Money saving challenges are a way to get you motivated to start saving. They also help you develop saving habits which last.
Here are some money saving challenges:
The 52-Week Challenge
This challenge is best described by this table:
As you can see from the table the challenge consists of starting with saving $1 the first week and saving just one $ more every week. At the end of the 52 weeks (which is one year) you will end up with having saved $1,378.
I don’t know who invented this challenge, but I like it. The idea is simple and the fact that your saving amount in a week is going to grow gradually makes it easier to follow.
When you have been long enough on the challenge, it becomes easier to find ways to save a bit more during the last weeks.
Bi-Weekly or 26-Week Savings Challenge
The bi-weekly challenge is the same as the 52-week challenge just that it is for people who get paid every two weeks.
You can find more information about this challenge on the web. I personally prefer the 52-week challenge more.
Save One-Month Of Salary
For this challenge you have to save 8.33% of your monthly salary so that at the end of the year you will have an extra wage. 8.33% is 100% divided by 12 months.
Alternately you can save more depending on the number of wages you want to have at the end of the year. Having extra wages is important in case of an emergency like losing your job. It is said that you need to have enough money to survive for six months in case you lose your job.
Round-Up Savings or Save The Change
This challenge consists of rounding up to the next dollar every price you pay and saving the remains or investing them. For example, if you buy something for $0.99, you pay $0.99 to the store and save $0.01.
There are also some apps that do this for you every time you buy something. I am not sure exactly how they work but I know that they exist.
I personally don’t like this challenge so much, even that it can push you to save, I think it is not so practical. I have used another variation of this challenge in the past which I think is more practical. I have set a maximum amount of money that I can spend in a day and if for some reason I don’t spend that maximum in that day, I would save the remaining part and not just spend more in the next day.
The Weather-Dependent Challenge
This blogger has come up with this challenge. You might think what does weather have to do with saving. That’s what I thought too. This blogger looks at the highest temperature at her state every Wednesday.
Then she saves that amount on that week. She calls it “the Weather Wednesday”. My question is what does temperature have to do with savings? Maybe there is a connection between weather and spending, like in a hot summer day you don’t need so much to survive.
This challenge doesn’t make sense to me, so I wouldn’t try it.
$1 A Day or The 365-Day Money Challenge
This challenge sounds pretty simple: save $1 a day for 365 days of the year. At the end of the year you will have $365.
You could use this strategy if you have a goal to buy something at the end of the year.
$5 Dollar Savings Challenge
Every time you receive a $5 bill change you save it to the end of the year.
Save $500 in 30 Days Challenge
Depending on your living circumstances you might have to make big changes to your life in order to save $500 in 30 days. You can cut back in food and entertainment and you can sell things you no longer need.
Also, it is helpful is you create daily goals of saving.
In fact, in my opinion this challenge is too much and I wouldn’t do this either. In general, you have to save like 20% of your income for a certain period. $500 in 30 days is too much, unless $500 is 20% of your monthly income.
The 365 Penny Challenge
Apparently someone created a version of the 52-week challenge, just that with this challenge you have to start with saving one penny the first day and then after that you will have to save just one penny more than the previous day, each day. Like on day one you save one penny, on day two you save two pennies, on day three, three pennies and so on up to the end of the year.
The idea is to grow the amount that you are saving gradually and the accumulated amount that you save at the end of the year is going to be considerable.
The Reverse 52-Week Challenge
The 52-week challenge is very popular and a lot of people have completed it, however, not all people like the idea of it. A lot of people have pointed out that the 52-week challenge involves saving $200 in the month of December, a time of the year in which people spend the most, so they suggest doing the reverse 52-week challenge. So starting with saving $52 during the first week, $51 in the second week and so on.
I personally prefer the original 52-week challenge because you are going to get used to saving gradually. The goal of these challenges after all is to form lasting money saving habits.
From all the money saving challenges mentioned above, the most popular one is the 52-week money challenge.
You can start saving in little things then you can save in more expensive items until you get used to saving $52 a week.
Turning it into a game is a lot motivating. In fact, in the past I have done the mistake of focusing more on earning more money than cutting down on my spending, but the thing is that it needs to be a combination of both and if you don’t set a specific amount you want to save every week, you will end up with little to no savings.
So, it doesn’t matter if you just cut down your spending or earn more to complete the 52-week challenge. The important thing is to complete it and have that amount of money saved at the end of the year.
So, start by printing the challenge and stick to it no matter what.
In order to stick to it, it is best to set a particular day of the week and time to put the savings into your jar or bank account.
You can also find ways to customize it, like for example continuing the challenge after the 52th week with saving again $52 each week after that or adding a dollar week after week.
If you continue the challenge for two years, you are going to save $5,500 for the whole period of two years or 104 weeks. This sounds pretty cool!
The Pros of the 52-Week Challenge
1. There are a lot of downloadable charts online which you can use to manually track your results
2. The momentum you get saving just a little more week after week
3. At the end of the year you would have saved $1,378 in total
The Cons of the 52-Week Challenge
1. It gets difficult towards the end of the year.
2. Forgetting to set aside the saved amount week after week, especially at the beginning
3. Focusing on the amount you save rather than on the amount you spend
I wish you good luck with you money saving challenges and if you like, you can share your thoughts and experiences on the comments section below.