The start of a new year always feels like the time to re-examine your goals and create new ones. It’s a common time to get your finances in order.
Saving challenges are popular for helping you get creative with saving. Sometime, there is hesitation to join them out of fear.
Nobody wants to do one and then fail to complete it, right?
Well, savings challenges are more than just completing them. They jump start your savings and get you on track to developing a consistent savings habit. Which is important when it comes to reaching your dreams.
Completing them, no matter if it’s finished fully or not, can help you get on your way towards bettering your finances and life.
If you’re looking to jump start your savings, here are eight different saving challenges to try.
1) 52 Week Saving Challenge
The most notable challenge is the 52-week saving challenge. If you’ve spent any amount of time on a personal finance site, you’ve probably seen it.
During the challenge, you saving an increasing amount each week. The dollar amount corresponds with the week. So the first week you save $1, the second week $2, third week $3 and so on. On the 52nd week of the year, you save $52.
By the end of the year, you will have amassed $1,378.
You could use this amount to save towards something like a travel or a mini emergency fund.
2) Reverse 52 Week Saving Challenge
The 52-week saving challenge is popular and many people have completed it. Although not everyone loves the idea of it.
People have pointed out how the challenge involves saving over $200 during the month of December. A time of the year when many people are buying gifts and things for the holidays.
The reverse 52-week Saving Challenge involves saving a decreasing amount each week. You start off by saving $52 the first week, then $51 the second week, and $1 on the 52nd week of the year.
A positive of doing the challenge this way is the quick win you get of saving a sizable amount of money. Doing the normal 52-week saving challenge would yield you $10 after four weeks. The reverse 52-week saving challenge would yield you $202 after four weeks.
Seeing a greater amount right off the bat could motivate you more. Saving the bigger amount at the start of the year could be easier to do since it won’t be during the holidays and you might have things like a tax refund to put towards savings.
3) Mini 52 Week Saving Challenge
For those looking to start small, the mini 52-week saving challenge involves starting at $0.50 rather than $1. You start off saving $0.50 the first week, $1 the second week, $1.50 the third week, and on the 52nd week, you save $26.
By the end of the challenge, you will have saved $689. Half the amount of the regular 52-week saving challenge.
If you’re looking to start small and save for small expense, this could be a good challenge to try.
4) Bi-Weekly Saving Challenge
If you get paid every other week, then that equals to 26 paychecks in a year. The bi-weekly saving challenge involves saving an increasing dollar amount corresponding to each week, except you save when you get your bi-weekly paycheck.
So for your first bi-weekly paycheck, you would save $3 ($1 for week one, $2 for week two). The savings for the second bi-weekly paycheck would be $7 ($3 for week three, $4 for week four). The final bi-weekly paycheck would involve a savings of $103 ($51 for week fifty-one, $52 for week fifty-two).
By the end of the challenge, you will have amassed $1,378.
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5) Monthly Saving Challenge
The monthly saving challenge involves saving an increasing amount month to month but a set amount each month. It can be an option for those who get paid once a month.
The saving amount varies from $25 to $150 for the month. In January you save $25, February $50. It goes up in $25 increments until you reach June and July when you save $150 for each month. After that it goes down in $25 with December being a month you save $25 for.
6) The No-Spend Challenge
No-spend challenges are usually done on a one-month basis, but people have also done it for an all-year thing.
A no-spend challenge may involve not buying anything outside of bare essentials. They could also be for not spending anything in “trouble” areas like eating out, shopping, or entertainment.
While there is no set amount you can expect to save, there are lots of benefits to doing a no-spend challenge. You’re able to pinpoint areas you’re struggling with and help you get resourceful with what you have.
7) Spare Change/Dollars Challenge
Do you remember the piggy bank you had as a kid? Yeah, this saving challenge is kind of like an adult piggy bank. You put all of your spare change into a jar and count it up at the end of the year.
There are a few ways to take this further. You could utilize financial technology services and download an app like Qapital which rounds up your bank transactions to the nearest dollar or two. So that $3.21 coffee means $0.79 in savings.
You could also incorporate dollar bills into it and save the $1 and $5 bills you have.
8) 365 Day Money Challenge
Think a penny saved can’t make a difference? Think again. With this challenge, you save money every day.
Start off with $0.01 the first day, $0.02 the second day and on the last day you save $3.65. In total you save $667.95 by the end of the year.
A lot of saving advice out there advises saving a set amount each month. Automating your savings can be great, but starting out by savings a set amount can feel hard.
Do a saving challenge to help you kickstart your savings. Set up a dedicated savings account to keep track of your savings. If you contribute $100 a month you get a high 2.45% APY on a CIT Bank savings account. This high interest rate could make a huge difference (DC learned this the hard way).
Consistency is the key thing to remember. Even if you’re starting out small, staying consistent will help you reach your savings target.