Have you ever started a savings challenge, only to get to week 5 and realize you don't have enough “left-over” money to continue the challenge? Nothing is more frustrating to me than starting something and not being able to finish it. Some people are fine with starting a project and finishing it a month later. I have the type of personality where I need to finish it NOW, no matter how big the project is.
There are a lot of money saving challenges out there that start with saving a small amount of money in the beginning, and then by the end, it jumps up to saving $300 in one week. I don't know about you, but when I first started saving money, this was just not doable.
For example, I saw a savings challenge that said, “Save $10,000 in just 52 weeks.” 52 weeks may seem like a long time to save money, but saving $125-$325 every week seems a little crazy, especially if you are just starting out or don't have a lot of disposable income to work with.
Saving $10,000 in 52 weeks is a good challenge. In fact, if you have the extra cash, I say go for it! But if you don't, this article is for you!
Today, I want to share with you some saving challenges that you can be successful at, even if you don't have a lot of money to save.
The 52-Week Money Saving Challenge
I bet you have heard of this one! You can thank Kassondra Perry-Moreland for creating this challenge. Why do I love this? It's not only doable; it's customizable too.
The original 52-week money saving challenge works like this:
Each week for 52 weeks, you deposit or save the number of that week. For example, if you are starting the challenge in 2018, the 1st week of 2018, you would deposit $1 into your savings account (or jar). For week two, you would deposit $2. Week three, you would deposit $3, etc.
Doing this means the largest sum of money you will ever have to deposit is $52, and if you are using the example from above, that would be the very last week of 2018. If you complete the challenge, you will have saved $1,378.
Here is a visual of what the saving schedule looks like:
Over time, there have been many variations of the 52-Week Money Saving Challenge. Here is a great list that shows how you can really customize this to fit your saving goals.
The $5 Money Challenge
The $5 Saving Challenge is easy and a lot of fun. It has a randomness about it that it makes it enticing. The rules are simple. For a year (or whatever time-frame you choose), you save EVERY $5 bill that comes into your possession. Put it aside into a dedicated jar or envelope and watch the bills stack up.
After a year, you might be surprised by how many $5 you'll have saved. Use your new savings for an emergency fund, family vacation, or gifts.
There is only one rule with this challenge. YOU CAN'T ACTIVELY SEEK OUT $5 bills. That means you can't ask for change in $5, and you can't just go to the bank and make a withdrawal for all $5. The fun thing about this challenge is its randomness. It doesn't work if you cheat!
There is a Facebook group dedicated to people who are doing this challenge. You can join HERE.
365-Day Penny Saving Challenge
Sometimes, any money saved is better than no money saved. If you complete this challenge, you will have $668 in your savings account. This may seem like a small amount for a year's worth of effort, but in the end, it's better than nothing.
I have always said that the amount saved is not important. The important thing about saving money is developing a consistent saving behavior. Saving money does not come naturally to everyone. Some people, like myself, have a spending personality. If you share this personality with me, then it's more important than ever to develop good financial habits. Saving money is one of them, no matter the amount. (And once you get in the habit, consider automating your savings in a high interest account like CIT Bank’s Savings Builder Account.)
With this challenge, the most you will ever have to save for one week is $36.50, and that's the very last week of the challenge. If the 52-Week Money Saving Challenge or the $5 Saving Challenge aren't going to work for your budget, I suggest trying this one instead.
Here is how the challenge works. You save a penny on the first day of the challenge and add a penny to your savings balance every following day. For example, day one you save one penny, day two you save two pennies, which will give you a total of three cents in your savings account. Day three you save three pennies, which will give you a total of six cents in your savings account. You repeat this process for 365.
On the 365th day, you will have saved $668. For this challenge, I suggest using an old glass jar. An old spaghetti sauce jar would be perfect for this challenge. Tape a piece of paper around it and use tally marks to mark the days you saved your pennies.
$300 12-Week Christmas Challenge
I have told you in the past about how I have multiple savings accounts. When I say multiple, I currently have eight. Yes, eight savings accounts! I use each one for a different purpose, and last year I added one that has helped me save for special occasions and holidays.
Not only do multiple savings accounts help me organize my money, but it helps me buy things I would otherwise have to put on credit. For years, I would put Christmas presents on my credit card, promising myself that I would pay it off a couple of weeks after Christmas. But I never did. It usually got paid off 6-8 months later. That means all of those Christmas presents just got a whole lot more expensive due to the interest payments I had to make for carrying a balance from month to month.
I finally said “no more!” That's when I started completing the $300 12-Week Christmas Saving Challenge. If you complete the challenge, you will have saved $300 to use towards Christmas presents, holiday travel, or decorations. I don't go too crazy for Christmas. I have all of the decorations, and most of the time, we don't travel more than 40 miles to be with family. So, the only thing I really have to worry about is Christmas presents.
My family does an exchange every year, so I am fortunate that I don't have to buy everyone a present. Mostly, I spend money on my son. $300 can go a long way, and if you budget and plan ahead, spending only $300 is doable.
Here is what the saving schedule looks like:
The Bottom Line
If you are struggling to build an emergency fund, or just want to save money for a family vacation, completing a saving challenges can help. Before I completed the 52-Week Money Saving Challenge, I had nothing saved. I had no emergency fund and ended up putting unexpected expenses on my credit card. This went on for years and is one of the main reasons I stayed in credit card debt for so long.
Everyone has to start somewhere. For me, it was starting with nothing, and working with little left-over income. Being consistent, and making saving a priority gave me a freedom I didn't have before. Start saving money today!How much you save is never as important as developing a habit of saving. Click To Tweet
Make sure to get all of my savings challenge trackers in the Free Resource Library!