It’s a new year and the perfect time to resolve to make a positive change to your finances. We could all benefit from spending a little less and saving a little more, right?
But socking away money doesn’t have to be boring! Have fun and make it into a game where you can compete with yourself, and take on a challenge where you can track your progress to see exactly how much you’ve managed to accomplish.
Check out our suggestions for some savings challenges that you can try below. You can take on one or push yourself and do a combination of these – or all of them! You may surprise yourself with how much you could end up saving if you stick to these or try variations of them all year long.
Which one is the best savings challenge? Well that all depends on your spending habits! Check out our suggestions below on which challenge is right for you:
The Best Money Savings Challenge for Your Spending Habits
If you need strict guidelines to save, try… The 52 Week Savings Challenge.
This savings challenge is one of the most popular out there, and it’s perfect for starting at the beginning of the year.
Here’s how it works: at the end of the first week of the year, you deposit $1 into your savings account. At the end of week two, you deposit $2. For week three, deposit $3, and so on until you reach the last week of the year, number 52, when you’ll deposit $52 dollars into your savings account.
By sticking to this plan and making deposits into your savings account every week, by the end of the year you’ll have saved $1,387!
If you think saving money is boring, and need a way to make it fun, try… A Savings Game.
If you love being competitive (and you love winning even more), challenge yourself, your significant other, and/or your friends and family to a save-off.
Who can save more in a month? Who can come up with the most creative ways to cut costs and put the resulting extra cash into savings? Can you treat your partner to a cheaper date night than they can treat you to?
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If you’re a visual person… create a Savings Thermometer.
A savings thermometer is a visual representation of your savings goal. You can draw it out (or create one in Excel with this tutorial).
Say you want to save $5,000 this year. You’d put $0 at the bottom of your thermometer where it’s “cold” and incrementally increase the numbers on the way to the top. For this example, we’ll use $500 increments. So your first goal is $500, your second is $1,000, and so on.
As you save the money by transferring it to your savings account, fill in the level you’ve saved to with a marker. Once you reach your goal, the thermometer will be completely filled in!
If you have a few bad vices that you’ve been wanting to break, try… Spending Freezes.
Looking to really challenge yourself? Try something like a No Spend Week, or go a month without buying any wine or beer, or resolve to refuse to buy new clothes this year (borrowed, used, or swapped only!).
If you don’t think you could stick out a type of spending freeze for an entire year, try switching it up every month: in January, resolve to not buy any sweets from the store.
In February, don’t spend any money on entertainment outside the house, like going out to a movie. In March, put a spending freeze on alcohol. You get the idea.
You have no excuse not to challenge yourself to save this year. There’s no wrong way to go about savings, so pick a method that sounds good to you, and start saving!