If saving more money were simply about moving a larger amount from checking into savings every month, more people would do it. The truth is, it’s not as simple as committing to one simple task, it’s about overcoming the mental hurdles that keep so many of us stuck in a cycle of spending every last penny in our account.
The good news is there are plenty of ways to counteract the power of these mental roadblocks and make saving just as commonplace as spending. It’s about forming new habits, and these saving challenges can jumpstart the process.
Challenge #1: 52 Week Money Challenge
Sticking to a schedule can increase your savings exponentially, and that’s precisely the idea behind the 52-week money challenge. The idea is to set aside $1 for week 1, $2 for week 2, $3 for week 3 and so on. By the end of the 52 weeks, you will have socked away $1,378 – a huge amount for relatively painless incremental deposits. This also shows how quickly these small amounts can pay off in the long run.
If you can’t spare the weekly savings requirements, consider cutting the amounts in half. Just be diligent about setting aside the amount each and every week.
Challenge #2: No-Spend Day (or Week) Challenge
Small purchases can quickly add up, impacting our ability to save money on a regular basis. The purpose of sticking to a no-spend day or week on a regular basis is to curb these unnecessary, often impulse purchases and intentionally put that money towards something far more useful – your savings account.
This challenge can also encourage better organization with your spending because you must plan for a no-spend day by ensuring all necessities are already covered. So instead of stopping by the grocery store on the way home to grab something for dinner, you would already have a stocked fridge to compile a meal from.
From there you can take the saved money and actually make a deposit into your savings account. Now isn’t that awesome?
Challenge #3: Pay Yourself Challenge
What if, for every dollar you spent on non-essentials, you had to put the same amount into your savings account? You would probably think twice about how much you were spending, wouldn’t you?
The benefits to this challenge are two-fold: create a habit of second-guessing your spending habits while simultaneously building up your savings account (because clearly you won’t curb all discretionary spending).
The key here is actually holding yourself accountable for making the deposits into your savings account — without the consequence, the challenge won’t have the intended effect. If you can’t follow through, consider bringing a friend or family member on board to keep you in check. Who knows, they might be willing to try the challenge with you.
Challenge #4: Save Your Change Challenge
If you’ve ever taken a bucket of change to the bank and been surprised by how much it was worth, you already know the idea behind this challenge – to save such small amounts, you won’t feel the pain as you’re saving.
At the end of each day, empty all of your change into a container. If you want to switch it up, pick a dollar amount and commit to saving every single bill that comes into your possession. If, for instance, you decide to save every $5 bill you receive, even just one a week would equal $260 in a year.
Again, it’s about creating a habit and turning something you might be overwhelmed by into a game. The bigger you can dream and the bigger the commitment you can make, the larger the savings payoff will be.
Want some help coming up with additional savings opportunities? Call us at (888) 686-4040 or fill out the free credit review form today.