A set routine and schedule for your daily life has a lot of benefits, but does life ever start to feel a bit…boring? Life experiments are what shake up our routines and help us think about things in new ways.
Trying out different experiments can make each day more fulfilling, not to mention help you understand what to change about your current situation. All of this is great, but did you know that life experiments can also improve your finances?
Find out more about the benefits of life experiments and get examples of great ones to try!
What can life experiments do for you?
But first, how exactly do life experiments make your life better? What can they do to improve it? Check out some of the awesome things that can happen due to these experiences.
Life experiments help you learn new things
Life experiments can teach you new habits and behaviors. The focus is often on learning and improvement, so you'll have the chance to make discoveries about yourself and who you want to be.
Plus, they help you come up with original ideas to improve your financial, emotional, and physical health in many cases.
Life experiments help you discover what works best for you
It's possible to not know that something works or doesn't work for you until you give it a try. When you try out a life experiment, you can see if you enjoy the process and want to continue it or if you prefer the way things were before.
So it's not always about changing your behavior; it's finding out if what you're already doing is working or not.
Life experiments help you save money
Depending on the experiment's focus, you can potentially save lots of money when trying one out! You might form money-saving habits or find new ways to manage your finances.
Money life experiments are great for making decisions and understanding your money situation better than ever.
Life experiments teach you how to improve your finances
Not only will you save money, but through learning and new ideas, your finances can improve. You can teach yourself things about money that you weren't aware of and find ways to make your financial life 10, 20, or 100% better than before.
29 Life experiments to create a better financial future
Without further ado, here are 29 life experiments to help you improve your finances. Plus many other aspects of your life!
1. Stop buying coffee and make it yourself
This suggestion might sound familiar, but it bears repeating. Getting coffee while you're out is great. So you might be accustomed to ordering your non-fat-half-sugar-extra-foam-dairy-free-soy-vanilla-cappuccino, but…there are other options.
A cup of coffee is expensive, and you could easily have $100 extra a month! Since the price of a cappuccino can cost up to $5 in some cities.
So for the life experiment, stop buying coffee and make it yourself at home for a whole month. See if your life and finances improve or not, and notice how you feel without buying coffee.
Does it make a difference? Do you want to continue it? Then adjust your budget depending on your choices for the next month.
2. Try the 52-week savings challenge
For this 52-week savings challenge, you start off slow, saving $1 a week, then $2, and so on, up to $52 per week. This experience can help you if you struggle to save money.
The experiment takes a whole year, and it isn't challenging to get started. The savings start off so small that you may not even notice you're saving money until the end!
You should have $1378 by the end, but of course, you can modify this and add a higher savings amount for each week if you want.
3. Meal prep every week for three months
Meal prep - the enemy of fast food and unplanned restaurant expenses. Not only can it save you a ton of money, but it's probably healthier than eating out all the time.
To do this experiment, write down the breakfasts, lunches, and dinners you want to have each week. Then grocery shop for ingredients and prep all your meals on the same day. So this usually involves cooking meat, chopping vegetables, and organizing lunches.
You'll know exactly what you're eating every day for three months, and you could save hundreds of dollars.
4. Check your everyday budget for 30 days
Sometimes it's easy to set up your budget and then forget everything. But this month-long experiment really sets you up for success by close monitoring. So every day for a month, you check on your budget to make sure you're on track.
Adjust your budget to fit your financial goals if you are over in one category or under in another. It might help to make journal notes about how you feel after checking your budget.
At the end of the month, decide if you like this close monitoring and notice if it's improved your money habits or not.
5. Open a savings account and save your spare change
Spare change often gets lost in the shuffle, but it could be put into savings. A dollar here and 0.25 cents there can add up faster than you'd think.
Try this life experiment by saving all your change in a jar each month. At the end of the month, take it to the bank and add it to your savings account.
Do this for a year. You'll have some money stored up by the end.
6. Only follow financial influencers on social media
Decide to only follow influencers that talk about money, saving, investing, and other financial topics for a set time. Try a week or a month to start.
Try to listen to what these influencers have to say and see if it impacts your own finances. In addition, take notes and try to remember any changes you make. At the end of the set time, check to see if the way you think about or handle money has changed.
7. Take public transport or ride a bike one day a week
Gas for your car might be costing you! Especially if you drive every day. Choose one day a week to ride a bike, walk, or take public transportation. Do this for a few months - try three.
It's good if this is a day when you would typically use your car a lot to save the most money on gas and auto maintenance. Notice if your car bills get lower. And if you're biking or walking, you might feel physically healthier.
8. Exercise using YouTube videos instead of the gym
Gym memberships are nice, but they're also expensive. Consider canceling yours and instead take advantage of the (completely free) YouTube videos for fitness. There are tons of options, from yoga to aerobics.
Give up the membership for at least three months to feel the fitness and financial effects. Then decide if having access to the gym is indeed worth it, or if you prefer your new and cheaper way of exercising.
9. Read financial books on the weekends
Weekends offer a great opportunity to catch up on reading. But what if you chose to learn as much about money as possible on your days off?
Put away the novels and fiction books for the time being, and create a booklist from finance authors. Try this out for at least a month or two, and see how much you can learn.
10. Pick a money topic to learn about each month and research it extensively
Speaking of researching topics, here's a good year-long experiment. If you want to become well-versed in various money subjects, find twelve that you wish to learn about. So each month, pick one topic and learn all you can about it.
Use YouTube videos and books from the library, read blogs, and talk to people. You'll likely feel like a more intelligent and more balanced person at the end of the year.
11. Trade one expensive hobby for a cheap one
Do you have a hobby that costs you quite a bit? Examples of this are eating at restaurants, going to expensive classes, or buying many media products like movies and tv subscriptions.
Choose to trade one expensive hobby for a budget-friendly one.
For instance, instead of eating out all the time, take a free cooking course and learn to make your own fabulous meals. Or start reading books from the library instead of buying movies.
A reasonable time frame for this is 3 months at least. Then notice if you miss your old hobby or if you're content with the cheaper alternative.
12. Prioritize your health
Prioritizing your health is a good idea for many reasons. And it could also save you money on medical bills later on. So spend a month really focusing on being healthy.
This can include drinking the right amount of water, eating healthy foods, and prioritizing exercise. By the end of one month, see how you feel, and hopefully, you'll want to continue the habits you've created.
13. Sell items you haven't used in a year
If you're like most people, you've got a lot of items around your home that don't really add value or get used regularly. Figure out what to sell by walking through one room of your home at a time.
Your closet might offer many opportunities to sell clothing, accessories, and jewelry you haven't used in a year. You might find appliances that aren't even out of the box in your kitchen. Sell these things and save the cash.
14. Put a set amount each month towards debt payoff for a year
Have a considerable debt burden you're trying to pay off? This life experiment can help. Decide on an amount to put towards debt payoff each month for a whole year.
Say, $300. Then every month, you'll know that you're getting rid of debt by prioritizing repayment.
And you can change the amount if you like. Maybe you start out with $300 and decide to move it to $500 after a few months. The point is to get rid of debt as part of your monthly budget.
15. Carry only one credit card and one debit card in your wallet
This is a nearly effortless practice that might save you some cash. Decide on one debit and one credit card to carry with you, and put the rest away somewhere safe. This is to help you think twice about purchases and not overspend.
Do this for a month and see if you notice any improvement in spending habits.
16. Invest $20 a week for a year
$20 over a whole year equals $1040, enough to get you started as a beginner investor. And if the $20 amount is too much or too little, adjust it to your preferences and budget.
The point of this life experiment is to begin saving and investing money if you haven't before or have had trouble with consistency. If you want to carry on with the experience, try doing a second year of investing after the first.
Use this investment calculator to see how much money you can make!
17. Take staycations for a year instead of traveling somewhere far away
Everyone loves a vacation, but those airplane flights, hotel stays, and restaurant expenses quickly add up. For one year, forego the extra cost of travel.
When you get weeks off of work or vacation days, instead of heading to a different city, explore your own.
Stay home and enjoy sightseeing in your own town, sleeping in, reading, or just relaxing. If you take a lot of vacations usually, you could save thousands.
18. Journal your feelings about money every day for a month
Money is a complicated thing that is more attached to our emotions than we'd like to admit. Maybe you have feelings of frustration, anxiety, or uncertainty about money.
To help deal with this, journal your money thoughts for a few minutes each day for a month. As you work through the old feelings, you might discover that you feel more positive and in control of your finances.
19. Go natural with beauty products
Makeup and beauty products tend to be quite expensive. And many times, you can substitute great alternatives from what you have at home instead of buying costly items.
Choose to go natural with beauty products for a set time, somewhere between one month and a year. Notice if the natural products work better or just as well, and note any money you save due to this life experiment.
Then, at the end of the time frame, decide if you prefer this lifestyle or still want to buy beauty products.
20. Be makeup-free for a week
Choosing to go makeup-free is a bold choice that can save you some money in the long run. Go a week without wearing makeup and see if you like the lifestyle switch or not.
If you choose to be makeup-free for more extended periods, like a month or two, you can save money on the various makeup products you might usually buy. You'll use less, your makeup will last longer, and you might find that you enjoy it.
21. No new clothes challenge life experiment
A no new clothes challenge is a great way to save cash. The way this life experiment works is that for a year, you don't buy any new clothing items. If you already have quite a few clothing options, this might be easier than you think.
When something doesn't suit your style anymore, upcycle it and find ways to use what you have. Look back on all the extra money you've saved at the end of the year.
22. Make movie nights the new normal instead of theaters
Movie theaters are a fun way to gather with friends and pass the time, but you can do all of that without spending the $20 or so most people spend each time they go. Instead, for a year, decide to have movie nights at your home.
When a new movie comes out, wait for it to be available to rent. Then, invite your friends and ask everyone to chip in a few bucks to rent the film. Encourage people to bring snacks and drinks and enjoy the movie from the comfort of home.
23. Get up early
You might be asking what this life experiment has to do with your finances. A lot! An early wake-up time allows you to be productive, work on projects, and chase your money goals.
Try getting up early, like 5 or 6 am, for a week. If you're feeling good about it, try a month, and so on. Use the extra hours to work on important things that matter to you.
24. Automate an aspect of your finances
The simplest way to fix your finances is probably automation. You can set up automatic payments, withdrawals, savings, or investments. Choose one part of your finances to automate.
This works exceptionally well if you choose savings or investing. For example, if you automate saving $100 a week, you'll soon have a big pile of cash. Try automating and see if your money habits improve.
25. Try a 30-day self-love challenge
A month-long self-love challenge is a great way to improve your overall life and finances. It includes affirmations, social media detoxes, decluttering, emergency funds, etc.
The amazing thing is you can improve how you feel. And when you feel better, you make better decisions and enjoy life more.
26. Give a 30-day glow-up challenge a go
A 30-day glow-up challenge is a great way to help you feel your best. It includes challenges each day like opening a savings account, journaling, exercising, and financial goals.
This challenge will move you towards your best self and help you take your health and money more seriously. Try it out and notice the difference at the end of the month.
27. Practice appreciation with a 30-day gratitude challenge
30 days of gratitude is a fantastic way to begin changing your mindset. It's excellent for every aspect of your life.
With challenges like worksheets, thanking others, and creating a practice of thankfulness, you're likely to feel changed by the end of the month. And gratitude makes you more positive, affecting the way you use and think about money.
28. Work towards minimizing your life with a 30-day minimalism challenge
If you feel that your mind and life are way too cluttered, the 30-day minimalism challenge can work for you. It includes not only decluttering options (that could make you money) but also practices like saying no, changing notification settings, and no spend days.
This month could help you to save money and buy fewer items. But you'll also gain a new appreciation for what you have.
29. Save a ton and try a no-spend challenge
A no-spend challenge can be just what you need if you feel out of control with money. Basically, you pick a time, like a month or even a year, to not spend on unnecessary things.
That means you'll only be using money to pay bills and for things you truly need, not stuff you would just like to buy. This is a great way to recover from a time in your life when you've overspent or make you more aware of how much money you spend.
This challenge is very easy to modify for your own needs, so be creative.
Life experiments can improve your finances in huge ways
Life experiments give you the chance to learn and change for the better. They can also improve your finances and help you to save money!
For more ideas on investing and saving, check out our completely free finance courses. Enjoy these experiences and make changes that help you financially!