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When it comes to saving money, gamifying it can be a great motivator. Even as adults, we are motivated by challenges or competitions, which is why money saving challenges are a great way to motivate yourself to save money and work toward reaching your financial goals.

Set Yourself Up for Saving Success

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At the most basic level, a money saving challenge is a financial tool to help you change your spending and saving habits. But in order to ensure you’re able to make the most of this tool, some light preparation is recommended.

Tips for Saving Success

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  1. Invite a friend or family member to join you.
  2. Prefer to go it alone? No problem, but consider finding an accountability partner to bring on board.
  3. Make it time-bound. Working toward achieving a goal with no clear set period of time or end date in mind can make it difficult to stay on task.
  4. If you haven’t already, create a monthly budget. Learning how to budget will help you get a better understanding of how much money you’ll be capable of saving each month.

Money Saving Challenges You’ll Love

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These seven saving challenges are perfect whether you’re a struggling saver or a seasoned pro. Try one or try ’em all and see how much money you can save.

1. Five Dollar Bill Savings Challenge

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This challenge is pretty self-explanatory and can be easily tailored to your preferences. Every time you receive a five-dollar bill, you save it…easy peasy.

This can be a five-dollar bill you receive as a gift, change from a purchase, or cash you receive from your bank or credit union. Any five-dollar bill that passes through your hands goes into your piggy bank, or better yet, deposited into a high-yield savings account so it can earn interest.

Creative Ways To Modify This Challenge

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It’s worth mentioning if you’re on a super-tight budget, this challenge might not be the best place to start. Missing out on five dollars (or more if you get multiple bills) could serve to put a decent dent in your disposable income each month.

There are a few different ways you can modify this challenge to fit your specific financial situation by switching up the dollar amount. If you’re struggling financially, try saving your one-dollar bills instead. This will have less of an impact on your monthly budget while still allowing you to begin saving.

2. Monthly Saving Challenge

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This money saving challenge is simple, easily customizable, and the best way to save a set amount of money over the course of a year. This challenge is perfect if you typically struggle with money-related new year’s resolutions, as you can start at the beginning of the year and save throughout the entire year.

However, don’t let a specific start date stand in your way, as any month of the year is a good time to save money. Simply determine your long-term goal, or the total amount of money you want to save during this challenge. Divide that amount by 12 to get your monthly savings amount. Save that specific amount each month, and by the year’s end, you’ll have conquered this challenge.

3. Weekly Saving Challenge

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The weekly saving challenge is a helpful way to save a substantial chunk of money without affecting your budget in an extreme way. The catch is that in the last quarter of the year, you’re saving the bulk of the money for this challenge, which can be difficult for many. If this sounds overwhelming, the next challenge may be a better fit for you.

In this challenge, you will save a small amount of money each week, equal to the week of the year. For example, for the first week, you will save $1. In the second week, you will save $2. The third week, $3, and so on. The final week of this challenge calls for you to save $52, as there are 52 weeks in the year. At the end of the challenge, you will have saved $1,378!

4. Reverse Weekly Saving Challenge

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This is technically the same challenge as number three, but you’re going to flip the script and complete it backward or in reverse. Not only will you not be stuck trying to scrounge up extra money for the weekly savings at the peak of the Christmas shopping season, but you will still have saved up $1,378 at the end of the year for your holiday budget. Win-win.

With the reverse weekly saving challenge, you will save $52 in the first week. Save $51 the next week and continue to follow suit, counting down to $1 in the final week of the year.

5. Envelope Challenge

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Technically this is a 100 day challenge that requires 100 envelopes. Take any number of envelopes and number the front of each envelope. If you choose to participate for 100 days, you’ll number each envelope, beginning with number one and going to 100.

On the first day, pick any envelope at random, and whichever number is marked on the front of the envelope is the amount of money you’ll place inside the envelope to save. For example, if you choose envelope #58 on the first day, you’ll place $58 inside the envelope. Suppose you choose envelope #16 on the second day. Save $16 in the envelope. On day 100, you will have $5,050 saved in cash.

6. Spending Freeze Challenge

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A spending freeze is not only an excellent way to save money, but it will also force you to cut back on unnecessary spending at the same time. Prior to beginning a spending freeze, it’s important to choose the duration of the challenge and set the ground rules on when you can and cannot spend.

A spending freeze does not have any specific guidelines, so you can execute it however you see fit. But, once you set the rules, be sure to abide by them. You will need to spend money to pay your fixed expenses, of course; however, you’ll need to decide what type of discretionary spending, if any, is allowed during your freeze.

7. Spare Change Saving Challenge

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If you already save your spare change, this will be an easy challenge for you. But participating in this challenge with intention will help you find even more change to add to the pot.

Find yourself a cool change jar and keep it in a convenient place where you can drop your change each time you return home from making a purchase; that way, you’ll be sure to save it and avoid tossing it in a junk drawer, never to be seen again.

8. Starter Emergency Fund Challenge

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This is an awesome challenge to try if you’re working to build up a starter emergency fund. An emergency fund of 3-6 months of living expenses is essential for financial security, but it’s a good idea to pay off debt you may have before putting that much money aside. A starter emergency fund, however, is usually around $1,000 set aside for emergencies that pop up while you’re working to improve your finances.

This savings challenge is a great way to get your starter emergency fund established in only three months. You can save this daily, weekly, or monthly. Weekly would be $77/week, daily would be about $11/day, or monthly would be $333/month. This challenge requires you to save a substantial amount of money in a short amount of time, but having a very specific endgame in mind, i.e., funding your starter emergency fund, can be an incredible motivator.

9. Pantry Challenge

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While grocery bills have been through the roof recently, you will still save a lot of money by cooking at home and avoiding eating at restaurants or ordering takeout. A pantry challenge forces you to cook at home and takes it a step further by requiring you to use the ingredients you already have on hand to feed your family.

Most people opt to visit the grocery store one time per week to purchase fresh produce, milk, and eggs. Others purchase nothing throughout the challenge. The specific dietary needs of your family will shape this challenge. In all scenarios, the point is to significantly slash your food costs and use up all the food you likely have in your cabinets, pantry, and refrigerator.

What is the Best Money Saving Challenge?

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The best money saving challenge is simply the one you will stick with. No one challenge is the best. Any challenge – or other motivating factors, for that matter – is a great option if it helps you cultivate a habit of consistent saving.

Regardless of which savings challenge you (or try them all), the point is that you are creating a habit of paying yourself first by saving consistently each day, week, or month. Neglecting to save a portion of your income can set you back years on your journey to financial freedom!

7 Crucial Sinking Funds Every Budget Should Include

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How many sinking funds categories do you currently save for? If you’ve been budgeting for a while, you probably know all about sinking funds and why they’re such an important component of a budget, but are your sinking funds actually protecting your budget when you need them to?

7 Crucial Sinking Funds Every Budget Should Include

The Best Gas Apps To Save Money at the Pump

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With gas prices hitting record levels this year, it’s no surprise that consumers are looking for ways to cut costs. That’s where gas apps come in. These apps help you find the cheapest gas and offer rewards too.

The Best Gas Apps To Save Money at the Pump

How To Save Money Fast – 26 Easy Tips

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We all know it’s important to save money. But how do you do that when inflation is up, mortgage rates have increased, and rents are rising? Oh, and don’t forget – extra spending is coming with the holidays around the corner. Yet even in tough times, there are strategies to help build savings fast.

How To Save Money Fast – 26 Easy Tips

14 Actionable Tips To Save Money on Your Electric Bill

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If you want to cut down your electric bill, there are plenty of ways to save money. These tips can help you learn how to save money on electric bills. That means more money in your pockets – and less financial stress.

14 Actionable Tips To Save Money on Your Electric Bill

6 Frugal Hacks to Save Money and Counter Inflation in 2023

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While inflation seems to be slowing down, anyone who has been to the grocery store in the past month knows prices are still outrageous. But, it is possible to counter inflation in 2023 with these frugal hacks that will save money and offset elevated prices.

6 Frugal Hacks To Save Money and Counter Inflation in 2023

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