The No-Spend Challenge
I know it might be scary to think about not spending a dime, but that’s why we prepare. Do all of your shopping and pay all of your bills in advance. If paying your bills in advance is not an option to schedule them automatically or on a calendar to keep track. Pick a week, a weekend or even a month to not spend. The challenging part of this is to resist the urge to spend. If you have your meals planned and your lunch made this will help prevent spending on food. On the weekends you can do no-spending activities, like go outdoors or spending a day on decluttering a space in your home. After the challenge is done, see how much you saved. I recommend trying this multiple times throughout the year to save big.
The Spare Change Challenge
The spare change challenge is one, in my opinion, is one of the easiest. Saving the change after every purchase might not seem like a lot but when its added up you will be surprised what the end results are. If you spend cash a lot more than swiping your card this challenge is best for you. After every purchase put the change away somewhere where you can store it for safekeeping. If you have kids I recommend a good hiding place so they don’t take it for their quick spending. I have a piggy bank so does my son, and I can honestly say the piggy is still not full, lol. Once your savings have been full to the brim you can take it to your local coin star and trade out your coins for cash. Deposit the cash into your savings.
Little Vice Challenge
I know everyone has a vice, in some much fact that this could be a possible reason why this particular vice has dipped into your savings. My vice is definitely cosmetics, I can’t help myself, I’m addicted. In just so you might think I have one vice, oh no way there is more. I’m also addicted to stationery, planner stationery to be exact. When I step into a Michael’s store, I literally take a deep breath of satisfaction.
The theme behind the “Little Vice Challenge” is to tax yourself on every purchase by habit. If in this case, you tend to buy a lipstick, put a percentage in your savings account first before the purchase. You can make up how much the tax is on your own, depending on the amount of the purchase. At first thought, this can feel like a punishment, but it’s more of a lesson. You find that you are feeling like you are spending more and will prompt you to spend less often.
The Five Dollar Challenge
This challenge is also for our cash money spender. Let’s go over how this works, let’s consider you purchase something and get change back. The idea is to place every five-dollar bill you get back and store it away. Every time you get change back and there is a five-dollar bill in the mist, you need to save it. Think of it like a squirrel only saving the good size nuts for the winter. Pretty soon after all of those fives you save, well, you already made a good stash. I would be surprised if you started to cash in some of those singles for some fives just to stock up more savings. I say have at it!
The keep-the-change challenge
Similar to the spare challenge but more on auto-pilot. This challenge would be more for our card swipers, let’s give the cash spender some space. To build it up, simply putting it, every time you make a purchase the change is rounded up and transferred to savings. A lot of banks are already on the tip of this auto-saving feature. Many banks offer the auto draft to savings by rounding up every dollar. The slow savings you never will notice can creep up to “big bank” in savings. Along with the usual savings that you put aside, this is like putting a cherry on top of a Sundae. And who doesn’t like sundaes?
There were so many great challenges to try out! Don’t be shy or give a second thought of this. You need to try it! And it’s never too late! If you thought there was just one more challenge missing to try, you were right! There is the Create your own Challenge to try out. I know this may sound silly but I find sometimes it good to cater to your own goal. If you have something specific to save for and have a dollar amount for it, make your own challenge.
The best thing about your own challenge
It’s a little fun when you do the math, create a chart, and color in some square like a game board. Make your own challenge big, and fun and creative to look at. You know your own income and you can come up with dollar amounts that fit your budget. Sometimes large goals look more manageable broken down into smaller pieces. For me, it seems like an impossible goal to save my first $1,000.
So I have broken down that $1,000 into smaller pieces by saving $84 every month for a year. Knowing that I’m now in my middle age and could have easily saved this $1,000 baffles me into seeing that I’ve not done that. That is why I’m a firm believer in starting over, and then when it fails, starting over again. If it takes me a whole year to save then so be it, finally I will have that $1,000 at the end of the year. Since I get paid bi-weekly I have to save $42 every paycheck. The amount seems small and doable. You can make it!
I’m hoping this inspired you to get up and make this saving challenge work for you. I know that saving money can be hard and difficult when you have to spend every dollar. Putting a little fun on it makes it less of a chore, hence my cherry on the top method. I’m feeling inspired and this gives a different reason to look forward to payday. I need to put my goals in front of the picture and the photo is of me crossing something off the list. My number one goal is saving money.