In a NutshellA money-saving challenge might make accumulating some extra money more fun and motivating. Check out these 23 money-saving challenges to see which one might help you.
Starting a money-saving challenge might be a good strategy to save money while being motivated to reach a goal and have fun. You may find yourself even more motivated and excited to complete a challenge when it works with your personality strengths.
Whether you’re a self-motivated worker, an experience seeker, a challenge expert or a flexible explorer, this guide will give you budgeting challenge ideas that can help you save money and have fun doing it.
- What is a money-saving challenge?
- How to choose a money-saving challenge
- Money-saving challenges for sentinels
- Money-saving challenges for diplomats
- Money-saving challenges for analysts
- Money-saving challenges for explorers
- When to start a money-saving challenge
- What’s next: Grow your savings
What is a money-saving challenge?
Money-saving challenges are budgeting activities that encourage spenders to achieve a certain financial goal creatively. Whether saving up or changing a financial habit, money-saving challenges may help you keep track of your spending and set small achievable goals.
Saving challenges can be fun and may also help you …
- Start a habit of consistent saving
- Learn about your financial goals
- Track your budget
- Improve your personal finances
How to choose a money-saving challenge
You can find plenty of money-saving challenges online, but you may find more success with one that fits your budget, goals and lifestyle.
Choosing a challenge that fits your personality type might also make completing and achieving your money goals easier.
- The first step is to determine your personality type, which you can do by taking a personality assessment, such as the Myers-Briggs 16 MBTI types.
- Once you find out your Myers-Briggs type, you can determine your money personality type.
- The next step is to decide what your money-saving goals are. Find out how much money you want to save and how much time you have by looking at your living expenses and current savings.
- Lastly, navigate this guide divided by personality type to pick a challenge that fits your personality and saving goals. You can always pick a challenge from another personality type if it resonates with your goals better.
Money-saving challenges for sentinels
Sentinels are practical and self-motivated workers who seek security and safety. They take occasional risks and prefer to set smaller and more realistic financial goals, and they also like to plan for the unexpected.
Myers-Briggs sentinels include ISTJ, ISFJ, ESTJ and ESFJ.
1. 52-week money challenge
In this saving challenge, your goal is to deposit an increasing amount of money every week until you save $1,378 at the end of week 52. The dollar amount you save every week corresponds to the week of your challenge.
2. Keep-all-the-change challenge
For this challenge, whenever you stumble upon some extra cash around the house or when you receive change from a store, keep it in a jar. The idea behind this challenge is that even small amounts of change can add up over time.
3. Cash-only-for-a-month challenge
If you find yourself tempted to buy things you don’t necessarily need, try joining this monthly savings challenge. The idea is to only carry cash when shopping, so you can only spend what you have.
4. 26-week savings challenge
If you get paid biweekly, this challenge might be a great way to match your paycheck with your savings plans. In this money-saving challenge, you’ll save in increments of $3, starting the first week with $3, on the second $6, on the third $9 and so on.
Every time you receive your paycheck, transfer the corresponding amount to your savings until you reach week 26, when you’ll deposit $78 to total $1,053.
5. Penny savings challenge
If you often pay with cash, this challenge may be for you. The penny savings challenge is like the keep-all-the-change challenge, but instead, you will add only the pennies to your jar.
6. $1 bill savings challenge
If you enjoy envelope budgeting, this challenge may be a fun one for you to try. This challenge is simple — every time you get a $1 bill, add it to your envelope for extra savings. At the end of the year, you can use the envelope’s savings for whatever you want. If you prefer to save paper or spare an envelope, use a savings jar or piggy bank.
Money-saving challenges for diplomats
Diplomats are easily inspired and value experiences over maintaining the status quo. They tend to be dreamers, don’t spend too much time analyzing and prefer to take action to plan out their next steps.
Myers-Briggs diplomats include INFJ, INFP, ENFJ and ENFP.
7. Holiday gift challenge
If you feel like you’re struggling to find funds to afford gifts for the family at the end of the year, make it a challenge to contribute a small amount to your holiday fund every week.
At the beginning of the year, tally up all your holiday spending from the previous year and figure out how much you would have to save each week to reach your goal amount.
8. Pay-yourself-when-you-make-a-money-mistake challenge
Everybody makes mistakes, so why not put a positive spin on learning? This money challenge is not to encourage you to make mistakes, but you can join it by adding funds to your savings every time you make a financial mistake.
This challenge can be a win-win — you may make fewer mistakes or save more money.
9. 26-week biweekly savings challenge
If adding funds to your savings for a money challenge every day or every week sounds like a lot of work, doing it biweekly might work better for you.
In the 26-week biweekly money-saving challenge, you can save $1,404 in a year by depositing an increasing amount every other week. Start with $4 on the first week and $8 on the second. Add an extra $4 every two weeks until you deposit $106 on week 26.
10. Money throw-down challenge
Friendly competitions can be fun and motivating. If you need a partner to keep you on track, challenge a friend or family member to the money throw-down challenge.
The rules for the challenge are up to you to decide, such as seeing who can save $1,000 the fastest or the most for six months. Celebrate your earnings by going out to eat with your challenge partner, and plan what you’ll do with the savings.
11. Savings-fever challenge
In this challenge, you can create a savings thermometer. Use paper or cardboard to draw a thermometer and write your savings goal at the top. List a smaller saving goal for each temperature and color it in as you reach each target.
12. 3-month savings challenge
If you’re looking for a money challenge that doesn’t last all year, the three-month savings challenge can help you save $1,008 in just 90 days.
Set a reminder to deposit $84 weekly for 12 weeks. You may also find it easier to set automatic transfers to a high-yield savings account.
Money-saving challenges for analysts
Analysts are driven by thinking and lead with intellect while seeking to improve their situation. They enjoy setting clear financial goals and creating projections around trends and influences. For analysts, money is a system to master or a puzzle to solve.
Myers-Briggs analysts include INTJ, INTP, ENTJ and ENTP.
13. No-spend challenge
If you overspend on nonessentials, consider the no-spend challenge. In this money-saving challenge, you’ll eliminate discretionary spending.
You can also choose certain categories to avoid buying, such as clothes or takeout.
14. 356-day nickel-saving challenge
Your goal is to save money in increments of five.
Start on Day One with a nickel, adding two nickels to your jar the next day, then adding 15 cents on day three and so on. Keep this going until day 365, when you’ll deposit $18.25 in your jar. If a nickel doesn’t sound like much, wait until you see that your big jar will have saved you $3,339.60 at the end of the year.
15. Weather Wednesday challenge
In this savings challenge, you’ll add money to your savings account every Wednesday — but not the same amount. Before adding money, check the weather channel for the highest local temperature and match that amount to add to your savings.
16. Trim 1% of your salary challenge
This budgeting challenge could be a good way to build savings. Calculate 1% of your yearly salary and find ways to cut your spending by that amount. You can look at your subscription services or grocery bills, for example, and see how you can reduce your budget to end up with 1% of your salary as a bonus.
17. Round-up money-saving challenge
Ever wonder why prices often end with .99? It’s a psychological strategy to make it seem like the price is lower. To take advantage of this strategy, join the round-up money challenge by rounding up to the nearest dollar and adding those cents to your savings.
For example, if you make a purchase of $2.79, round it up to $3 and add $0.21 to your savings.
18. 30-day meal-planning challenge
Starting with small steps might make it easier to start building positive habits. If you want to reduce your grocery bills and the number of times you eat out, plan your meals for 30 days and have your meals packed for each day of the week as part of this challenge.
At the end of this budgeting challenge, compare your savings to a previous month where you ate out more often, and use it as motivation to keep the challenge going for the following months.
Money-saving challenges for explorers
Explorers are quick and flexible thinkers who enjoy experimenting with their passions and money. They tend to see money as more fluid and in play and are less afraid of risk. Explorers may find creative ways to deal with their cash and can find it rewarding the master finance if it feels more like a game or challenge.
Myers-Briggs explorers include ISTP, ISPF, ESTP and ESFP.
19. Pantry challenge
Challenge yourself to eat as much of the food in your house as possible before buying more groceries. By doing little to no shopping for extra ingredients, you might be able to increase your meal-planning skills and reduce waste.
20. Change-a-bad-habit challenge
If you have a habit you wish you could stop — like smoking, drinking a lot of soda or shopping too much — this may be the perfect challenge for you. Every time you avoid your bad habits, reward yourself with the money you would be spending by adding it to your savings instead.
21. $5-bill savings challenge
Similar to the $1 bill challenge, this budgeting challenge may help you save money without too much effort. Any time you receive a $5 bill, store it in a safe spot. Check how much you saved after a few months, or challenge yourself to do it for a year.
22. Find extra money challenge
Get creative with the find-extra-money challenge and sweep around your house for any spare change you might have forgotten.
Look in every pant and jacket pocket, between couch cushions and in your junk drawer. You may be able to create extra money for yourself by making it a goal to spend less than your budget and adding the extra money to your savings or by decluttering your home and selling items you don’t use anymore.
23. Cancellation challenge
Free trials can be a great way to watch a movie without committing to a subscription. However, you may have free trials you forgot to cancel that you don’t even remember signing up for.
Join the cancellation challenge by taking time to evaluate all your subscription services, cancel any that you haven’t been using and transfer the money you would have spent on them to your savings.
When to start a money-saving challenge
Many money-saving challenges don’t have a set starting point. Whether you start on the first day of the year or your birthday, adjust the challenge according to your savings goals and timeline. Consider your schedule and current savings when deciding the best time to start.
What’s next: Grow your savings
Once you’ve started one of these money-saving challenges, it’s time to find the right place to put your savings. If you don’t mind having your money tied up for a bit, you can put it in the stock market, a certificate of deposit, real estate or another investment.