30 Awesome Money Saving Challenges to try in 2023
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Are you looking to save some extra money this year and reach your financial goals?
If so, you’re in luck!
Below is a list of 30 fun money-saving challenges to try that will help you increase your savings.
These challenges are fun, easy to follow, and most importantly, they work!
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What Is a Money Saving Challenge?
A money-saving challenge is a way to gamify your savings goals so you can save extra cash and have fun while you do it.
There are several different challenge approaches, but the general idea is to set aside a certain amount of money within a set time frame and watch your
Why Should I Try A Money Challenge?
While saving more money and having fun in the process may be reason enough for some, here are a few other reasons why you should try a money-saving challenge.
Save for emergency fund or upcoming goal
Money-saving challenges are a great way to jump-start your savings. Whether you’re building your emergency savings or have a specific goal in mind, a savings challenge can help you save money more quickly.
Set or reset your habits
Another reason a saving challenge is great is that it can help you break bad financial habits and develop good ones instead.
Gain new awareness about your spending
A lot of people who struggle to save think it’s because they don’t have enough money when in actuality they just don’t realize where they’re spending it.
A money-saving challenge will help you get more intentional with your money and give you a new awareness about where you’re spending it, as well as avoid impulse purchases in the future.
How Do I Choose the Right Challenge for Me?
The best way to choose the right challenge for you is to think about your goals.
Are you looking to save for a specific purpose? Choose a challenge that will help you save enough to reach that purpose.
Do you want to develop better spending habits? Pick a challenge that will help you adjust your spending behavior.
Need to jump-start your savings? Try a monthly savings challenge that will bring you the most money the fastest.
Once you know what your goals are, it’ll be easier to choose which money-saving challenge is right for your goal.
When Should I Start a Money Saving Challenge?
As with most things, the best time to start is usually now.
But with some challenges, it may be easier to keep track of things if you can use a calendar or tracker of some sort. In which case, start your challenge in alignment with that.
Some people also like to start their saving challenges at the beginning of the year or the start of a new month.
This can help you stay on top of your challenge and make it easier to see your progress over time.
There are no hard and fast rules about when to start a saving challenge, so do what feels best for you!
How Much Money Should I Save?
Your goals will determine how much you need to save.
Consider how much money you’ll need and how long you have to save it.
From there, you can decide how much money to set aside each week or month and which challenge will help you do that.
How Much Money Can I Save With These Challenges?
The amount you save will depend on the challenge you choose and how well you stick to it.
For shorter-term or monthly challenges, you can save anywhere from $50-$500, while annual saving challenges may help you save $1000 or more.
Where Should I Save My Money
It’s generally a good idea to put your savings in a high-yield savings account so it can earn interest.
Typically online banks and your local credit unions will offer the best rates.
Tips for Savings Challenge Success
Here are a few tips to help you be successful with your money-saving challenge:
Set a Goal
Having a specific goal in mind will help you stay focused and motivated throughout your challenge.
Visualize Your Progress
Use a tracker or journal to help you visualize your progress. This can be a
Find an Accountability Partner
Money-saving challenges are more fun with friends!
Find someone else who wants to save money and do the challenge together. You can encourage and motivate each other along the way.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, start small!
There’s no shame in starting with a $20 savings goal for the month. The important thing is that you’re taking action and working towards your money goals.
Save Your Savings
The whole point of money-saving challenges is to actually save that money.
Make sure you’re actually moving your savings from your checking account into a separate savings account so you don’t spend it.
What Are Some Examples of Money Saving Challenges?
Now that we’ve gone over some of the basics, here are 30 awesome money-saving challenges to try this year!
A no-spend challenge is exactly what it sounds like.
You don’t spend any unnecessary money for a set period of time (usually a month).
This means no shopping, eating out, entertainment, etc.
It may sound difficult, but it’s worth it.
Not only is a no-spend month a great way to save extra money, but it’s also a great tool to break bad spending habits.
You may be surprised how effective and life-changing a no-spend challenge can be.
Save the Date Challenge
The Save the Date Challenge is
The task is to save the equivalent of the date each day of the month. So $1 on the first, $2 on the second, $3 on the third, and so on.
By the end of the month, you’ll have saved almost $500!
Spare Change Challenge
This is a great challenge for anyone who wants to start small.
Simply empty out your pockets at the end of each day and put all of your spare change into a savings jar.
Once the jar is full, go deposit it into your savings account.
Keep the Change Challenge (aka The Round-Up Challenge)
Round-ups have become a popular automated savings challenge offered by banks and apps.
Every purchase gets rounded up to the nearest dollar and the difference gets saved to your savings or investment account.
A round-up challenge is a great way to build savings or start investing without much effort or much impact on your overall spending.
Weather Wednesday Challenge
This one is inspired by a fellow Arizonan who decided to find a positive way to endure our scorching summer temps.
The idea here is to save the high temperature each Wednesday for a month.
And for those of you outside the US, challenge yourself to save the temp in Ferenheight if you can!
The Pantry Challenge is perfect for anyone who wants to reduce their grocery bills.
The goal is to make meals from what you already have in your pantry.
This will help you save money on groceries, as well as help you use up any food that may go to waste if it stays forgotten.
Food Storage Challenge
If your pantry is too bare to do a Pantry Challenge, try a Food Storage Challenge!
This one is perfect for anyone who loves to cook or just needs to rein in their grocery budget.
The goal is to stock your pantry and freezer with enough food to last for a month (or longer).
Not only will this save you money, but it will also help you be prepared in case of an emergency.
Clothing Swap Challenge
If you’re looking to save money on clothes, this challenge is for you.
The Clothing Swap Challenge is
This is a great way to get new clothes without spending any money.
52-Week Savings Challenge
This is a great challenge for anyone who wants to slowly build up their savings over time.
For this challenge, you simply need to save $1 in week 1. In week 2, you save $2, and so on until you reach the 52nd week where you will have saved a total of $1378!
Reverse 52-Week Money Challenge
Just like the 52-Week Savings Challenge, just in reverse — start with $52 the first week and work your way down.
This is perfect if you’re finishing up your challenge around Christmas when funds may be a bit tighter.
The 26-Week Savings Challenge challenge is perfect for those who get paid bi-weekly and prefer to time their transfers with their paychecks.
Similar to the 52-week challenge, this bi-weekly challenge starts small and gradually builds.
For this challenge, you’ll start by saving $2 and then double it every 2 weeks. So start with $2, then $4, then $6, and so on.
With this biweekly money saving challenge, you’ll have saved just over $700 by the end of the year!
Fast Food Fast Challenge
If you’ve got a bit of a convenience addiction like me, a Fast Food Fast Challenge is a great way to save some money.
The goal is to give up all fast food for a month and see how much you can save.
Expand it out to all dining and save even more!
Cash Diet Challenge
If you can’t remember the last time you spent cash, this challenge may be for you.
Studies show we’re less likely to spend cash than swipe a credit card, so put your plastic in the freezer for the month and see how much you can save.
Whether you switch to all-cash or just pick a category or 2, you’ll be surprised how much switching to cash can alter your spending behavior.
Save the Savings Challenge
Have you ever noticed at the bottom of your grocery receipt that it tells you how much you saved that trip?
Well, this challenge is about actually saving the money you were going to spend.
If you’re used to looking for a good deal, it may actually take a bit of effort to quantify your savings, but once you do you’ll be amazed!
This challenge isn’t just about noticing those savings though, it’s about actually transferring them INTO your savings account.
Track all those savings and transfer them into savings to actually SAVE the money.
$5 Bill Challenge
If you’re a cash spender, this is a great way to force yourself to save extra. And it’s
Just save every five-dollar bill you receive throughout the month (or longer).
You’ll be surprised how quickly it adds up.
12-week Christmas Savings Challenge
The 12-Week Christmas Challenge is a great way to build up your Christmas sinking fund if you’ve neglected it throughout the year.
Simply choose a savings goal and divide it by 12. Then save that amount each week.
Price per Gallon Challenge
With gas prices fluctuating day to day, the Price per Gallon Challenge is a fun way to save money and keep things interesting.
You can choose a local gas station or use the app GasBuddy to track prices.
Then, transfer whatever the cost per gallon is for the day to your savings account.
Do you have any monthly subscriptions or memberships that you don’t use?
If so, it’s time for a cancellation challenge.
The goal is to cancel as many of these unused services as possible and save that money instead.
You may be surprised how much you’re actually spending on things you don’t even use!
Cash Savings Challenge
This challenge won’t work if you’re a cash-only budgeter, but if you rarely use cash, it might be a fun one to try.
As an almost credit-only person, I often view cash as default fun money.
It’s off-budget and therefore I’m not accountable for it.
But with this challenge, instead of spending it impulsively, you save it.
All of it.
Any cash you receive, from gifts to change back, gets deposited into your savings.
Drink Water Challenge
This is another easier-said-than-done challenge.
Commit to only drinking water for the month.
No buying soda, alcohol, coffee, or tea.
You can drink what you have, but no replenishing of your supply until the challenge is over.
With this one, you may not just save money, but improve your health too.
This is a
You can determine how much you want to save by dividing your savings goal by the number of Sundays in the month.
Or you could use this as a way to ease yourself into monthly challenges and start with just $10 or $20 every Sunday.
Paycheck Percentage Challenge
The idea behind this challenge is to save a set percentage of every paycheck.
It can be as low as you want, but your goal should be to gradually increase it if you can.
This is a great long-term goal to automate as well, especially if you want to avoid lifestyle creep when you get pay raises.
Cash Envelope Challenge
This is a great challenge for anyone who struggles to stick to a budget.
The goal is to divide your monthly income into envelopes labeled with different categories (housing, food, entertainment, etc.).
Then, you can only spend the money in each envelope on that category.
Once the money in an envelope is gone, you can’t spend any more in that category for the rest of the month.
This will help you stay on track and avoid overspending.
30 Days of Savings
How much can you save in 30 days?
For this money challenge, you can approach it in a few ways.
You can either decide how much you want to save and then divide it by 30, saving that amount daily.
Alternatively, you could randomly select 30 numbers and save a different amount each day.
Or you could do a combination of both. Decide how much you want to save and then randomly generate numbers that add up to that. (Here’s a Google Sheet that will do it for you.)
If you love eating out and aren’t willing to give it up, try a Dining Dollars money challenge.
The goal of this challenge is to save the equivalent of what you spend eating out.
So if you spend $50 on pizza, you have to find another $50 to transfer to savings.
The Latte Factor Challenge
This challenge is based on the book “The Latte Factor” by David Bach.
The idea is that small purchases add up over time and can be used to fund your bigger financial goals.
To do this challenge, you simply cut out your daily latte (or any other small purchase) and save the money instead.
Roll the Dice Challenge
This is a fun challenge where you roll a die each day to determine how much to save.
The real fun comes in deciding how many dice and what kind.
If you’re a gamer or D&D fan, you may have a variety of die lying around, from 4-sided to 20-sided.
You may even have multiples of each in which case the challenge becomes determining how much you’re willing to save?
The Penny Challenge
This is a great challenge for kids (or anyone who loves penny-pinching) to fill their savings jar.
The goal is to save every penny you receive for a set time period.
You may be surprised how much you can actually save this way.
Expense Tracking Challenge
This challenge is more about gaining awareness so you can save once it’s over.
It’s a great challenge for people who are new to budgeting and want to get a handle on their spending.
For this one, you track every single penny you spend for 30 days.
Yes, that includes your coffee, lunch, and anything else you purchase.
At the end of the month, take a look at your spending and see where you can cut back.
Income Tracking Challenge
This is a similar challenge to the Expense Tracking Challenge, but with your income.
Track every penny that comes in for 30 days. This could be from your paycheck, side hustles, gifts, or anything else.
At the end of the month, you’ll have a better idea of what you can save and where your money is coming from.
Frequently Asked Questions About Savings Challenges
Do I have to start in January?
No, you don’t have to start in January. You can start a savings challenge at any time.
How do I stay motivated?
Try setting a goal for yourself and track your progress along the way. Also, tell your friends and family about your challenge so they can help hold you accountable.
What if I miss a day/week?
Don’t worry about it! Just pick up where you left off and keep going. The important thing is that you’re trying to save more money.
Saving challenges are a great way to save money, develop good spending and saving habits, and gain new awareness about your finances.
There are tons of different ways you can save money, but the fun money-saving challenges above will help you get started.
Choose one or try them all – it’s up to you!
Just remember to be creative, have fun, and stay motivated so you can reach your savings goals.
Have you ever tried a money-saving challenge? What was your experience like? Let me know in the comments below!
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