start saving money

Start Saving with a ‘Saving Money Challenge’

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The practical advice of how you start saving money can be challenging to build into a habit. One way to be motivated is to try a saving money challenge. It is a fun and effective way to build a saving habit. After all, the best way to save money is by making a conscious effort.

Building a Saving Habit

Changing habits to start saving is not easy. Making a challenge out of the behaviors we want to change can help us build the habit. We need enough motivation to break our current habits and create new ones.

To stay focused on your financial goals, here are a few motivation saving tips:

  • Set Milestones – Saving for a big goal like a down payment on a house can seem intimidating. Break down this goal into milestones. I.e., Break down your goal to have $20,000 saved for a down payment in five years to save $333.33 per month. This is the best saving plan to start.
  • Remember the reason you’re saving – The end goal is hard to keep focused on when there are short-term things that we have to forgo to reach. Write down what your goal is and why you are doing. Revisit it to remind you why saving money is important.
  • Visualize it – Make a chart of how far you’ve come and placed it somewhere visible, so it is a daily reminder to keep moving forward. Update regularly to celebrate the milestones too.

Best Saving Tips

The right saving money motivation is the one that resonates with you. That’s also the case with choosing the best saving plan. If you need a few ideas on what saving plan to try, here are a few that anyone benefits from:

  • Pay off your debt
  • Build an emergency savings fund
  • Save up for a down payment on a home
  • Save to buy a new (used) car
  • Create a savings bucket for holiday shopping or a vacation
  • Retirement

Saving Money Challenge

The best way to save money is by making it fun, right? Check out the saving money challenge ideas below:

  • 52-Week savings challenge – The classic way to play this is that you start by saving $1 on week one, $2 on week two, and so on. In the end, you have a total of $1,378.
  • No-spend challenge – The rules on this will vary. Try to eliminate spending on a certain day of the week or a week at a time. The goal is to cut out as much spending on your budget.
  • Bi-weekly savings challenge – If you get paid on a bi-weekly basis, this could help build the habit of saving more every paycheck. It could follow the rules of a 52-week challenge where you’d save $3 for weeks one and two, $7 for the next two weeks.
  • Spare change challenge – This involves saving up all the spare change that you accumulate throughout the year. Apps like Acorn make it much easier to do this by rounding up your debit transactions and moving into a separate account.

30 Day Money Saving Challenge

The money challenges listed above are usually based on a year’s worth of activity. If you want to learn how to save money through a faster approach, try a 30 days money saving challenge. Here are a few to try:

  • Make all your meals at home for 30 days.
  • Don’t buy any name-brand items for 30 days.
  • Don’t use a credit card for 30 days.
  • Sell or get rid of one time from your closet each day for 30 days.
  • Track every penny you spend for the next 30 days.

Other Ideas to Start Saving

If you’re looking for other saving tips on how to save money other than money challenges, try some of these:

  • Automate your savings. Have a set amount taken out and put into a savings account each time you get paid.
  • Use envelopes and cash. Label each envelope a spending category like “groceries” and “entertainment” and fill them with cash. Once it runs out, you can’t spend any more until the next week/month.
  • Save your tax refunds or other windfalls. Put a portion of a bonus, commission, inheritance, etc. into your savings.
  • Set a 24-hour rule – Avoid unnecessary or expensive purchases by imposing a 24-hour rule. This idea can be particularly useful for online shopping. Save your cart at checkout, then go back to it (or not) after the time-frame has passed.

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