reminder of why you’re making those sacrifices.
Try keeping a sticky note with your goal written on it or save a reminder about it on your phone. This way, you’ll keep your goal top of mind when the going gets tough.
5. Don’t quit even if you slip up during the challenge
So you missed a week…or two, or three. Or you were only able to save a fraction of what you intended to save. Whatever you do, don’t quit!
Even if you don’t complete the challenge “perfectly,” you will still come out a winner at the end of the six months.
Imagine if you only end up saving half of what you intended to save. That’s still going to be a thousand dollars (or more) than you would have saved if you hadn’t even begun the challenge!
And, don’t forget, you’ll reap all the other benefits of participating in the challenge, too, like setting up good saving habits going forward.
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A lot of good can happen during a 6-month saving challenge!
A 6-month money challenge is called a challenge for a reason – because it certainly isn’t easy. But if you’ve read this far, it probably means you’re up for it.
Just think, in six months, you’ll be that much closer to reaching your financial goals if you start this challenge today! Or you can try out another type of challenge, like not buying new clothes or a 30-day challenge for something different!