Does your money spend faster than you can make it? If you feel this way, you’re not alone. Almost 50% of Americans believe the constant increase in living costs is the biggest threat to financial security. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, grocery prices increased by 2.4% in one year. When you compare the increase in the cost of living versus the real wage index, you can see why they feel this way.
We could all use some extra money, especially in these trying times. By setting financial goals and partaking in a money savings challenge, you can set yourself up for financial success.
A savings challenge can help you build an emergency fund, save for a vacation, or save a down payment on a new home. All it takes is a little financial motivation and a great money-saving challenge to get started.
What is a money-savings challenge?
As the name implies, a money savings challenge can remind you and keep you focused on doing what's necessary to achieve your goal. And they are very easy to do. You simply save a set amount of money, depending on the rules of the particular challenge.
For instance, in the $5 money-savings challenge, you save every $5 bill you get. There are many fun money challenges to choose from to help you achieve your savings goals and become better with money.
Why a money-savings challenge is a great idea
Money-Saving Challenges are a great way to motivate you to save your money. It makes saving money fun and makes your goal easier to attain. A money challenge is an excellent way to build your emergency fund when you don’t have any savings.
11 Money-savings challenges to try today
Having extra money can relieve stress and help you achieve your financial goals. By participating in a money-savings challenge right away, you can start building a new successful habit and get that savings account built up fast. You could even open up a dedicated savings club account just for your challenges.
When picking a savings challenge, be sure to pick one that lines with your goals and that you will be able to stick with. It needs to be a realistic goal to set you up for success and prevent you from getting discouraged and quitting.
There are challenges for eating out, saving $5 bills, saving pennies, and more. No matter your financial goals, these 10 money-saving challenges are sure to get you the results you desire.
1. 26-week savings challenge
This challenge is easy to follow because the amount you save is already planned out for you. Each week you save the allotted amount scheduled.
Week 1 is only $3, Week 2 is $7, and it gradually goes up each week. By the end of the 26 Week Savings Challenge, you will save $1378! Do the Clever Girl Finance 26-week saving challenge!
2. 30 days to master your spending challenge
This no-spend challenge can save you some serious cash and help you stop overspending. With this money challenge, you commit to a specific time frame such as a week or a month, and only spend money on necessities. The rules are simple:
- You can only spend money on essentials such as rent, gas, and groceries.
- And, you cannot spend money on eating out, shopping, coffee, or anything that is considered non-essential.
Once you get started, you'll be surprised at how many non-essential items can sneak into your daily spending habits. Track this challenge with a spending journal for maximum results.
3. 30-day meal planning challenge
Eating out is expensive. The average amount spent on eating lunch out is $10-$20 a day. That’s $2600-$5200 per year!
With this savings challenge, you pack your lunch 5x per week for 30 days by leveraging meal planning. This also helps prevent wasted groceries and adds a significant amount to your savings.
4. $5 savings challenge
This is a fun money challenge that stacks up the cash fast. Over 90-days every time you get a $5 bill, you save it. If you don’t use cash, for every extra $5 you have in your checking account, transfer it to your savings.
To prevent you from spending that extra cash, get a cute piggy bank or container that makes putting the money in easy but taking it out hard.
5. Create a clever girl fund challenge
A clever girl fund is an essential savings challenge. This fund can be used for unplanned life emergencies such as job loss, your car breaking down, or urgent home repair. It can also be used to establish a sinking fund for upcoming expenses.
6. Find extra money challenge
You might not think you have any extra money, but you can find the extra money you didn’t know you had with some tips and tricks. This money challenge will inspire you to get creative. For instance, cashing in all that spare change in your wallet, car, purse, or lying around the house.
Or spending less than your grocery budget and putting the extra money in your savings account. You can also declutter your home and sell items you don’t use anymore for extra cash. The whole idea is to challenge yourself with ways to save that you ordinarily won't do.
7. Penny savings challenge
If you don’t think that saving pennies will help build your savings, you’re wrong! This challenge is like the 26-Week Challenge and is super easy to follow. You start with one penny, and each day your amount increases over 365 days. You save a total of $667.95 in one year! Remember, every penny leads to a dollar!
8. Christmas club challenge
These classic savings accounts are making a comeback, and they are the perfect way to save money. A Christmas Club Savings account is offered by certain banks to help you save money for Christmas. You can also set it up on your own with a dedicated savings account. The great thing is you can use this account to help you save for whatever you want.
Typically these accounts are available via credit unions. When you open this account type, you'll get a payment coupon book to make deposits with. On November 1st, your funds transfer into your dedicated account. You cannot withdraw your funds from this account without a penalty, so it prevents you from being tempted to spend it.
9. Coffee break challenge
A latte a day makes the cash go away! The average specialty coffee costs $2.75. This adds up to $700-$1,000 per year! With this challenge, you set up a piggy bank or jar next to your coffee pot. You'll then challenge yourself to make your own coffee. Each time you do, you can add that $2.75 (or cost of your coffee) to your piggy bank!
You can use those extra funds and buy a fancy coffee maker as a reward and put the rest in your savings or towards paying off debt.
10. Weather Wednesday savings challenge
This money challenge can bulk your bank account fast. Every Wednesday, you find out the highest temperature in your state, and you save that amount in dollars. So, if it’s 80 degrees, you save $80 that week! The hotter it is, the more money you save! (Love Wednesdays? Check out our Wellness Wednesday ideas!)
11. The 30-day minimalism challenge
With a 30-day minimalist challenge, you basically get rid of something every day for 30 days. By focusing on getting rid of items, you are less focused on spending money. This in turn can save you a lot of money. Plus you can sell the items you get rid of to earn some extra cash!
Great times to start a money savings challenge
It’s always a good time to start saving money, but sometimes it’s easier when you have a fresh start. Decide on your financial goals and pick a challenge that will boost your savings for that time of year. It’s good to plan out your goals in steps. Here are some great times to start a money challenge:
A new year
The new year is a great time to start a money challenge. You can make your money-savings challenge the ultimate goal for the year. Decide how much you want to save by the same time next year and get started.
A new season can be an excellent opportunity to start a money challenge. You can try a 90-day savings challenge for each season. You can jumpstart your summer vacation fund by beginning your challenge in the Spring. This is an excellent way to set up savings goals.
It’s beneficial to try a new savings challenge every month. You can pick different challenges to keep it fun and help conquer other savings goals. Monthly goals help you take larger goals and break them down to make them easier to attain.
Save your way to success!
When you save money, you are setting yourself up for financial success. You will have an emergency fund for unexpected events and be able to take that dream vacation you deserve finally. Do a money savings challenge with friends can also give you the extra accountability you need to actually complete the challenge!
If you’re ready to take control of your finances and build your savings, get our FREE Savings Challenge Bundle and get started now! Plus if you love these challenges you'll love our expanded list of 30-day challenges for your life and money!