Are you looking to do a money challenge in order to save more money or save money fast? In this article I am going to share some of my favorite money challenges that can help you to reach your financial goals!
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Money Challenge: 5 Simple Money Challenges to Help You Save!
There are a lot of great benefits to doing a money challenge! They can help you to save more money or to save money quickly, and they can help you to break money habits that are preventing you from managing your money well and reaching your financial goals. In this article I share some of my favorite money challenges!
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1. The no spend challenge
Probably my favorite money challenge is the no spend challenge. One huge benefit of doing a no spend challenge is that it is a great way to pay off debt fast or save money quickly! Do you have credit card or other debt you need to get rid of? Do you want to pay down your auto loan or your student loan debt? Get it paid down by participating in a no spend challenge!
Do you want to save money quickly to take a trip, pay for needed home maintenance, or pay for another large purchase or expense with cash? This money challenge is a great way to save quickly for those things, too!
A no spend challenge is where you go for a week, two weeks, or even a month or more either without spending any money at all or without spending money on anything besides the bare essentials or without spending money in a particular category such as groceries or clothing.
Note: Learn how to save $500 a month with 5 simple frugal living hacks!
By participating in a no spend challenge, you can save a lot of money that you can use toward things like:
- Saving the $1,000 for your starter emergency fund
- Starting a savings account and putting money toward a down payment on a home, the purchase of a car with cash, paying cash for this year’s Christmas, and more (learn about 9 savings accounts every family should have)
- Purchasing a larger item with cash, such as a piece of furniture, an appliance, or an inexpensive car
- Paying off credit card debt
- Paying down student loans or car loans
- Paying off debt from Christmas
A no spend challenge has the potential to not only help you save money (sometimes a lot of money) but it can also really help you change the way you look at money and potentially even change your whole financial future.
Read on to learn how to complete a no spend challenge successfully!
And don’t think that you can’t have any fun during a no spend challenge! There are still tons of fun things that you can do! Find more than 90 free and fun activities that you can do during a no spend challenge here!
Check out these related articles:
How to Get (and Stay) out of Debt!
17 Must-Know Tips to Rock Your Budget
13 Top Tips to Help You Stick to Your Budget
16 Best Tips to Help You Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck
15 Top Tips to Help You Finally Stop Overspending
31 Budget-Friendly Easy and Cheap Dinner Recipes for under $5
42 Cheap and Easy Budget-Friendly Meals for under $5
73 Easy Ways to Save Money on Groceries without Coupons!
151 Easy Ways to Save Money: Your Ultimate Guide to Saving Money!
2. 30-day money challenge
The 30-day money challenge is another great way to save money fast.
With the 30-day challenge, you work to save as much money in a month as possible by cutting spending in various areas.
There are many, many ways that you can save money (here are more than 150 ideas for easy ways to save money!), but here are some of the main ones where you can really make a difference in your spending:
- Slash your grocery spending.
- Spend less money on eating out.
- Spend less money on clothes (or even go on a clothes-buying moratorium!).
- Cut your cable or satellite.
- Cut your entertainment spending or fun money allotment (or both).
- Save money on your cell phone; maybe opt for a cheaper cell phone plan (we spend just $3.16 per month per line for our smartphones!).
- Reduce your spending on housing.
- Spend less on transportation (could you get rid of your car payment?).
- Reduce your utility bill.
- Save on travel and reduce your vacation spending.
- Curb your (spending on) gift giving and Christmas shopping.
- Find less expensive hobbies and pastimes.
- Do a no-spend challenge for a week or a month to kick-start your savings!
Find more information on this topic and 13 ideas for how to save money fast!
To learn how to start getting control of your finances and really start winning with money, get my free Save Your Money, Change Your Life ebook. Sign up below! This book will teach you how to earn more, save more, spend less, and invest more in order to right your financial ship, gain financial stability, and work toward building prosperity and wealth and reaching ultimate financial freedom.
3. The 52-week money challenge
There are a number of ways that you can do a 52-week money challenge. One of the most fun may be to start by depositing just $1, and then increase that amount each month by $1. So the first week you deposit $1 in your savings account, the second week you deposit $2, the third week you deposit $3, and so forth. By the last week you will deposit $52, and your total money saved with just this simple money challenge will be $1,378! Pretty awesome, right?
This could be a great way to save up for something like a paid-for vacation, new appliances or furniture you want to buy, a simple home remodeling project or renovation, and more!
For a simpler 52-week money challenge, you can commit to save some realistic amount each week, such as $25 or $50. If you saved $25 a week for 52 weeks, you would have $1,300. So you would save about the same amount as with the money challenge above, the math would just be easier. 🙂 If you saved $50 a week, you would have $2,600, and that would likewise be a great achievement!
Another 52-week money challenge, though this one requires a pretty serious savings commitment, is to save $100 each week for 52 weeks. By the end of the year, you have saved $5,200! That is pretty amazing! Yes, it will take discipline and dedication and managing your monthly budget well (learn how to start budgeting here!), but it could help you fund some amazing things! For example, this is an excellent way to nearly max out your Roth IRA. Find awesome tips for how to fully fund your Roth IRA this year here.
Haven’t really started investing yet? Learn 5 simple steps (and get the new investor cheat sheet!) to start investing here!
4. Reverse 52-week money challenge
The 52-week money challenge is a fun and simple way to save money, but it does get progressively more challenging as the year continues. The reverse 52-week money challenge is in some ways easier because you start out saving $52 the first week, then $51 the next week, then $50 the week after that, and you decrease the amount that you save each week by $1. So by the last week of the challenge, you only need to save $1. If you are like me and like to get the hard stuff out of the way first (for example, I always like to run uphill first so I can run downhill at the end when I don’t have as much energy; just makes sense, right?), then this may be a great alternative for you.
5. The spare change challenge
The spare change money challenge is just like you are probably imagining—with this challenge you save in a jar or jars (or plastic bottles; whatever you have on hand) all of the change that you collect in a specified amount of time, such as six months or a year.
One big benefit of this challenge is that you have to use cash to do the challenge. And a huge benefit of using cash is that it can help you to be more intentional with your spending because you actually see the money leaving your wallet or purse. It is often easier to swipe a debit card and pay $7 for lunch or $9 for a cute blouse that is on sale than it is to see that same amount leaving your wallet and to see your bills dwindling down.
For that reason, some financial experts, like Dave Ramsey, are big advocates of using cash envelopes especially for categories like groceries, eating out, entertainment, and fun (spending) money.
But even if you don’t like to use cash, you can still take advantage of this money challenge by using an app such as Chime or Qapital. With these apps, they take your spending transactions and round them up to the nearest dollar, and that amount goes into savings. If you want to go even beyond saving, you can check out an app like Acorns, where they actually invest the difference instead of saving it.
6. The $5 or $10 money challenge
This is another pretty simple and potentially fun challenge. With the $5 challenge, you save all of the $5 bills that you get throughout the year (or for some other specified amount of time, such as six months or three months). Similarly, with the $10 challenge, you save all of the $10 bills that you get throughout the year or for a designated amount of time.
7. Summer vacation saving challenge
Do you know the best kind of vacation? It’s the kind of vacation that doesn’t follow you home in the form of credit card payments. 🙂
In order to plan a less stressful summer vacation this year, set up a travel or vacation savings fund (learn how here!) so that you can enjoy a debt-free, fret-free summer vacation!
Related article: Find 23 easy ways to save money on your next vacation!
8. Christmas money saving challenge
Another great money challenge is to save for a debt-free Christmas! Before you begin your Christmas money-saving challenge, figure out how much you would like to spend on Christmas (and also consider if you could maybe spend less on Christmas). And then determine how quickly you can save that amount. So if you would like to save $1,000 for Christmas and you want to save that amount in about 3 months, by say Thanksgiving weekend, then you save about $83 a week to have your $1,000. Or if you want to spend $500 on Christmas, you could save just $40 or $50 a week for three months.
9. Save $5,000 money challenge
For this money challenge, your goal is to save $5,000 in a specified amount of time. Probably the most popular $5,000 money challenge is to save $5,000 in a year. You can of course use whatever increments you want (such as those used in this $5,000 money challenge found on one of my favorite money gurus Clark Howard’s website), but I like to keep things simple. So my favorite $5,000 money challenge is to simply save $100 a week (and then you either end up with an extra couple hundred dollars after a year, or you can have a week or two where you can take a bye, such as the week of Christmas).
10. Save $10,000 money challenge
The $10,000 money challenge is not for the faint of heart! Again, I like to keep things simple, so my preferred $10,000 money challenge is to save $200 a week (and then, again, you can have two weeks off where you won’t need to save the $200. Another pretty simple way to do this is to save $125 every first week of the month, $150 every second week, $175 every third week, and $300 in the fourth week. With that challenge, the last month you need to save a little more aggressively; you would save $200 the first week, $225 the second week, $250 the third week, and $325 to finish off your $10,000 money saving challenge.
Saving $10,000 in a year is not easy, but it is an amazing way to save up the money to reach awesome financial goals like saving for your emergency fund, buying a car with cash, or saving up the money for a down payment on your first home!
Check out this related article: How to Save for Large Purchases (and Why You Need To!)
11. Retirement savings challenge
And finally, another great money challenge is to do a retirement savings challenge. One easy way to do this challenge is to increase the percentage of your paycheck that goes to retirement by 1 percent each month. So if you are not currently saving for retirement, you would start with 1 percent the first month, and by the 12th month, you would be saving 12 percent of your paycheck toward retirement. That is an awesome accomplishment!
You can learn 5 simple steps to start investing for retirement here. In this article I will walk you through the types of retirement accounts I recommend, the types of mutual funds I recommend, the amount that I recommend that you invest for retirement, the brokerage firms I recommend, and more!
And sign up below to join the 5-day Invest Your Money challenge and start your path to investing success today!
Doing a money challenge is a great way to make saving money fun! And it can be a good way to save money fast, as well!
Make a goal to participate in one or more of these money challenges, and jump-start your savings today!
For even more ways to save money, check out these related articles:
12 Best Tips to Save Money on Entertainment
91 Fun, Free Activities to Do during a No-Spend Challenge!
151 Easy Ways to Save Money: Your Ultimate Guide to Saving Money!
5 Super Simple Steps to Save $1,000 for a Debt-Free Christmas
11 Ways to Save Big on Your Christmas Shopping
4 Powerful Principles of Gratitude to Change Your Financial Life
Contentment: 9 Powerful Principles That Will Help You Save More Money and Reach Financial Success
9 Tips That Will Help You to Win with Money
Are you ready to a money challenge?! Leave a comment below (and post a comment in our new, closed Facebook group!) with your money-saving goal! I can’t wait to hear about the great things that you will accomplish with the money you are able to save!
Invitation to Share
Was there something in this article that inspired you to change something about your money? Are there ideas or tips that you feel could help others? Would you please take a minute to share this article via email or social media? I would love your help to share these principles of financial well-being. Thank you!
Join our closed Families for Financial Freedom Facebook group to get support and share ideas for how we can all improve our financial well-being by earning more, spending less, saving more, and investing more and reach our financial goals. You can do this! And we are here to help.