Money Saving Challenge Ideas To Help You Reach Your Financial Goals [UPDATED]

A new year is almost upon us which makes it the ideal time to think about starting fresh!

Whether you have debt to pay down, student loans to pay off, the need to build an emergency fund, save for retirement, complete home renovations, or perhaps you’re just starting to save for your first home. Whatever your financial goals may be, setting specific and attainable goals will help you get one step closer to your financial freedom.

Just as no two people are alike, the methods in which we save will also be different depending on our circumstances and our personality type. Which brings me to the various money saving challenge ideas that you can build your savings on!

8 Money Saving Challenge Ideas To Help You Reach Your Financial Goals

  1. The Don’t Spend Your Change – Just as the challenge name suggests, you will save the coins that you receive. Always pay with cash (bills) and toss the change (coins) into a jar, piggy bank or like myself I use an empty water dispenser jug. It’s large enough to hold years of saving coins, it’s plastic so it won’t break and you can actually see your “don’t spend your change” goals growing before your very eyes. The amount of money you’ll save in the year will largely depend on how much change ultimately runs through your hands and how much you can realistically put away without putting yourself into hardship.
  2. The Loonie  Challenge – This challenge is quite simple, take 1 Loonie each day and put it away! Most people can afford to save $7 per week (just think about how much you spend on coffee or energy drinks in a week)! By the end of the year you will have saved a modest $365 toward your financial savings goals. It’s a good start to your saving foundation.
  3. The Toonie Challenge – Like the challenge above, the Toonie challenge is simply saving a Toonie each day or $14 per week. If you don’t have an extra $2 each day to save, then it’s time to look at what sacrifices you can make to achieve this goal. Perhaps you stop at the coffee shop every day; why not make your coffee at home instead or have one when you get to your workplace? The hubby and I completed this challenge a number of years ago and gave up our daily coffee shop visit. We were spending over $3 in coffee each weekday, which can really add up over the course of the year. We used money in our savings account to purchase a Tim Hortons Bunn Coffee Maker and starting brewing our daily coffee at home. By year end you will have $730 saved up in your bank account which you can continue building upon in subsequent years.
  4. The 52 Week Money Saving Challenge – With this savings challenge you can save $1378 by year end. Simply save the amount of money that coincides with the week number in the year. For example on week 1 you will save $1, week 2 you’ll save $2 and by week 52 you will save $52 for the week. Some of my friends have expressed that Christmas time can be challenging saving around the $50 mark per week, which leads to reverse weekly saving.
  5. The Reverse 52 Week Money Saving Challenge – If you struggled with the 52 Week Money Saving Challenge as Christmas approached, then you ought to try this Reverse 52 Week Money Saving Challenge. On week 1 you will save $52, week 2 you’ll save $51, and by the final week of the year; you will be putting just $1 into your savings account! The total saved over the course of the year will still be $1378, however, there will be less pinch during the holidays when you choose to save in reverse!
  6. The No Spend Challenge – This is probably one of the most difficult challenges for people to successfully achieve but it’s a great method to help you better appreciate your money. With the No Spend Challenge, you are only allowed to pay for things that are necessities such as rent or mortgage payments, utility bills, etc. Forget the luxuries but my advice is don’t be too stringent or hard on yourself as it may cause you to stray from this challenge. Perhaps you can treat yourself once a month to something you have sacrificed in this challenge to help you stay focused and not feel deprived. Again the total dollars saved over the course of the year will depend on the amount of money that you have which is not allocated to necessity payments.
  7. The Automatic Savings Challenge – I’ve used this money saving method a number of times over the years to meet financial savings goals. This is a great challenge to reaching retirement savings goals or vacationing goals too. Simply have your bank setup automatic transfers to send money to your savings account every time you get paid. You can choose to save whatever amount you can safely afford. The amount saved by the end of the year will vary depending on the amount you choose to save each week.
  8. Increasing Dollar A Day Challenge – This is an aggressive savings plan that will yield over $2300 in savings by year end ($2382 by December 31, 2018 to be exact). You can complete the challenge either way; whether you start the year savings the low amount and end the year with the higher amount or flip the challenge and save big at the beginning of the year so Christmas time doesn’t have as many financial commitments. Start the increasing dollar a day challenge by saving $1 a day in month January; then $2 a day in February; up to $3 a day in March; and continue this increasing pattern each month until December, where you will be saving $12 per day. You can also ‘invert’ the challenge and start with $12 per day in January and decrease the amount each month until you are saving $1 each day in December.

Every year I set at least one financial goal or resolution to guide me through the year as I move towards improving my financial picture. I love collecting my change and trying not to spend it. Then wrapping it up at the end of the year to see how well I’ve done. Analyzing my year and with my increasing use of my debit card, this is not my best method of saving anymore. The amount I’ve saved through 2017 via loyalty rewards programs and similar have surpassed my ‘don’t spend your change’ challenge total. It’s still worth saving my coins, but the amount saved was not as high as previous years. In contrast, the amount I earned in loyalty rewards has gone up, which may or may not be a direct shift from coin collecting.

For 2018, I am going to continuing with the Don’t Spend Your Change challenge AND I am also saving any extra money that comes my way such as: mobile cash back offers, coupon savings, mail in rebates, and funds that I earn from survey programs and rewards sites like Swagbucks*.

I’ve left you with several ideas to get you on your way to saving money for the new year. It really doesn’t matter what savings method you choose, just make a commitment to take action and do your best. If you get derailed along the way, simply get up and  brush yourself off, then jump back on board!

How do you save money each year? Which challenge idea would you like to try the most? 

All the best with your financial goals in 2018!

*Disclosure: This post contains a referral link. I may receive a small bonus in the form of SB for new users who sign up and participate at Swagbucks. Thank you for supporting my blogging adventure!

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