Transforming even the most mundane tasks into a game can be pretty amazing, and that’s precisely what these money saving challenges do. They add an element of fun to saving money, eliminating the need for establishing new habits or rigid discipline.
So, if you’re ready for some financial fun, grab a seat and explore how these challenges can revolutionize your finances. Remember, there’s no shame in starting small. In fact, modest steps can lead to significant rewards.
Understanding Money Challenges
While we often hear about monthly money challenges at the start of the year when folks are setting New Year’s resolutions, the truth is you can start on a financial challenge at any point in the year. Cultivating the habit and discipline of saving money is always worthwhile.
Getting started with saving can be daunting, especially if you live paycheck to paycheck or have big dreams like saving for a house. Just the thought of saving money can stir up feelings of anxiety, tension, fear, or sheer boredom.
Then comes money challenges!
However, money saving challenges make saving an enjoyable thing! They provide the accountability and motivation needed to kickstart your savings. If you team up with a friend, the fun and motivation levels soar even higher.
Here, we’ll discuss the 20 unique yet simple money-saving challenges suitable for any income, budget, lifestyle, or schedule. These challenges will set you on the path to your desired financial future!
20 Money Saving Challenges
- The spare change challenge: Place coins into a designated jar or container whenever you receive coins as a change from a purchase. You’d be surprised how these seemingly insignificant amounts can increase over time. To make it more engaging, set a goal, like filling up the jar in six months.
- The no-spend weekend: Choose one weekend per month where you commit to not spending money on non-essential items. Plan activities like hiking, picnicking, breakfast at home, or board games with family and friends. It’s a great way to enjoy quality time without dipping into your wallet.
- The 52-week challenge: This challenge is straightforward. Start by saving $1 in the first week, $2 in the second week, $3 in the third week, and so on. By the end of 52 weeks, you’ll have saved $1,378. You can reverse the order if you prefer to start with larger amounts.
- The grocery store game: Challenge yourself to save a certain percentage (e.g., 10%) on your monthly grocery bill. Use coupons, compare prices, and look for discounts and sales. The money you save can go directly into your savings account.
- The 30-day declutter challenge: Declutter your home and sell items you no longer need on platforms like eBay, Craigslist, or Facebook Marketplace. Put the money you earn from these sales directly into your savings. It’s a win-win as you declutter your space and boost your savings.
- The subscription audit: Take stock of your monthly subscriptions. Identify and cancel those you no longer use or need, whether streaming services, various tech app subscriptions, magazines, or gym memberships. Redirect the money you save towards your savings goals.
- The cash-only challenge: Leave your credit and debit cards at home for a month. Instead, use cash for all your daily expenses. This challenge will make you more conscious of your spending habits and less likely to make impulsive purchases.
- The DIY challenge: Rather than paying for services such as house cleaning, lawn maintenance, or car washing, commit to doing these tasks yourself for a specific period. The money you save can be set aside in your savings account.
- The pantry challenge: One of the best money saving challenges on the list can be to limit yourself to eating primarily from your pantry and freezer for a month. Plan meals around the items you already have, reducing your grocery bill significantly. It’s a money-saver and a way to minimize food waste and eat healthy dinners, lunches, or breakfasts from home.
- The no-spend workday challenge: Select one workday each week where you won’t spend any money. Bring lunch from home, skip the coffee shop, and avoid any online shopping during this day. It’s a practical way to cut back on weekday expenses.
- The bill round-up challenge: Among all the money saving challenges, this one works best if you pay most of your bills electronically. Each time you pay a bill, round up the amount to the nearest whole number. For instance, if your electricity bill is $48.50, pay $50 and save the extra 50 cents. Over time, these extra cents will add up significantly.
- The coffee shop challenge: if you’re a regular at coffee shops, this challenge can help you save. For a month, commit to making your coffee and healthy snacks at home. Invest in a good quality thermos to take your homemade coffee to work. Calculate how much you save by not buying daily lattes and pastries.
- The impulse purchase challenge: Impulse buying often leads to unnecessary expenses. Challenge yourself to avoid impulse purchases for a specific period, like a month. Before buying anything, give it a day or two of thought to determine if it’s genuinely needed.
- The library challenge: Instead of purchasing books, borrow them from your local library. Challenge yourself to read only library books for a specific duration. The money you’d typically spend on books can go directly into your savings account.
- The secondhand challenge: Commit to buying only secondhand items for a set period. This includes clothing, furniture, electronics, and more. The cost savings between new and secondhand items can be substantial, and you can save the difference.
- The no-eating-out challenge: Avoid eating at restaurants or ordering takeout for a month. Challenge yourself to cook all your meals at home. Calculate the money saved by not dining out and transfer that into your savings.
- The energy conservation challenge: Do you remember when we were kids, and our parents used to teach us to switch off the lights when they were not in use? It’s time to apply the same practice to yourself and integrate it into your parenting style. Challenge your family to reduce energy consumption by turning off lights, appliances, and electronics when not in use. Track your energy savings on your utility bills and move that money to your savings account.
- The online shopping freeze: For a fixed period, like two months, freeze all online shopping. Store your payment information out of reach to avoid temptation. Take the money you would’ve spent on online purchases and place it directly into your savings.
- The 1-hour wage challenge: Calculate your hourly wage from your primary job. For every extra hour of work or side gig you do, save that exact amount. It’s a great way to reward yourself for your hard work while boosting your savings.
- The seasonal purchase challenge: If you typically spend a lot during holidays or special occasions, buy gifts or decorations well in advance. By taking advantage of sales, discounts, and clearance items, you’ll save significantly compared to last-minute shopping.
As we move towards the end of these 20 money saving challenges, keep in mind that saving money can also be a fun thing to do.
By getting familiar with each of these ideas, you’re not simply accumulating money; you’re making an investment in your financial future. Small strides today can result in significant rewards tomorrow.
So, select a challenge, rally your friends or family, and walk on your journey to financial well-being.