You hear about fitness, weight loss, and health challenges, but finance challenges? Yes! They do exist and are also a fun way to fix your finances. You basically will be playing a game, however, at the same time, saving money and more. Saving money, budgeting, and being financially responsible can be difficult, but you have to start somewhere. If one of your New Year’s resolutions was to fix your finances, then keep reading for some fun, financial challenges to try!
1. The 52-Week Money Challenge
This challenge is simple and easy to keep track of. The idea is you start off by saving $1 the first week, and gradually increase your savings by a dollar a week throughout the year. Essentially, week 2 you will have $2, week 3 – $3 and so forth. By the end of the year, if you complete the challenge, you will have a total of $1,378.
Doesn’t seem like a lot right? $1 is better than $0. This is a great way for students and anyone looking to fix their finances to start off with. You can even start the first week at $10, and double it every week. Make your own rules, depending on what fits your needs best. This is also a great challenge for savings and most of all for starting an emergency fund. You will get into the money habit, and most people continue this challenge even after week 52. With a simple, low-cost challenge to start, no one has an excuse!
2. Weight Loss Financial Challenge
A challenge like this one is great if you have 2 goals in mind. Weight loss + finance goals. Combining the 2 can be beneficial, motivating, and you also kill 2 birds with one stone. The idea: every time you weigh yourself and loose 1 pound, put aside $5. When you hit your goal, use that money to celebrate, or simply put it aside in your savings or emergency fund. This is a great challenge to start as a family who is trying to save as well.
3. The $5 Challenge
Whenever you receive a $5 bill as change, put that $5 bill aside along with the others you receive until the end of the year or whatever time you set. Those collected $5 bills will eventually add up and you can continue this challenge until whenever you choose to.
4. 30 Day Savings Rule
Impulse splurging is one of the easiest ways to get into debt and financial problems. This is one of the reasons many find it challenging to save because half the time they don’t even know where their money went in the first place. If you find yourself making purchases on emotions, rather than reason- this is called impulse splurging. Here is where the 30-day savings rule comes in handy.
The rules are simple. To avoid impulse splurging, tell yourself you will think about it for 30 days. Of course, this doesn’t include the essentials that everyone needs such as, groceries and utilities. Consider thinking about things such as that bag you liked at the store, those pair of shoes, or service etc. Jot the item you wanted to purchase on a piece of paper, where you found it and the cost.
Put this piece of paper in a place where you can read it every day, and give yourself 30 days to figure out if you really need or want that purchase. If by the end of 30 days you still are convinced you need it, then buy it. If not, and you have forgotten about it, then you would have saved that money.
5. More 30 Day Challenges
There are many 30 day challenges. Thirty days is usually a fitting time frame to challenge yourself with your finances. According to a study led by
Maxwell Maltz, a plastic surgeon in the 1950’s he concluded it takes 66 days to form a habit. 30 days is an ideal time to start getting into that habit and hoping it will at least help you build more savings habits.
Save $500 in 30 days:
$500 is a great amount to start savings in 30 days. It’s a great cushion to fall back on, and a great way to start thinking of the habits of saving money. The key to that $500 goal is to break up the amounts you want to save weekly. Look into your expenses, and see what you can cut down from. For instance, you can $16.67 a day to reach your goal of $500 a month, or $125 a week. Whichever way you want to do it, is up to you. If you’re comfortable and willing to save more than $500 a day, go for it!
Save Spare Change
To increase your savings, consider saving as much as you are spending. Each time you make a purchase, put the same amount or the spare change to the side as savings for 30 days. You will be surprised how much can be spent in just one month. Depending on how big your purchase was, depends on how much money you will put on the side.
No Dining Out
Do you take your lunch to work? To the gym? etc. I personally buy food out every single day at work, which in the long run hurts my pockets. This is a challenge I will definitely be trying for at least 30 days. All those dining out, ordering food at home eventually end up adding up. Start this challenge the following month. Before you do so, check at the end of this month how much you really spent on eating out and ordering food. You will be shocked!
Are you ready to try financial challenges? I know I am!