Believe it or not, the new year is almost upon us. If getting financially fit is on your list of resolutions, a savings challenge can be a great place to start. Check out five of our favorites for some inspiration!
Of course, spending less can help you save more, but it’s easier said than done. Plus, there will always be “musts” to spend on, such as rent, utilities, groceries, and gas. Decide what for you is an essential, and what’s an extra, and determine a feasible amount of time to go without the latter.
Check out our guide to doing a no-spend challenge.
This popular one is pretty straightforward. You start small by saving $1 the first week and keep adding on $1 every week. By the end of the year, you will have saved $1,378.
To mix it up, try doing the challenge backward by putting aside $52 and reducing the amount saved by $1 every week, so you have more to spend (and more saved up!) by the holidays.
To make the most out of this challenge, put your money into a high interest earning savings account, rather than keeping cash at home. Most credit unions or banks compound interest either daily or weekly, so the longer you have your money in the account, the more it will grow.
Check whether your financial institution offers a holiday club account. The idea behind this type of high interest earning account is to put aside a certain amount regularly (weekly, biweekly or monthly) so that you have a fund to spend on gifts and other needs come winter holiday time. By creating automatic transfers to your holiday club, you can just set it, forget it, and watch your money grow!
If putting $20 or so aside every week seems overwhelming, start a daily challenge with a nickel. Deposit $.05 into your savings account, then $0.10 then $0.15, and so on, until you hit $18.40. Believe it or not, you will have at least $3,300 by the end of the challenge, or even more if you use a high-yield savings account.
Love tracking the weather? Make it even more interesting by tying the weather to how much you can save. An Arizona blogger came up with the idea of “Weather Wednesdays,” in which she would make a weekly deposit to her savings account based on the high temperature of her city that day. For example, if the high is 80 degrees on your chosen savings day, you would deposit $80 into your account. Since this blogger lived in Arizona, your savings might not be quite as high as hers depending on your climate, but it still adds up!
Ever hear of a “Yes Day”? Well, how about trying a “No Day”? Make a list of all your recurring charges and daily or weekly spending habits, and see what you can cut out. Are you really using every network you’re subscribed for? Do you have a coffee card that automatically reloads? Can you cut out your morning trip to get a breakfast sandwich?
Cancel as many things as possible and put the money you would spend on them directly into savings.
Spice up your savings challenge by challenging a friend to participate with you, and see who can save more. Since you’ll both be saving more, it’s a win for everyone!