If saving money is a struggle for you, it’s possible that the issue is that you’re not pushing yourself enough.
To put it another way, maybe you should undertake a money-saving challenge. As in, make it a game to motivate you to save money.
Money-saving challenges have become increasingly common on the internet, and they are likely to grow in popularity if the economy continues to sputter. These challenges, which can be found on everything from Pinterest to personal finance sites, inspire spenders to become savers by hoarding money in unconventional ways. Like the popular $1 a week challenge, where you tell yourself you’ll have $52 by the end of the year. Of course, back in 1958, it would have been a more impressive money-saving challenge.
Even, setting a buck aside every week is about as easy as it gets, and many people aren’t even doing that, according to various polls that show most Americans don’t have $300, $400, or $1,000 set aside for an emergency.
It’s possible that you don’t save money because you don’t have enough. It’s possible that you haven’t developed the habit of saving because you haven’t taught yourself to do so.
“The biggest challenge to people starting to save money is not a lack of information about where to find money to save. Rather, it’s their attitude toward money that’s the problem. It’s thinking things like, “I’ll never be able to save enough money or earn enough to make a difference,” and “I’ll never be able to save enough money or earn enough to make a difference.” “Nev Harris, a Pittsburgh-based financial coach who works with entrepreneurs and freelancers around the country, agrees.
“Mentally, they don’t see the value of finding that money by changing their current spending,” Harris says of many people who struggle to save. “But they don’t start saving for the future because in their mind they believe it won’t contribute to something important.”
So, if you’re trying to save money, give some of these money-saving challenges a shot. After all, as Harris points out, “What are the steps to being wealthy? By putting aside $1 at a time.”
- The 52-week savings challenge.
- The “no spend” challenge.
- The pantry challenge.
- The “keep all the change” challenge.
- The holiday gift challenge.
- The “pay yourself when you make a money mistake” challenge.
This is the time-honored savings challenge mentioned earlier. Long before people were posting money-saving challenges on social media, there was a savings contest. Simply decide to save $1 a week, $2 a week, or $5 a week. The trick is to find something manageable, but hopefully something substantive. You’d have $260 at the end of the year if you saved $5 a week, which is cool, but you’re not likely to be all that satisfied after a year.
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However, if you save $100 every week, you’ll have $5,200, which you might use for a trip, holiday presents, an emergency fund, and so on.
With these 52-week savings challenges, you might also get a lot more adventurous. Some people will save $1 for the first week, $2 for the second, $3 for the third, and $52 for the 52nd week. You’d have $1,378 at the end of a year if you did that.
The “No Spend” Challenge
This can be a lot more enjoyable than it seems. You choose a weekend or a week that seems daunting but doable for you, and you spend no money on it. This should make for an exemption when it comes to paying for such things, such as bills. It’s not even winning a “no spend” contest if you don’t pay your water bill or mortgage.
However, you might tell yourself that you aren’t going to spend any money for the weekend or a week unless common sense dictates otherwise.
Obviously, the aim is to save money by not investing. It can also be enjoyable. Since you can’t afford a particular tool that you need, you might be forced to come up with some imaginative workarounds – or you might dig deeper into your wardrobe instead of purchasing new clothing. Since you’ll be driving less and saving money on petrol, you may find yourself doing more fun things at home. Yes, the no-spend challenge is ideal for pandemics and stay-at-home situations.
The Pantry Challenge
This is a variation of the “no spend challenge” and is a successful money-saving challenge for these times. This is a competition in which you declare that you will not buy more food until you have used up all of the options in your refrigerator and pantry. Right? You purchased those artichoke hearts and coconut oil for a reason, even if you can’t remember what it was for. This is your chance to use and eat the food you’ve already purchased while saving money for a few days, weeks, or however long you can go without returning to the store as long as it isn’t expired.
The “Keep All the Change” Challenge
Many people already do this, so you should make it official. Find a container to put your change in if you get it from a shop or come across it in your home. Do it for a year and see how many you have, then take it all to a coin counting and collecting machine or your bank.
You may also download an app like Acorns to do the spare change challenge in a more modern way. Any time you make a purchase, Acorns will round up the amount and invest the difference in a diversified investment portfolio.
Acorns have monthly payments that start at $1 per month.
The Holiday Gift Challenge
This is a concept that has been around for a long time. Many credit unions have holiday interest-bearing savings accounts, where you deposit $5, $10, or whatever you want once a week every week, and then have money for the holidays when December arrives.
It’s easy – and clever. Consider how much you spent on the holidays last December, or better yet, go through your bank or credit card statements and add it up. Assume you’ll invest as much in December, if not more. Then, based on how many weeks are left, figure out how much you’ll need to put away each week to reach your desired holiday gift number.
Yes, putting aside $15, $20, $50, or whatever you like you need to every week might not be enjoyable. But by December, you’ll have given yourself one of the best presents possible: the assurance that everyone’s gifts have been paid for.
The “Pay Yourself When You Make a Money Mistake” Challenge
This doesn’t seem to be a national problem, but it might be, and it would make sense. You might make a promise to yourself that if you make a financial mistake, you’ll put $1 – or $5 – or whatever amount you want – in a piggy bank or a separate checking account. You hit yourself with a fee if you pay a bill late, or if you collect an overdraft fee from the bank, or if you go shopping on impulse – whatever laws you come up with.
You’ll win either way by the end of the year. If you have a lot of money, you’ll be grateful – but also chastened by all of your financial mistakes over the year. If you have almost no money in your account, you should feel good about yourself and how responsible you are with your money – and try or devise a new money-saving challenge.