Are you struggling to save money?
Whether you don’t think you have any extra money to save or you’re just bored with the whole process, these 5 fun money-saving challenges will help you save more. By gamifying the process you’ll be more inclined to keep at it.
In this episode, I’ll cover five of my favorite money challenges that make saving money fun.
If you’re looking for an app to help you save, check out Peak Money. It’s my favorite way to automate savings.
This week’s action task is to choose one of these money challenges to try out. Whether you do a full month or just a week, give it a try to see how much you can save when you gamify it.
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Below is the transcript from today’s show. Or you can download the full transcript as a PDF.
Welcome to the Go From Broke podcast where you'll learn how to take control of your money so you can stress less and save more. If you're tired of living paycheck to paycheck or constantly wondering where your money is going, you're in the right place. This podcast is all about giving you actionable tips and advice so you can get started improving your finances today. In this episode, we're going to cover five different ways that you can make saving money a little bit more fun. For the past few years, I've been challenging myself with different saving strategies and goals in an effort to gamify my savings and experiment with what tactics work best. I've done no spend challenges, Roundup challenges, side hustle, challenges, declutter challenges, and more all with varying degrees of success. Today's episode is going to cover five of my favorite savings challenges. First is the one I'm doing right now - the Roll the Dice challenge. Now, this one's really fun. Every day I roll a pair of dice and save the equivalent amount shown. For example, on day one I rolled a four, so I save $4. Day two I rolled a 10, so I save $10. And on and on it will go. With all these challenges there's some room for flexibility. This setup works for my situation, but if you're struggling to pay the bills, maybe start with just one die and roll it once a week. Or you could make it more challenging by using a 20 sided die. I would struggle to save potentially $20 a day, especially at this time of year, but I think the two six sided dice gives me enough wiggle room I could survive up to $12 a day. Of course, I'm hoping to roll some lower numbers to give me more variety, but that's one of the appeals of this challenge. It's a surprise. I also liked that it's deliberate though. I've done a lot of automated challenges lately, so I wanted something I actually have to act on. I have to roll the dice every day and then transfer that money over into my savings account. So far, I'm only a couple of days in, but it's been pretty fun. The next challenge is one I loved, mostly for the results and the simplicity of it. But it was a big ask and it really had me stretching my budget. I call it, Save the Date and it's exactly what it sounds like. I saved the dollar equivalent of the day of the month. So $1 on the first $2 on the second and so on until I was at $31 on the 31st. This challenge, I saved up almost $500, which is why I really liked it. But I did have to play whack-a-mole with my budget a lot to make it happen, which really put a strain on certain spending areas. I'm not sure I'd jumped on this challenge in this format too often, but it was a great way to hone in on my priorities, and it is really good if you need to save up money relatively quickly. You could also easily adjust this and save in 10 cent increments, which would get you close to $50 of savings for the month. Or if you're looking for a savings challenge for your kids, you could drop it down to penny increments and then they would save just under $5 for the month. The third challenge I really like is the, keep the change challenge. There are all sorts of ways to actually do this. Some banks and apps will offer automated roundups, where you save the difference between what you spent and the nearest dollar. For example, if you spend $4.60, it'll get rounded up to $5 and that 40 cent difference will be deposited in your savings account. There's also the old school way of just emptying your pockets and literally keeping loose change in a
piggybank or other container. Then you can just cash it out once it's full. Back in my pre-budget days, this was actually the only way I knew how to save. It was usually slow going until I heard a little bit of a twist on it. Instead of just saving the coins you had, you would save anything under a $10 bill. So all ones and fives would get saved along with the change. That really helped speed up the savings process. But now that I don't use cash that much, I opt for the Roundup challenges. I use the Peak Money app to help automate the process. You can check out more about Peak in the show notes if you're interested. But what I really liked with using Peak is that I can actually adjust the Roundup and add a multiplier. So instead of saving cents from every purchase, I can save dollars. So, for example, if we take that 40 cents that we saved earlier and we add a four X multiplier via the Peak app, we'd end up saving $1.60. So it's an easy way to save a little bit more without super stretching your budget. The next two challenges are ones I actually haven't done yet, but they're definitely on my list. First is the Draw a Card challenge. Similar to the Roll the Dice challenge, there's an element of intentionality with this one that I really like. But even more so because not only are you using the cards value to represent the dollar amount saved, but you use the suit to determine which goal you're going to add you're savings to. One of the trickiest things with these money challenges for me is not really knowing what I plan to do with the money. In my budget, I have set savings goals and I add money to our top goals each month. For the challenges I do, I usually take money out of my budget and put it in an off-budget account. I use Peak Money to store all my challenge money. It's totally off budget. If I go into my YNAB, I do not see that money. So it's sitting there and I don't really have a plan for it. And that kind of irritates me. But I'm doing it more for the experimental reasons. So I can keep track of what's challenges work best and then report back to you on them. It also has the effect of creating a nice chunk of savings that I don't have a purpose for though. And my entire budgeting philosophy is to give every dollar a job. So this actually doesn't sit well with me most of the time, but I'm trying to finish out this year before I transfer that savings back into our budget and then divvy it up across our goals. Moving forward in the next year, though, instead of focusing so much on the type of challenge each month, I think I'm going to assign a savings goal as well. Which is why I'm excited to try the Pick a Card challenge. It will help bring the focus and intentionality back into the mix. So not only will I be saving, but I'll be saving with a purpose. But I also like that it randomizes it so it's spread out across different goals. We'll have our top priority spending goals in the budget and then these monthly challenges can be more fun money type of goals. Like saving up for Top Golf or going to an escape room or something like that. Finally, the fifth challenge I love the idea of but haven't done yet is Weather Wednesday. The idea is to check the weather on Wednesday and save the equivalent. So if it's 74 degrees, you would save $74. If I'm smart, I would try this one out next month in December when it's a lot cooler here in the desert. But if I do want to challenge myself and save the most, I'll probably hold off and do this one in July or August when we're regularly topping 110 degrees. This is another one that could be tweaked and adjusted to suit your finances and goals though. For example, if we have four Wednesdays over a hundred degrees in the summer, that's a hefty chunk of change I'd be saving. If it's more than I can swing, I could just save a percentage of those temperatures to make it more achievable. So if it's a hundred degrees, I would save 10% and put aside $10 . But I also like the general idea of saving based on the weather. In the crazy heat out here, it would feel like a reward to save something like 10 bucks every day it tops 110 degrees, and then set that money aside for something refreshing like a trip to a water park or something. Or if you live in a super cold area, you could do something similar and save a set amount every time the temperature drops below a certain number, and then put that in a savings fund for something that warms you up. Like, I don't know, hot chocolate bar or something like that. Of course you can use the savings for whatever you want, but if you deal with extreme temperatures, the idea of a reward for getting through it is pretty motivating. Okay, so there you have it, my five favorite fun savings challenge ideas: -Roll the Dice -Save the Date - Keep the Change - Pick a Card - and Weather Wednesday. So for today's action task, I want you to pick a fun challenge and try it out. You don't have to go for a whole month, but at least try it out for a week and see if it doesn't help you save a bit more than you thought you could. And, if you're interested in joining me for this month's Roll the Dice challenge, hop on over to Instagram and follow me @GoFromBroke. I'm posting daily updates with my roll for each day and how much it's tallying up to. Tag me if you join in so I can cheer you on. Also, as you can probably tell, I love a good challenge. So let me know if you have any ideas to share. You can DM me on Instagram or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. As always take action and make it a great day.