There are so many money saving challenges out there to help you meet your financial goals! I love to try out one or two at a time to help encourage me to put my money towards things that I am really passionate about.
Whether we are trying to pay off a credit card, save for a vacation, or I want to invest some more into my business, there are plenty of ways to help my family reach our goals.
I have tried so many different money saving challenges throughout the years so I wrote this article to share a few of my favorites for you. From money saving challenges that last a few days to some that last a few years, there is a challenge that can fit your financial goals.
Why Try a Money Saving Challenge?
Whether you want an expensive pair of hiking boots for your next mountain summit, enough money for a down payment, trying to pay off your mortgage or to pay off that debt for good – a goal for the money saved is essential for success.
I’m also a huge believer in having an emergency fund in case of those financial hardships that may arise (job loss, illness, etc.).
How to be Successful at a Money Saving Challenge
As always, my top tip when it comes to meeting financial goals is to get everyone in your family on board. You cannot pay off a credit card when your partner keeps using it!
Get on the same page as them and try out a money saving challenge together. You should definitely develop healthy spending habits with your partner.
Another tip I try to give is to plan ahead as much as you can. If you are going to be in a wedding, for example, you need to plan ahead to pay for any extras like hair or nails. The more that you plan ahead for any extra money expenses, the more successful that you will be.
You can also download one of these budget apps for couples (they work for everyone) to help you keep track of your expenses.
Get excited! You are about to implement new habits that will help you reach all of your financial goals- woohoo!
Challenges to Try
With no further ado, here are some of the top money saving challenges you can try – try one or try them all! You can also try these tips on how to live cheap – they will help will all of the below.
No Spend Challenge
If you have a specific savings goal and are looking for the opportunity to do a ‘spending reset’, then I cannot recommend a good old fashion no spend challenge.
How it works is you set a specific time limit where you and your family do not spend any money. This can be for 24 hours, for the weekend, or even a few weeks!
My best advice for a successful no spend challenge? Make sure everyone is on the same page before you begin.
That way your partner doesn’t try and surprise you with a date night (unless it’s a free date) or some other extra expense while you are working to save that money to pay off a credit card bill.
26-week Spending Challenge
This money saving challenge is one of the more popular ones on the internet and can help you save money pretty easily- if you can stick to it.
How the 26-week spending challenge works is that every 2 weeks (so about every paycheck), you have a set amount of money that you have committed to saving.
Typically, it can start low and work its way up to more money. Paycheck budgeting is a great method to help you achieve this challenge!
For an example, here is a plan that starts at $3 and increases by $3 every 2 weeks:
Week 1- save $3
Week 2 – save $6
Week 3 – save $9
Week 4- save $12
And so on until you reach week 26 where you save $78.
Follow this plan and you will save over $200!
$5 Spending Challenge
I was in a wedding one time and the hairdresser introduced this challenge to me! Basically, every single $5 bill that you get, you save for a special occasion.
For her, that meant that she had saved every single $5 that she had gotten since she was 17 to pay for the wedding dress of her dreams.
For me, it would probably be a tropical vacation or a designer handbag.
What I love about this challenge is that it is pretty thoughtless and easy to do once you’ve committed. The biggest challenge might be getting into the habit of carrying around cash – but if you’ve been following the cash envelope system, you should be used to that!
Buy Online Only
This may seem difficult, but it is totally worth it! For a set period of time, commit to purchasing everything online.
Avoid the random purchases that tempt you in the store and use spending apps that can actually help you save money.
You know how much I love my spending apps! Trust me, you want to use Ibotta for grocery spending and download the EBates app for everything else! You will get cash back for purchases that you are already going to make.
Get an Amazon Prime subscription on top of that and get free, 2-day shipping!
Unfollow anyone on any social media that is constantly selling you products. Ever notice how one month they say to buy this moisturizer, then the next month is a completely different moisturizer?
That’s because they earn a commission every single time that you buy through their link.
Have you ever watched someone’s Instagram story and you simply do not need a new pair of sunglasses, until they show you their amazing deal? Then you suddenly need a new pair of sunglasses, despite already having several great pairs.
Skip the temptation with this money saving challenge and unfollow those people that make you buy a lot of things.
Challenge Yourself to Update Every Bill
This money saving challenge was overwhelming for me at first. Basically, you call every single utility bill that you give money to and ask if there is a cheaper option.
Yes, this seems super scary, but there are customer service people that are trained to keep your business, so they know every secret to help keep you around.
My best advice is to call and see if there are any special deals that they have right now. Honestly is always the best policy and let them know that you are looking for ways to save money.
Oftentimes they can look at your bill and point out services that you are paying for that you aren’t actually using.
Another part of this money saving challenge is to look at your daily habits. For example, challenge yourself to sit down and take a good look at your utility bill.
When you check your utility bill, you will be surprised at little things that are costing you more money. Maybe you don’t need that super hot bath every night if it’s costing you hundreds of dollars!
Buy Clothes (and Everything Else!) Used for the Entire Year
The more you can buy second hand, the better! Not only will you save money, but you will make less of a carbon footprint.
It is easier than ever to get stylish clothes second hand with apps like (my personal favorite) ThredUp. You can get adorable clothes for you and your kids for a fraction of the cost at a retail store.
Read the complete Thredup Review!
Or check out Facebook marketplace for things you need around the house. When my partner needed some workout equipment for our home gym, instead of spending thousands of dollars for new equipment, we went onto Facebook marketplace and spent a few hundred dollars.
Cut the Cable
I talk about this money saving challenge a lot- but that is because it works! It may seem difficult to cut something as valuable as cable, but you can get so much entertainment for cheaper (especially if you find ways to get your internet for free – here’s 15 ways)
Amazon Prime has all your shows- get the Fire Stick and you are good to go. All you have to do is plug it into the side of your smart TV and it will connect to every streaming service that you can imagine. We switched and now we save hundreds of dollars each month!
Cut the Beauty Routines
If you want to save some cash, consider looking at your beauty routines and cutting them for a money saving challenge.
This can look like making the decision to dye your own hair or invest in a home shellac kit so that you can paint your own nails. While it can take a little extra time, when you see the money growing in your savings account, you will see how it is all worth it.
These cuts can be short lived or go on for as long as you need. I know some women who commit to a month of this money savings challenge while others cut out extra beauty routines for an entire year!
It all comes down to your financial goals and the changes that you are willing to make in your personal lifestyle.
Make Your Own Meals
Eating out can be one of the biggest expenses that a family has! Yes, sometimes the convenience can outweigh the price, but if you plan out your meals in advance, then eating at home can be simple and cost effective.
Think about the $5 chicken nugget meal that you ordered for your kid- they get 4 chicken nuggets. At the grocery store, you can buy a bag of frozen chicken nuggets for the same price but get 20 or more chicken nuggets! For the price of one meal, you can feed the entire family.
If one of your biggest expenses each month is stopping at the drive thru or ordering lunch at the local sandwich shop, then this money savings challenge may be for you.
It is as easy as sitting down and planning out the meals for 1 or 2 weeks then heading to the grocery store (or order your food online through Amazon). It may be extra work up front, but the money that you can save will make it worth it in the end.
Dave Ramsey’s 7 Baby Step Plan
This money challenge helped my family get out of (and stay out of) debt a few years ago and I am convinced that it could help your family too.
Reverse Savings Plan
Similar to the 26-week spending challenge mentioned above, the reverse savings plan requires you to save up a little bit of money every paycheck. The biggest difference is that you start by saving the biggest amount of money in the beginning, when you are the most motivated to save money.
This works great if you have a specific goal for something but don’t have a lot of extra funds to put towards your savings.
When choosing to do a money saving challenge, there are so many options! Whether you want to save money for a month, a year, or just the weekend, there are so many options to challenge yourself.
Read more about whether living stingy is worth it!
This is your year to finally meet those financial goals- the only difficult part now is to choose the best money saving challenge for you (and finding that money mentor who will help you get there!).
So tell me… which money saving goal did you choose? Tell me below so I can cheer you on!