Money-saving tasks can be turned into a fun-filled activities with small yet simple challenges. Cash up to $1500 a year can be saved which otherwise would have been hard without the challenge.
Money challenges also help you –
- Start a habit of saving consistently
- Learn about your financial goals
- Track your budget
- Improve your personal finances
You can start with your family, friends, colleagues, or any accountable partner for motivation. This also helps you to be on track. Here are 12 simple money-saving challenges that you must try in 2022
#1. No Unnecessary Spend For a Month Challenge
Here you are supposed to spend money only on basic needs like – food, gas, rent, mortgage, and bills only.
Any additional spending or splurge is to be avoided.
You are free to choose the challenge time frame be it for two weeks or for a month. But don’t just hold yourself for the challenge time period and immediately start spending after the period is over.
After a few short no-spend challenges, you will be ready to take a longer period like a month or 3-month challenge.
Make sure you are not spending on – Dining, New Clothes, Eating out, Amazon, or Home Decor.
#2. Inverted 52-Week Money Challenge
You save $1 the first week, $2 the second week, and so on to complete the 52-week. By the end of the year, you would have saved $1,378 if you continue to do so.
Turn the challenge upside down and do it backward.
This is how it will look –
- $52 into savings – week 1
- $51 into savings – week 2
- $50 into savings – week 3
- $49 into savings – week 4
- $2 into savings – week 51
- $1 into savings – week 52
You will find the challenge a great way to save money for Christmas gifts if you start the challenge in the first week of January every year.
#3. Nickel-Saving for 365-Day Challenge
If you miss saving weekly or bi-weekly deposits somehow, then you can try the 365-day nickel saving challenge.
Start by depositing $0.05 on day 1. On the next day, increase the amount by $0.05. Every day the increment is fixed at $0.05.
The challenge seems easy as the amount is less, but after 365 days you end up saving more money.
$3,339.75 is the exact amount saved under the challenge.
Here is how the challenge works –
- On 1st day, deposit $0.05 into the savings
- 2nd day, deposit $0.10 into savings
- On 3rd day, deposit $0.15 into savings… and so on till day 365
#4. Save $1 Bill Challenge
The $1 bill challenge is simple – every time you get a one-dollar bill as change, put it in your savings envelope or a large jar.
Count at the year-end and use them in some fun activity.
You can take money to the bank for depositing and the counting part will be taken care by your bank.
A better idea would be to invest the saved amount in the VTSAX index fund and see it grow over years.
#5. Spare Change Challenge
The Spare Change Challenge is quite similar to the $1 Bill challenge. Here you don’t need to wait for exactly one dollar bill.
Whenever you get any loose change, you need to put them in a jar or a piggy bank. Take the jar to the bank at the end of the year and put money in your savings account.
If you don’t use cash to purchase then the challenge won’t work for you.
Another way around this is to download an app like Acorns.
Acorns automatically round up the total whenever you make a purchase. The extra money added to the round-up is collected as spare change.
For example, if you get a coffee for $3.75 then Acorns will debit $4 from your account – $3.75 for coffee and $0.75 as spare change for investment.
The change is then invested into a diversified investment portfolio. Acorns charge a $3 fee every month.
#6. Avoid Eating Out Challenge
Try to stop eating out for an entire month. The challenge will surely help you save more money than you realize.
You can even choose 3 months for this challenge. You’ll be shocked to know how much money can be saved when you cut out dining at restaurants.
You can pair this challenge if you wish with another one like – the $1 bill challenge and save even more.
#7. Kicking Gratuitous Challenge
The kicking gratuitous challenge will take a little more effort and time.
Here you’ll have to think about every single purchase and decide whether it is an absolute necessary purchase or is it unwarranted, needless, or just for a showoff.
Unwarranted purchases are impulse buying or simply having a coffee while you are shopping without really needing it.
You need to keep all the likely gratuitous spending money in a separate account for a certain time period like 1/3/6 months or for a year.
#8. The Pantry Challenge
Every year, 108 billion pounds of food is wasted in the United States.
In the pantry challenge, you avoid buying any food until you’ve exhausted all the eating possibilities from your refrigerator and pantry.
You need to consume whatever food you’ve already bought as long as the food is not expired and save money for a few days or weeks.
The pantry challenge is more like a subset of the no-spend challenge.
#9. The Holiday Gift Challenge
Many credit unions offer holiday interest-bearing savings accounts, for example, “Holiday Club” from Service Credit Union.
The challenge is to open one-holiday gift account and run it for a year.
You can start with $0.01 minimum for a 3% APY.
You can contribute $5 or $10 or any amount every week. Till December, you will have enough money for the holidays.
#10. 7-Day Challenge
The challenge here is to save money as shown below –
Mon – $1
Tue – $2
Wed – $3
Thr – $4
Fri – $5
Sat – $6
Sun – $7
And then repeat on Monday. By the end of the year, you have a nice kitty of $1,456 saved.
#11. Cash Only for a Month Challenge
Cash’s only challenge is for people who are tempted to buy things they can’t afford.
You need to carry only cash when you go shopping for a month.
You may feel awkward showing up with currency at the billing counter every time. But this small simple trick will arrest temptations and save you a substantial amount of money.
#12. Stackopoly Savings Game
By playing the Stackopoly Savings Game you can save up to $1500 yearly. Stackopoly is a digital download game available on Gumroad costing $3.
You roll a die each week to see how much to set aside for savings that week.
The amounts are in the $10 to $30 dollar range. The game is also available as a PDF download.
Pick the challenge based on your current cash flow scenario. The challenge should suit you and can be achieved by putting in some effort.
Keep a reward to celebrate when you complete the challenge successfully. Rewarding will keep you motivated to complete the challenge. You can also invite friends and family to make the challenge even more enjoyable.