Do you spend money 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. A money saving challenge could be just what you need.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, grocery prices increased recently. So when you compare the increase in the cost of living versus the real wage index, you can see why people might be interested in saving.
We could all use some extra money, especially in these trying times. By setting financial goals and partaking in a money saving challenge, you can set yourself up for financial success.
For example, 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 saving challenge?
As the name implies, a money saving challenge can remind you and keep you focused on doing what's necessary to achieve your goal. In addition, they are very easy to do. You simply save a set amount of money, depending on the rules of the particular challenge.
For example, in the $5 money saving 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. Soon, saving part of your paycheck will become second nature.
Why a money saving challenge is a great idea
Money saving challenges are an effective way to motivate you to save your money. Most importantly, it makes saving money fun and makes your goal easier to attain. In addition, a money challenge is an excellent way to build your emergency fund when you don’t have any savings.
You can use a monthly savings challenge to save for your dream vacation, put a down payment on a new home, or get that beautiful designer handbag you’ve been longing for.
18 money saving challenges to try today
Having extra money can relieve stress and help you achieve your financial goals. By participating in a money saving challenge right away, you can start building a new successful habit and get that savings account built up fast. Further, 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 up 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. So no matter your financial goals, these 18 money saving challenges are sure to get you the results you desire.
1. The 6 month savings challenge
The 6 month savings challenge is easy to follow because the amount you save is already planned out for you. Each week you save the allotted amount scheduled.
The first week is only $3, week 2 is $7, and it gradually goes up in increments each week. By the end of the 6-month savings challenge, or 26 week savings challenge, you will save $1378!
2. 30 days to master your spending challenge
The no-spend challenge can save you some serious cash and help you stop overspending. So with this money saving 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:
Only buy essentials
You can only spend money on essentials such as rent, gas, and groceries. It's important to still buy the things you need to live a healthy life during this money saving challenge.
Don't buy non-essentials
You cannot spend money on eating out, shopping, coffee, or anything considered non-essential. Anything that isn't a bill or basic expense must wait until later.
Once you get started, you'll be surprised at how many non-essential items can sneak into your daily spending habits. Lastly, track this monthly money challenge with a spending journal for maximum results.
3. 30-day meal planning challenge
Eating out is expensive. The average amount spent eating out every day is $9.22. That’s $3,365 per year when you do the math!
With this savings challenge, you pack your lunch 5x per week for 30 days by leveraging meal planning. In addition, this also helps prevent wasted groceries and adds a significant amount to your savings. Plus you can use ingredients you like and avoid unhealthy foods if you want to.
4. $5 savings challenge
The $5 challenge is a fun money challenge that stacks up the cash fast. Over 90 days every time you get a $5 bill, you save it. So 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, container, or money envelope that makes putting the money in easy but taking it out hard. It's a bit random, but that's what makes this money saving challenge fun!
If you opt for envelopes, consider the 100-envelope savings challenge or the 200-envelope challenge!
5. Create a clever girl fund challenge
A clever girl fund is an essential savings challenge. The 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.
The challenge will help you determine how much you need to save, help you with setting up the right savings account, and keep you on top of making consistent deposits.
To do this challenge, designate an account for saving, and then try to save $1000 to start. You can save $333 per month and save your money quickly, or take more or less time if you want.
Take as long as you need to build your Clever Girl Fund, just make sure you have a plan in place. And after you get to $1000 consider adding more for extra security.
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.
In addition, this money challenge will inspire you to get creative. For instance, cashing in all those spare coins 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! The penny challenge is like the 26-Week Challenge and is super easy to follow.
Firstly, you start with one penny, and each day your amount increases over 365 days. So 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 to prepare for Christmas!
A Christmas Club Savings account is offered by certain banks to help you save money for Christmas. However, you can also set it up on your own with a dedicated savings account.
Most importantly, you can use this account to help you save for whatever you want to purchase.
Typically these accounts are available via credit unions. So 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 during the money saving challenge.
9. Coffee break challenge
A latte a day makes the cash go away! So say goodbye to Starbucks for this challenge.
The average specialty coffee costs $2.75. Which adds up to $700-$1,000 per year, a pretty big chunk from most people's salary!
With this challenge, you set up a piggy bank or money jar next to your coffee pot. You'll then challenge yourself to make your own coffee. So each time you do, you can add that $2.75 (or the cost of your coffee) to your piggy bank!
After that, 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
The weather Wednesday 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 add to your weekly savings! So for best results, do this during the summer months.
(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. So by focusing on getting rid of items, you are less focused on spending money. In turn, this can save you a lot of money.
In addition, you can sell the items you get rid of to earn some extra cash!
12. 12 month savings challenge
A 12 month savings challenge is easy and gives you plenty of time to save up cash. For this challenge, you'll save a certain amount of money per week.
It starts with a dollar, and each week it increases by another dollar. You'll save $1378 by the year's end!
13. 3 month savings challenge
There are different amounts of money you can save for the 3 month savings challenge based on your goals. You might choose to save $1000, $2000, or more or less than this.
The idea is to save a set amount per week or month and then reach your goal by the end of the three-month mark.
14. $20 money saving challenge
If you're looking to save up a small emergency fund over the course of a year, then the $20 savings challenge could be the perfect thing. Every week, you save $20 from your paycheck, and by the end of the year, you've put away $1040! Easy and effective.
It's an especially good thing to try if you have a somewhat expensive purchase coming up that isn't time-sensitive. Something like a luxury purse or a small home project would be great.
15. Cancel all the things savings challenge
Don't worry - it's more fun than it sounds! The cancellation challenge helps you save money by canceling every subscription, streaming service, and monthly membership that you don't use.
You won't even notice there's a difference in your everyday life, but you can easily save all the cash that you aren't paying now. Your results will vary based on how many things you cancel, so be as frugal as possible to succeed!
16. Monthly savings challenge
The monthly savings challenge is a very flexible option for choosing your own savings goals. To start, decide how much money you want to save per month.
You can begin with the same amount every month, and then change or increase it over time. Soon, you'll reach your savings goals.
The best part about a monthly savings challenge is you get to choose the amount and you can use any tactics you want to save the money - from working extra hours to selling items around the house.
17. No new clothes challenge
For this challenge, you'll save yourself money, time, and an overstuffed closet. The no new clothes challenge is simple but difficult - you don't buy any new clothes for an entire year.
To turn this into a money saving challenge, take the average amount you spend on clothes per month, and start saving or investing that amount instead. By the end of the year, you might be shocked at the progress you've made!
18. Monthly money challenge
If you want to keep being challenged and you like to win, determine to do a monthly money challenge every month for an entire year. The rules are simple: you must do a different challenge each month, and you must complete the challenge you pick.
It's a great way to save a ton of money but in a fun way that still lets you keep your financial freedom.
Great times to start a money saving 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:
January of the new year is a great time to start a money challenge, especially after the expenses that often come up at the end of the year in December.
You can make your money saving 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. Which is an excellent way to set up savings goals.
Save your way to success!
When you save money, you are setting yourself up for financial success. You will finally have an emergency fund for unexpected events and be able to take that dream vacation you deserve.
Doing a money saving 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 money saving challenges you'll love our expanded list of 30-day challenges for your life and money!