If you need to jumpstart your efforts to save money, saving challenges are a fun and creative way to save little and often to reach your financial goals. A saving challenge can even be fun.
But with so many different types of challenges out there it can be difficult to know which ones actually work.
We’ve done the hard graft for you and put together a list of proven saving challenges and explained how they work. You can thank us later.
15 saving challenges to help you save more money
Grab a drink, put your feet up and let’s get started.
1. The 52-week challenge
Let’s start with the most well-known yearly savings challenge, the 52-week method.
How it works is simple. In week one you save $1, $2 in week two, $3 in week three, and so on up to week 52. If you commit to all 52 weeks, you will have saved $1,378 over the year. If you want to save harder, increase the increments to $5 or $10 each week.
If you’re looking for a challenge that eases you into saving slowly, this one is for you.
2. The reverse 52-week challenge
As above, but backward. So on day one you will save $52 and on the last day of the challenge you will save $1. If you prefer challenges that get easier rather than harder, this one is for you.
Pinterest has lots of templates that you can download and use to make your challenge more fun.
3. The 365-day challenge
Similar to the 52-week challenge, the 365-day challenge gets you to put aside $0.1 on day one, $0.2 on day two, $0.03 on day three up to $3.65 on the last day of the year. By saving in this way you will hardly notice the money leaving your account, but you’ll have nearly $700 to show for it after 12 months.
4. The no-spend challenge
This is basically a spend-free challenge that you do for a certain amount of time such as one week or one month. Obviously, you can’t avoid paying your water bill for a month, but you can ban spending on non-essentials. The idea is that you stock up your pantry and fridge before you freeze spending so that you’re well-prepared.
- Eating or drinking out.
- Furniture or home décor.
- Haircuts or nail appointments.
5. 26-week bi-weekly plan
With this challenge, you’ll save the same amount as the 52-week challenge. The only difference is that you make contributions to your savings pot every other week. For example, in week one you will save $3, week two you will save $7 and in week 26 you will save $103, totaling $1,378. This savings challenge is great for people who get paid bi-weekly.
6. No eating out challenge
If you’re guilty of blowing your savings on take-outs and visits to restaurants, this challenge was created for you. For 30 days, or more if you’re feeling motivated, all fast food and restaurant food is banned. Instead, home cooking is on the menu. You’ll be surprised at how much you can save. The key to success for this challenge is planning your meals at home so you won’t get tempted by the take-out menus.
7. Round up money saving challenge
The round up money saving challenge is slightly different from the others. It helps you save when you spend. How? Every time you make a purchase, use the roundup rule to round up the price to the nearest $5. So, if your purchase was $17.30, you roundup to $20 and put $2.70 into your savings pot. You can round up to any amount that you’d like depending on your savings goals.
8. The trim 1% of your salary challenge
Slash your budget by 1% and save the money instead. For example, if you spend $10 a month on a beauty subscription service, cancel it and you’ll save $120 every year. There’s no limit to how many times you slash your budget, so go through your outgoings and highlight areas that you could save the money rather than spend it.
9. Spare change challenge
Turn small amounts of change into a pile of cash with the spare change challenge. Put the change weighing down your wallet or in the cup holders of your car to good use. Regularly go hunting for loose change around your home and in your car, then put it aside and keep track of how much you’ve collected. Don’t forget to add any coins that you get when you make a purchase.
10. The kick a bad habit money challenge
Do you have a bad habit that you’re trying to break? This money savings challenge could be for you. Perhaps you want to stop eating sugary snacks or stop swearing. Turn your bad habits into positives by choosing a dollar amount, then every time you commit your bad habit, put that amount of money into your savings funds.
11. $5 savings challenge
One of the most popular saving challenges of 2021 so far is the $5 challenge. All you need to do is save every $5 note you receive until the end of the year. If you don’t carry cash, transfer uneven funds from your bank account into your savings funds instead.
12. Coffee break challenge
The average American coffee drinker consumes 2.7 cups a day, at 9oz per cup. If you spend $5 once a day or more at Starbucks, your coffee can work out to be a high expense. The coffee break challenge stops you from spending money on coffee or other little things and gets you to save the cash instead.
13. Weather Wednesday savings challenge
Every Wednesday, record the highest temperature in your state or town and use the figure to top up your savings. So, if in summer the temperature reaches 110 degrees, you transfer $110. In winter, if the weather is only 17 degrees, you put $17 into your account. If it’s -1 or lower, put nothing in. This is a fun twist on the usual saving challenges and leaves it up to Mother Nature to determine how much you will save over a year.
If you’re addicted to social media, this challenge will help you save a ton of dosh. Decide on the amount you want to save, then every time you post on social media, transfer that amount into a savings account. Some money tracking apps will automatically do this for you, which means you don’t have to even think about it.
15. The pantry challenge
Put your weekly grocery trips on hold until you’ve used up all of the food that’s in your pantry, fridge or freezer. This is a great method to save money in the short term and help you reduce wastage and develop better spending habits. Some people do this challenge every couple of months to control expenditure on food.
Save your way to financial success
Money saving challenges need to challenge you to work, however they also need to be realistic to help you save money. Are you up for taking on one of the saving challenges we’ve listed above? Pick your favorite and get started. You don’t have to wait for a new year to begin saving. What’s stopping you from starting today? Discover how much you can save by heading to our personal finances blog for the latest tips and tricks.