Whether you’re in a comfortable financial situation or in a tough one right now, everyone should aim at saving more money every year to increase their net worth. You could need those savings as an emergency fund, to start a business, for retirement, a vacation, etc. There’s no bad reason to save money. Easier said than done, right? Drumroll… behold the money saving challenge!
We’ve turned the painful chore of saving money into a fun challenge! You can pick one for yourself, or even better, challenge your significant other, a family member, or a friend. It is scientifically proven that when there’s money or honor on the line, people are more disciplined and perform better.
The money saving challenges are divided into different ways of saving so you can choose the best one for your financial situation and/or budget.
The objective, after reading through them, is to convince at least one other person to do it with you. The more people you can get on board the merrier. Share the article with them and pick one of the money saving challenges. Print it out and let the fun begin; the challenges are all in a printable version.
You shouldn’t wait until next year to start, as these money saving challenges are often associated with the famous weight loss resolutions of the New Year. Start today! A money saving challenge is a fast and painless solution to saving money on any budget.
Where should you put your accumulated savings?
When you’ve completed one of the money saving challenges, you’ll have racked up a nice amount of cash. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could keep growing those savings organically? Check out how to make money while you sleep. It’s by far, the easiest way to invest your savings and make money on autopilot.
Best money saving challenges to try with another person
Here are the different challenges you should try to incorporate into your day-to-day life.
Looking for the best ways to make money fast or save money? Check out my list of 22 Proven Ways To Make Ends Meet, Make Money Fast & Save Cash.
365-day money saving challenge
The first money saving challenge on our list uses a very simple concept to get you to save money. Every day you will put aside one more penny than the previous day. So on day 1 $0.01, day 2 $0.02, day 3 $0.03. With this increment, on day 365 you will save $3.65 on that day. With this challenge, the yearly savings accumulate to $667.95. You can download and print the sheet below. Every day, cross off the dollar amount you’ve saved. Keep this page in a place where you’ll be able to see it easily and not forget about it i.e. fridge, office, room, etc.
This challenge is ideal if you want to feel happy about positively contributing to your savings on a daily basis.
Monthly 30 day money saving challenge
If you’re paid once per month, the monthly money saving challenge is perfect for you. The numbers we wrote in the deposit section have no specific significance. They increase every month to help you save a total of $1 378 during the year. This is more than twice the money saved from the previous challenge and is considered a bit more aggressive yet beneficial for your personal finances. The first month you deposit $21 in your savings account, 2nd month $45, and you keep following the sheet. Since you’re only contributing 12 times during the year, we recommend this method for only the most disciplined people. It’s easy to forget to contribute because of the low frequency of deposits.
Bi-weekly money saving challenge
If you get paid every two weeks, i.e. 26 paycheques per year, the bi-weekly money saving challenge is best for you. You’ll save $3 on your first paycheque which is $1 for week one + $2 for week two. On your second paycheque, you’ll save $7 which is $3 for week 3 + $4 for week 4. At the end of the year, you’ll have $1 378 saved with this challenge.
Twice per month money saving challenge
If you get paid twice per month, i.e. 24 paycheques per year, then use the twice per month money saving challenge instead. You get two fewer paycheques, but we’ve modified the amount you save per pay period so you can come up with the same savings. At the end of the year, you’ll have accumulated $1 378 with this challenge as well.
52-week money saving challenge
We’re now entering the section of 52-week challenges, this one being the first on the list. Very simple: you save money weekly by increments of $1 per week. On week 1 you save $1, on week 2 you save $2, on week 3 you save $3, etc. Easy, simple, effective, back to basics! During the 52 weeks, you’ll save $ 1 378 with this challenge.
Double 52-week money saving challenge
If you think the previous challenge is a walk in the park, ante up and double up! Put your money where your mouth is and save twice as much. This is also perfect if you’re challenging someone who is in a better financial situation (i.e parents, grandparents). You could challenge them to the double 52-week version while you do the regular 52-week money saving challenge. For the double version, week 1 you’ll save $2. Week 2 you’ll save $4. Week 3 you’ll save $6, and so on. The 52nd week you’ll save $104. By the end of the year, you will have saved $2 756.
Mini 52-week money saving challenge
On the other hand, if the regular 52-week challenge is a bit too much to handle for your current financial situation, you can opt-in to the mini 52-week money saving challenge. Instead of going all-in with $1 on week 1, you would go with $0.50 and move up the ladder by increments of $0.50 instead. Week 1 you save $0.50, week 2 you save $1, week 3 you save $1.50, etc. This challenge is ideal for beginners, but still helps save $689 over the course of the year. This is nothing to be ashamed about. No one would frown upon having that extra cash sitting aside in their bank account.
Reverse 52-week money saving challenge
Many people feel like their disposable income gets hit hard in the winter months leading into the Holiday Season. There is more shopping for Christmas and Holiday gifts in November and December. If you’d like to respect/win your challenge, the reverse 52-week money saving challenge could be the best option.
This challenge allows you to begin saving $52 on week 1 and moving down to $51 on week 2, $50 on week 3, etc. When you get to the hard winter months, you’re saving the equivalent of coffee money; it’s much less harsh on your wallet. You still save $1 378 over the course of the year.
In fact, if you combine this method with the power of compounding interest from an interest-yielding account, you’ll have more money by year’s end than with the regular 52-week money saving challenge. More interest will accrue at the beginning of the year because of the larger sum, which provides you with that snowball/compounding effect.
You can also reverse any of the other challenges I presented if you love the argument of the compounding interest. To show you guys this, I put $1 000 on April 1, 2020, into an investing account. You can see the progress report here to see what the account is at now with absolutely no additional contribution or effort.
Flexible 52-week money saving challenge
The flexible 52-week money saving challenge is ideal for people who have variability with their income. A sales rep that earns more or less commission every paycheque is the perfect example. This challenge is a checklist, you need to check one box per week which equals what you decided to save.
If you have a good week, you can put more money aside and you can check a larger amount. Nice job, now head over to check the $52 week. On smaller weeks, you would do the opposite and check the $1 box. The order is not important with this challenge. That’s why it’s the most flexible money saving challenge on our list.
This method allows you to save the same amount as with the other 52-week challenges. You’ll have $1 378 set aside by the end of the year.
NO-spend money saving challenge
When you challenge yourself or someone to the NO-spend money saving challenge, you’ll need to establish some ground rules first. The objective with this one is to completely eliminate one spending category from your budget for an entire month. For example, you could eliminate restaurants for one month, shopping, or alcohol. October would be an excellent month for eliminating alcohol spending if you’re doing Joe Rogan’s Sober October.
If you’re trying to identify a specific area in your budget that you would like to cut-out for a whole month, check out #11 on 22 Proven Ways To Make Ends Meet, Make Money Fast & Save Cash. You’ll be able to target higher spend areas, categories, and merchants.
Round up challenge
Imagine if every time you spent money, a small amount automatically gets set aside to go into your savings account. The Roundup feature from WealthSimple automatically saves and invests your spare change when you make a purchase. Here’s how it works: open a WealthSimple invest account, turn on the Roundup feature, that’s it!
When you buy something with your debit or credit card, the purchase amount will be rounded up to the nearest dollar and that extra spare change is invested in your WealthSimple account. If you make a purchase for $4.65, it will round up your transaction to $5, investing the difference of $0.35 for you. This represents hundreds if not thousands of dollars automatically saved and invested every year with no effort.
“Dare you to save” challenge
This is the most aggressive money saving challenge on our list. The idea is to challenge another person in the same financial situation as you to save a minimum of $X XXX amount by the end of the year. You also put a $50 reward on the table for the person who wins/saves the most money. Let’s say you dare your co-worker Dave to save $1 000 in the next 6 months. If Dave saves $1 134 and you come up short at $922, you would owe Dave $50 because he won the challenge. This challenge works well because it holds each other accountable. If Dave isn’t a complete dick, he’ll bring you out for lunch and pay for it. If you have a sense of adversity, this one is for you.
This money saving challenge is a derivative of a money making challenge I used to do with my buddies in medical sales. The difference was that whoever made the most money at the end of the year, between a group of 4 friends, ended up paying a really expensive dinner for all of us. Usually, the winner made 25k to 50k more than the last person in the group. Even if dinner was $1 000, it served as a celebration for that person earning the #1 spot for yearly earnings in our group. I would advocate something like this only if you’re paid a determined income with you colleagues, like sales. I don’t know too many people who like to open their books to show others how much they earned during the year.
If you think this is awesome, you’ll love what happens during an NHL team’s rookie party. During my hockey career, an NHL rookie party was a legal, yet very extravagant outing and celebration. The entire team would go to one of the best and most expensive restaurants in the city to celebrate the end of the training camp and the start of the season. The veterans ordered the most elegant wines and the finest champagne bottles that you could ever imagine. They were sending drinks to everyone in the place. The rookies were witnessing and having the craziest time of their life, now being part of the team in the Big League. At the end of the feast, all of the veterans disappeared at once, leaving the rookies, usually a pool of four 18-20 year old “kids”, with the entire bill to pay! It usually totaled over $100 000, which the rookies needed to split amongst themselves. After that dinner, you were officially part of the squad. Here is one of those insane bills from the Boston Bruins. I guess they don’t really need a money saving challenge! Maybe those rookies will after that dinner though…
Spread the wealth challenge
For this one, you absolutely need to do it with a friend/relative/co-worker. Pick any challenge from the list above; if your goal was to save $1 378 by the end of the year, challenge yourselves to work together towards a common objective of $3 000. Plan to use or spend the difference together. To make numbers simple, if you both saved $1 578, it means you’ve exceed the common goal by $156. Use the $156 for an activity for both of you. This works well because you’re working together as a team towards a common goal.
50% grocery bill challenge
This challenge requires you to do two amazing things for your budget, spend less, and save more. Try this for one or two months: when you go to the grocery store, keep your receipt, and save 50% of the total amount, that’s all. It will have you rethink what you’re buying in a positive way. If you normally spend $200 on groceries today, you would need to save $100. With this challenge, chances are that your grocery bill might go from $200 to $140. With a grocery bill of $140 you would need to put $70 into your savings (50% of $140), but you’ve just increased your net worth by $130 (you eliminated $60 in spending and increased your savings by $70 for a total of $130).
Please remember that all the ideas thrown out at you in this article are to help you and/or another person accumulate some savings for future projects or an emergency fund. In no way is this meant to put someone in hot water financially. All these money saving challenges were created for fun so you could set a financial objective, stay on track with it, and be accountable to yourself and other people. There is no reason for you to fail if you have one of the challenges printed out on your fridge, especially if you’re doing it with someone else.
Keep it where you can see it every day. When I worked in medical device sales, the most important criteria for nurses to use my products was to have them in their line of sight while caring for a patient. Of course, every company knew about this so we were fighting for the visual real estate space in a patient’s room. I’m mentioning this because we underestimate the importance of seeing something every day, such as our goals. If you’ve read The Secret, you also understand this fundamental principle of goal achievement. If you haven’t read this book, it’s a game changer for your personal and professional life, I suggest you read it or gift it to someone you really care about.
If you’d like to challenge me to one of these money saving challenges, please let me know in the comments section below. We’ll find a way to make it work and all win together!
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