One of the biggest resolutions on everyone’s list, and often the one that is rarely achieved, is saving more money. Everyone knows that it’s a great idea to save money, so why don’t more people do it? It’s simple, saving can be hard. But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can save more money this year and check off a resolution by trying out a few money saving challenges.
This post was written by the talented Kimberly Studdard. Enjoy!
3 Money Saving Challenges!
Now, these aren’t your typical 52-week money challenges. You know the one I’m talking about, where you save a certain amount of money for 52 weeks, and it equals to $1378 by the end of the year? Well, while that challenge isn’t bad, it’s easy to forget about and the money increases as the year goes on. This could mean that you are trying to save a ton of money around Christmas time, which is not always possible.
So here are a few out of the box money saving challenges that you may not have heard of, but that can seriously save you a ton of cash.
This is one of my favorite money saving challenges! So if you feel like money burns a hole in your pocket every time you earn some, this challenge is for you. Whenever you use your debit card, save the leftover amount from your purchase. For example, say you spend $27.18 on gas. Round up your purchase to $28 and put the .82 cents in your savings.
This way of savings is one of the easier ones, and it also helps you balance your books a little easier (raise your hand if you still own a checkbook!). Most likely, you won’t miss a few pennies here and there, so you won’t even feel like you’re saving.
The great thing about this challenge is that the little amounts here and there add up! I made my husband try this method last year, and by the end of the year, he had saved $527 without even thinking about it!
If you prefer to spend cash, you can still do this challenge. Instead of rounding up, just throw your change into a jar.
2) The “I Love Grocery Shopping” Challenge
Groceries are actually one of the first things that people look at when cutting expenses and for good reason. The average family of four spends $1047 on food every single month. That’s a grand total of $12,564 a YEAR, which is insane.
My family is one of those that spend more than they should on groceries. When I noticed my family starting to spend a ton on groceries, plus extra for eating out, I created a game to help us cut back. This game has been a real challenge, but it’s helped us cut costs & save the money we would have been spending.
The simple rules of the game are that every person in my household gets $40 to spend for the week. My daughter, who is only 2, gets $25. Now, keep in mind, I am in the Midwest, so food is a lot cheaper. If you live in a more expensive area, divide your average week of spending by the amount of people in your household, and lower that number by $10-$20. From there, you can lower it every week until you know you can’t go lower.
When you have your weekly shopping amount, take that money out in cash and hand it to every person in the household. This is their money to spend for the week. For my family, I take the money for me and my daughter, and my sister and husband spend their own. If you live with children, or elderly parents, you can decide who will shop for them.
Once everyone has their cash, it’s time to go shopping! The reason why this challenge is hard but fun is that everyone in the family participates, and most likely they will get competitive to see who can save the most money. If you don’t spend your full weekly amount, take that money and throw it into a savings jar. If you go over, you have to deduct that from the next weeks trip.
This challenge has worked well for my family, and besides the first week, we have been under budget every single grocery trip! We’ve been able to save a little under $300 since we started in December, which has gone straight into a savings account!
3) The “I Want A Big Savings Account!” Challenge
If you really want to get aggressive with your money saving challenges, the best way to do that is to save every single random piece of income you receive. I’ve only completed the challenge once, and let me tell you, it was super hard. But, if you have the dedication and motivation, this can save you some serious moolah!
Many people get a tax refund, and that’s when this challenge starts. If you don’t receive a refund, that’s okay, just start this challenge if you get side hustle money or a bonus from work. For those that do receive a refund, take the entire thing and throw it into savings. That’s right, take your entire refund check and put it in the bank. Don’t touch it, and for the love of tacos don’t spend it on unnecessary items (like tacos).
Once you’ve saved your refund, save any money that comes in through side hustling, bonuses, raises, and gifts. Save every last penny. If you don’t think you have the willpower, transfer the money to a savings account that you can’t easily touch (like an online account that limits withdrawals).
By the end of the year, you should have at least $1,000 in your savings, but I know people who will have much more. Sure, this is the hardest challenge on the list, but sometimes you have to make sacrifices to see the rewards. If you aren’t ready for this type of commitment, you can always save half of all of your “extra” money. You’ll still be putting away a bit of cash, but you’ll be able to enjoy your money a little more.
There you have it! Three money saving challenges that aren’t the 52-week money challenge! These challenges can be used all in the same year, or you can pick and choose when you want to complete them. The important thing is to start saving money today! It can be hard, but it can also be fun. Besides, who doesn’t want to look and see a few extra bucks sitting in their savings at the end of the year?
Which of the money saving challenges is your favorite?
My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.