Four Fun and Easy Savings Challenges
By Erin Palmer, Suncoast Credit Union
Let’s be honest, it’s often more fun to spend than it is to save. But it doesn’t have to be!
There are ways to save money and have fun doing it. All you have to do is make it a challenge. Savings challenges can help you set actionable goals and keep you accountable while working toward them.
Here are some simple savings challenges for you to choose from:
52 Weeks of Savings Challenge
This challenge is an easy way to save over $1,000 in a year. The basic idea is that you save $1 the first week of the year, $2 the second week, $3 the third week and continue this pattern each week. By the time you reach the end of the year and add your final $52, you’ll have $1,378!
There are plenty of variations to this challenge that you can use to customize it to your needs. For example, if you want your weekly savings amount to get easier as the weeks go on, you can save $52 the first week, $51 the second week, $50 the third week and so on. This lets you save the same amount but makes the savings easier by the week!
Or if you want to save more, you can double the amount you save each week. Start with saving $2 for the first week, $4 on the second week, $6 on the third week, etc. You’ll have $2,756 at the end of the year!
Save and Splurge Challenge
We all like to splurge every now and then. To help balance out the money you spend on nonessential items, turn it into a challenge!
You can set this challenge up however makes the most sense for you. You might want to save a set amount every time you make a splurge purchase for a specific time period. For example, you can put $20 in savings with every splurge purchase for six months.
You could save more by matching every splurge dollar you spend for a set amount of time. This not only helps you save, but it also gets you thinking about how you spend.
To make it easier to track your spending during this challenge, try using a budgeting tool to help.
No Spend Challenge
This challenge is exactly what it sounds like! All you do is not spend any money for a specific period of time. During a No Spend Challenge, you only pay for gas, necessary groceries and bills during the spend-free period.
Some people go extreme and do an entire month without spending. Others choose to do spend-free weekends or choose one day a week to not spend money.
This can be a fun challenge to do with your family. Try to get your kids to come up with fun things to do without spending money, like family game night or a day at a park.
Change Jar Challenge
There’s something very satisfying about watching your money grow before your eyes. This simple challenge just requires a jar, some ground rules and a little creativity.
A typical version is to simply take all of the change you have leftover at the end of the day and toss it into a jar a night. Variations include “charging” your family for certain things, almost like a swear jar. For example, every time your kids leave their toys on the floor or your spouse doesn’t put away his or her laundry, they have to put money in the jar.
Kids especially love to see the jar get fuller and fuller. But to really drive the lesson about savings home, deposit the funds from the jar into a savings account at the end of the month. You can show your kids how savings accounts help you save even more thanks to dividends!