We all know that in order to reach our financial dreams, we have to save money. Most of us go about this by saving whatever is left over at the end of the month. Sadly, this usually amounts to nothing as we spend all we have (and in some cases, more than we have). In order to help you save, I’m going to outline some money challenges for you to try.
By taking on these challenges, they will do one of two things. First, many of them will get you to save first and spend what is left over. When you save this way, you ensure you save something every month. And second, some of these money challenges will help you save by cutting back your spending when you are about to buy something you don’t need or will regret in the coming weeks.
5 Money Challenges for You to Try
Let’s get started with the challenges. You can decide which one you want to start with after reading through them. While you could try to use two at a time, I would suggest you just work with one and when you complete it, move on to another challenge.
365 Day Challenge
The savings challenge is to save money every single day of the year. You can decide on the amount of money you save every day. Most people keep the amount the same but if you want to vary the amount, that is OK too. The key here is to save money every day.
I know people that take on this challenge and save $1 a day. Others choose $2. The amount is up to you. But before you decide on a number, make it realistic. By this I mean look at the savings amount over the course of the month.
For example, you might want to shoot for the stars and save $10 a day. But over the course of a month this comes to $300. If money is really tight, you might start off strong, but at the end of the month, you are going to be feeling the pinch.
Of course, this isn’t to say you should just save $0.01 a day. Make it a challenge but not a burden. If you save $2 a day for a year, you added over $700 to your savings account.
52 Week Challenge
If saving money every day sounds like too much for you, there is the 52 week challenge. All you have to do is save money each week of the year. As with the 365 day challenge, you can just choose to save $5 a week. You can make this really fun if you start at $1 and increase the amount you save by $1 each week.
For example, week 1 you will save $1. In week 2 you will save $2. By week 25 you are saving $25 and at week 52 you save $52. In the beginning, this challenge will be easy. Saving a dollar or two a week isn’t that difficult. But things will get harder later in the year when you are saving a couple hundred dollars a month.
No Spend Challenge
For this challenge you don’t physically move money into a savings account. Rather, you stop spending for an entire month. To do this challenge, you simply pick a category and decide to not spend any money for the month.
For example, take dining out. Next month, you might decide that dining out is off limits. You have to eat at home. If you can get by without spending any money dining out, you will see a positive impact to your bottom line.
Ideally, you should take the amount you saved by not dining out and move it your savings account so you truly save the money.
When you do this challenge, you can do any discretionary spending category you want. Entertainment and dining out are two good categories to start with for this challenge.
Cash Only Challenge
For the cash only challenge you only spend cash. You cannot use your credit or debit card for any purchases. Only cold hard cash. The idea here is that you will spend less when you see money leaving your wallet.
We have a psychological relationship with money and seeing it leave our hands has a huge impact on us. When we use credit however, it is just a piece of plastic and we spend freely because there is no emotional tie in.
Trust me, when you try only paying with cash, you will think long and hard before making a purchase. Seeing that $10 leave your wallet hurts.
The Pause Test
The last of the money challenges is the pause test. With this challenge, before you buy anything, you have to wait 1 minute. During this minute, you should think about whether or not you really need the item or if you will really use it.
Many of our purchases are emotional. When the rational side of our brain catches up, we regret the purchase. This is where buyer’s remorse comes from. To combat this, pause for a minute.
Do you really need those new jeans? Will you wear them? For me when it comes to clothes, if I am not excited to the point where I want to wear the shirt or pants home, I know that I don’t really need them and to put them back. Doing this has saved me a ton of money.
The same idea applies with the grocery store. Before putting something in your cart, ask yourself if you will really eat it. We throw away a lot of food. Stopping and asking this question can help us limit the amount of food we throw out and save us money at the same time.
There are 5 money challenges for you to try. You can decide which one you want to try first. The key is to make them easy enough to do, but not so easy that you don’t see an impact to your bottom line. For example, saving $0.01 a day for a year is great. You did the challenge and saved every day. But you have $3.65 to show for it. Odds are you won’t do this challenge ever again.
When you do any of these money challenges, make it a point to move the money into a saving account. It’s great to take on the no spend challenge or the pause test, but if you don’t move the money to a savings account, odds you are going to spend the money next month if it is left in your checking account.
Move the money to savings and watch your money grow.
More Ways to Save Money
- How I Saved Over $3,000 with Digit in 5 Months
- How to Automatically Earn $120 Every Year from the Better Balance Rewards Card
- 19 Ways to Cut Costs During a Spending Fast
- 12 Things to Stop Doing to Save Money… Right Now!
- 7 Passive Income Ideas to Make Extra Money
- How to Have a Life While Living On a Tight Budget