You’re in the mood to save, and save plenty. And I’m here to help you. What if I told you that there’s lots of different money saving challenges out there, designed just for the purpose of helping you get rich?
From using cash only to the 100 envelope challenge to a homemade Christmas, I have a money saving challenge for you.
The struggle is real for all of us trying to save money. It feels nearly impossible at times, which is why you need something to motivate you, to keep you on track.
When you want to save money but your income is low, that’s when you need a challenge for saving all those tiny bits of money.
Once you catch onto these best money saving challenges to boost your wealth, you’ll see your bank account balance increase nicely! Want to give it a go? Check out the list below and pick one that excites you.
(This post contains affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I may make a small commission at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. You can read more here)
1. The $5,000 money challenge
What is the $5000 challenge? For this money challenge, your goal is to save $5,000 in a specified amount of time. Most people choose to save $5,000 in a year because that is a significant amount of money to save. However, you don’t have to take 12 months to save $5,000.
- You could save $5,000 in 6 months
- You could save it over 2 years
- Or you could even save $5,000 in 3 months (but you’ll need a big pay packet to do so!)
For more help and a free printable chart to keep track of your $5k goal head over to this post: Save $5,000 in 52 weeks
2. Daily Money saving Challenge
The daily money saving challenge is ideal if you want to feel and see that you are saving money every day. You can choose how much to save each day, according to your budget.
Or you can follow the 365 day money saving challenge where you save a specifc amount each day of the week, for a whole year. Although of course, you can do it for just a month, for 3 months or even convert it into a 6 month money saving challenge. Your choice.
Want a 365 day saving money challenge printable chart?
For more details of the daily saving challenge head over to this post with the details and chart: 365 Daily Saving Challenge
3. The $10,000 money challenge
If you want to save more, then you could consider a money saving challenge of $10,000. This a huge amount of money to save, but think what it could mean when you achieve your goal?
A deposit on your first home, buying a car for cash or a full funded emergency fund. Even better, if you are carrying debt is to throw this money at that. If you can save $10,000 in a year, then you will have $10,000 to put towards your debt.
For example, if you have a $20,000 balance on your credit card and you save $10,000 in a year, then you will have paid off your credit card in just 2 years and be debt-free!
To achieve a money saving challenge of 10000, you are going to need to cut back on many things and make some strong decisions.
For much more help in achieving this goal head over to this post of mine: How to save 10,000 in a year
4. The Save Your Spare Change Challenge
This is one of the more fun money saving challenges you can do because you really don’t notice the savings you are making. And what could be more fun than saving money without noticing?
Some bank accounts have a round up your spare change option – this is an easy thing to switch on and means you can save ‘spare change’ without cash.
The round up option means if you bought something for $5.35, 65c would be the money rounded up and put into a separate savings account. without you doing a thing!
If you’re using cash then save your spare change into a money jar, plastic bottle, tin, whatever works for you.
My favorite way to tackle this challenge is using the Acorns app. It does exactly the same as a bank account round up but instead of transferring the money into a savings account with low interest, it invests it.
The Acorns app is a great little app that helps you save and invest money almost without thinking. It rounds up your spending to the next dollar and invests the difference.
You can choose which transactions you want to be included in the rounding up it does or even just set a monthly amount. This is one of those unusual frugal tips that lets you save money without even thinking about it. Check out the Acorns app here.
5. 100 Envelope Money Challenge
Sometimes cash is best, you can see it, feel it and watch it build up. If this is you then try the money saving challenge with envelopes. There are different money saving challenges you can try depending on your budget and the timeline you want to set.
The most popular envelope challenge is the 100 Envelope Challenge. With this challenge the first step is to get yourself 100 envelopes. On each envelope, write a number from 1-100.
To start your money challenge you pick an envelope at random every day and put the amount of money from that envelope inside of it and stash it away somewhere safe. For instance, if you pick envelope number 37 then place $37 inside. If it’s envelope number 87 then put $87 inside.
For more variations and detail check out my post: How to Rock the 100 Evelope Challenge
6. Biweekly money Saving Challenge
Many people are paid biweekly which means a biweekly money saving challenge is going to work best. When you get paid biweekly you want to get those savings into a separate account as quickly as possible.
Signing yourself up for a biweekly money challenge helps you with your biweekly budget (you do have one don’t you?) and keeps you focused on that budget.
7. Meal Planning Challenge
Do you dislike trying to work out what to have for dinner when you get home from work? That’s where meal planning comes in. Plan your meals ahead of time so you know in the morning what meal you will be making when you arrive home.
The meal planning challenge bumps up weekly meal planning to a whole month in advance. Why? Because planning a whole month allows you to not only do a big grocery shop (and save money), it also allows you to focus on batch cooking and freezer meals. Both of which save you time AND money.
Hate meal planning? Using a meal planning service will save you money. How? Because without them you are much mroe likely to give in to takeout or grabbing dinner from your local restaurant too often to save any money.
Meal Planning Services
If you would prefer a done for your meal planning service then there are some really cheap and helpful services available.
$5 meal plans – for $5 a month you get a weekly meal plan of 5 meals every week, all budget friendly and you can choose the type of meals.
Eat at Home Cooks – for $1.61 a week on the annual plan you get a full meal plan, I’m talking 3 meals a day, 7 days a week. There are 4 different menu options to choose from.
MyFreezeasy – If you like to batch prep meals, try Myfreezeasy. You get the recipes, shopping list and instructions to batch prep all the meals you need for your freezer, ready to be pulled out and cooked whenever you want. The annual plan saves you the most money at just over $8 a month.
Using a meal planning service is the perfect solution if you are not ready to do it yourself just yet. And for a few dollars a month they can save you money if you know you invariably end up buying dinner on your way home every week.
8. No Eating Out Challenge
The no eating out challenge is exactly as it says. Don’t eat out, restaurant, fast food place or takeaways, for a set period of time. How long should you challenge yourself like this?
You could start by setting this as a 30 day money saving challenge, especially if you usually grab dinner out multiple times a week. You could be saving $40 every time you DON’T eat out.
If you want to save more money, or if you tend to only eat out once a week, why not make this a 3 motnh money saving challenge? At $40 for each meal not eaten out, you could save over $500 in 3 months. Nice!
9. The Pantry Challenge
The pantry challenge is a money saving challenge, with a difference. You’ve already spent good money on the food in your pantry, the challenge is to use this food to make your meals. Instead of going to the grocery store.
This is the perfect weekly money saving challenge. Do it for one week, or maybe two. Meal plan using the ingredients you already have in your pantry, cupboards and freezer. And don’t go to the grocery store. give yourself a week off and save that money instead.
You could stretch the pantry challenge to a whole month but your meal combinations might get rather strange, and you’ll run out of fresh fruit and veggies less than half way through.
This money challenge is perfect for repeating every few months to keep your pantry from reaching epic stockpile proportions.
10. No New Clothing Challenge
We all have plenty of clothes yet we can easily spend $100-$200 on yet more new clothes each month. Challenge yourself with a clothing ban for a few months.
One month could seem a little tame so make the savings more worthwhile by making this a 3 month money saving challenge, or perhaps even 6 months.
Think you are going to feel deprived or bored of your clothes? Take the time saved by not shopping to go through your wardrobe and organize it. Better still pull everything out and see what you have in there.
Decluttering and getting rid of clothes you haven’t worn for months (or years) will give you more space so you can see the clothes you keep. Organize them into styles, colors or items (e.g. dresses, trousers, jackets).
See what new combinations you can make with your slimmed down wardrobe, you could have a whole new range of outfits once everything is arranged in a more orderly fashion
You could save $600-$1200.
11. The 5 Savings Challenge
The ($/£) 5 savings challenge is worked very differently to other money challenges because it is completely based on the cash you receive in your change. There is no transferring money on payday to a separate savings account.
It’s all about saving every $5 bill (or £5 note) that you receive. Whether you get 1 a week or 10 a week. This challenge is about saving every single one of them.
- Each time you receive a $5 bill in change, put it in a money jar or savings pot.
- Don’t count your $5 bills (£5 notes) until the end of your challenge.
This a good money saving challenge to do for a month for starters. You can always extend your challenge if you haven’t saved many $5 bills or you finding it a fun way to save. Best for people who use cash on a regular basis.
If your budget allows you could increase the value of your money notes and do a $/£ 10 savings challenge instead. It’s exactly the same as the $5 challenge, just with $10 bills (£10 notes).
12. The No Spend Challenge
What is a no spend challenge? A no spend challenge is your commitment to not spending money on specific things for a length of time of your choosing. It’s a (no spending) goal you set yourself with rules attached. But they are your rules.
Most people complete a no spend challenge for a week, a weekend or possibly longer. And the no spending is on everything other than essential bills. and no, a daily coffee is not essential, nor is my regular chocolate bar!
A no spend challenge helps you to press reset on bad habits and start afresh. The longer you challenge yourself to not spend, the more you have to gain from it.
If you only did 1 saving challenge this year, this is the one I recommend.
13. A Cash Only Challenge
Using the cash envelope system for a month or more can save you a pretty penny. This is a money saving challenge with envelopes for your everyday expenses. Each envelope has the cash you intend to spend. Once it’s spent that is it.
Spending just cash on things like groceries, entertainment and fun money makes you keep a check and consider what you are buying and how much. You will find it’s much harder to hand over your hard earned cash than to swipe your credit card.
I would suggest the following categories are a great starting point for spending just cash:
- Household items
- Kids activities
- Fun money spending
For lots of tips on how to organize your cash and your envelopes check out these posts:
Grab your very own set of 6 beautiful floral printable cash envelopes here.
14. The $1k In 30 days Challenge
This is the perfect 30 day money saving challenge to kickstart your emergency fund.
A $1000 emergency fund is a good start to prevent emergencies from becoming extra debt you can’t afford to have.
Dave Ramsey recommends saving $1000 in an emergency fund as a starting point. Longer term you will want more like 3-6 months worth of living expenses saved up.
$1000 is a lot of money to save in a month, but it is only a 1 month challenge, after which you can go back to spending more normally. You can go without many things when it’s only for 30 days or so.
For tips and tricks on how to save a solid $1000 quickly check out my post on How To Save 1000 in a Month: 9 Simple Tricks to Save Money Fast
15. Holiday Savings Challenge
The holiday season is always more expensive than you expect so completing a 3 month money saving challenge in advance will give you the money you need to buy without getting into debt.
$/£ 500 over 12 weeks is not too painful a challenge. You can of course do more if your festive expenses are high. The idea of a holiday savings challenge is to save enough money to cover all your Christmas and holiday expenses. So you can look forward to a January without debt.
Grab your free holiday savings challenge printables from this post:
16. 52 Week money saving Challenge
The original 52 weeks savings challenge increase the amount you save each week. In week 1 you save $1, in week 2 you save $2 and so on until week 52 you are saving $52. In total, this money saving challenge of weekly payments will net you $1378 in your savings account.
My advice is NOT to start this challenge on January 1st. Why? Because it means you need to save the most at the most expensive time of year, Thanksgiving to Christmas.
If you are starting in the new year then try the reverse 52 week savings challenge below instead.
want a 52 week money saving challenge printable?
To help you keep track of your 52 week savings challenge you can download a free copy of the 52 week money saving challenge printable – available in both $US and £GP. Available in my post on The Best 52 Week Money Challenges.
17. Reverse 52 week money challenge
This is the exact reverse of the 52 week money challenge above. Instead of slowly building up the amount you save each week, you start high and slowly drop down.
It’s my preferred option for this challenge because when you start a challenge you are full of motivation and are keen to succeed. The reverse challenge uses that keenness to save the highest amounts in the first few weeks.
It also means if you start in January that you will be saving only small amounts come November and December. Exactly what you need at this expensive festive time.
For more details and a free printable to download and track your progress head over to this post: 10 of the Best 52 Week Money Challenges For You
18. new year money saving challenge
Every new year starts with you vowing to make new year resolutions and stick with them, for a whole year. And about 3 weeks later, most of those resolutions have bitten the dust.
Here’s a new year money saving challenge that you can achieve and doesn’t require you to change all your financial habits forever. Just make the changes for one month so you can participate in the no spend January challenge.
No spend January is a month-long period where you commit to not spending any money on unnecessary items. You can still pay your essential monthly expenses and shop for essentials. But no buying clothes, or going out with friends or any other non-essential spending.
January really is the perfect month to spend time on your finances and create new savings goals.
This is one of the monthly money saving challenges you can do every year, without feeling too deprived. Check out this post for loads more help and information to make your new year challenge a success: How To Succeed With A No Spend January Challenge To Save Money
19. frugal february challenge
The frugal February challenge follows on very nicely from no spend January. It’s not so strict and you set your own rules. Fact is, it doesn’t even need to be February as it’s one of the monthly money saving challenges you can do any month you choose.
The reason many people do it in February is because it’s the shortest month! Frugal february is about improving your financial situation and saving money on everything you pay out for. Rather than a complete no spend or spending freeze.
For all the details you need to make your challenge successfuly check out my post on The Frugal February Challenge.
20. 1p money saving challenge
The 1p money saving challenge is a daily challenge where you start very small and build up how much you save each and every day.
Starting with just 1p on day 1, it’s increases to 2p on day 2, 3p on day 3 all the way up to £3.65 on day 365.
These are tiny amounts but in a year the 1p money saving challenge will net you £667.95.
For an easy to follow tracker check out this post from MoneySavingExpert.
If you live with dollars and cents then this challenge easily translates into the 1 cent money saving challenge. Exactly the same rules apply. Start with 1c on day 1, 2c on day 2 and so until you hit $3.65 on day 365.
21. homemade Christmas gift challenge
Have you ever made Christmas gifts for family and friends? They love them, don’t they? The homemade Christmas gift challenge takes your preparations up a notch because it’s all about handmade gifts for everyone. No buying ANY Christmas gifts for your nearest and dearest.
You might choose to leave gifts for children out of this challenge (I certainly would) to make your life a little easier. This is one of those fun money saving challenges that requires a bit of planning, time and inspiration but so worthwhile. Never mind the money saved, your family will love their gifts.
For inspiration and help on easy to make Christmas gifts check out these posts:
22. dump your vices challenge
We all have vices we know we would do better to drop. But who can live a 100% perfect life? Certainly not me. I am a chocolate lover and the idea of never eating chocolate again is a shocker and isn’t going to happen.
But as a 30 day money saving challenge to not eat chocolate, drink alcohol, buy coffee out or similar, that is much more doable.
Dumping your vices for a month is much more appealing than a new years resolution to always eat healthily and never drink again. And much more achieveable.
Many Christians give something up for lent, which is 40 days. It’s almost always a vice or something you know perhaps you shouldn’t have so often that is given up for only the period of lent.
23. take control of your finances challenge
Take control of your finances might not sound like a challenge to save money but it is. Because if you get your finances into a better place then you are going to be saving money.
This challenge is all about ensuring that every line in your budget is at the best price. For instance, your utility bills, can you get them cheaper? You could negotiate with you current supplier or possibly move to a new one offering better rates.
Your insurances (house, car, life) are these at the best price for your circumstances? Could you increase your deductible/excess? Do you need accidental damage? Have you got the best price?
Even your mortgage is up for review. Can you refinance to a lower rate? Could you reduce the term? This would increase your monthly payments a bit but can shave years off thereby saving a substantial amount of interest.
Go through your budget and bank account and list out all the regular payments you make. Work through these over the coming month and see how much you can save in total. You could be very surprised!
24. low income 52 week challenge
Some of the year long money challenges involve big numbers. Which is of no use to you if you are on a low income or a tight budget. This doesn’t mean you cannot participate in one of the weekly money saving challenges, you just need one that is tailored for smaller savings.
This is what the low income 52 week challenge is. It basically halves the traditional 52 week challenge and makes it doable for people living on a a low income.
For more details and a free printable to download and track your progress head over to this post: Tight Budget Money Challenge
25. 30 day wait to spend challenge
With credit cards the norm it’s very easy to see something you like and immediately buy it. Even if it’s an impulse and you don’t have the money in your bank to pay for it. Your credit card allows you to purchase it immediately and pay off the debt later.
This challenge is all about waiting 30 days before you given in to that impulse. I’m calling it a challenge because it can be very challenging to do but it’s more usually called the 30 day rule.
What is the 30 day rule?
This rule (challenge) is very simple, if you see something you want, wait 30 days before you buy it.
For all the details on this and how to make it work for you, head over to my post on The 30 Day Rule.
26. save 10k in 6 months money saving challenge
If you need a large chunk of money quickly, perhaps a home deposit, then this 6 month savings challenge will work for you.
But be warned, it’s not for the faint-hearted and you need to not only have a reasonable income, you need to be willing to cut 10,000 from your usual spending to achieve this goal.
Once achieved, you’ll feel a huge sense of achievement but those 6 months of saving require big decisions and big changes to make it happen.
Check out my post on how to save 10000 in 6 months for help, advice and a free savings tracker to keep you focused.
Saving money FAQs
Why is saving money difficult?
Saving money is difficult because it almost always requires you to change your spending habits and be more conscious about what you do with your money.
It’s all too easy to whip out your credit card and buy something, almost without thinking. Saving money means you can’t do that and achieve your savings goals.
You have to confront your spending habits and potentially realise just how much money you may have wasted in the past. That’s hard to do. But well worth it.
What is the most challenging part of saving money?
The most challenging part of saving money is seeing it through to the end. A week long no spend challenge is much easier than saving money every week for a whole year. Add in the need to reduce your spending and the whole process becomes challenging.
But, seeing it through to the end means you have achieve your goal and got savings in the bank as a result. Well worth the effort you have put in.
what should i save for?
When deciding on which challenge to choose, and of course you can do more than one at a time if you wish, having a goal for your savings is a real must.
Save for something that is important to you. Dream big, not small. If you want a house deposit then go for one of the big 52 week challenges. If you want to feel more in control of your money, choose 1 saving challenge that will help you create new habits.
why is saving money important?
Everyone should have savings to fall back on, an emergency fund of at least a grand, if not 3-6 motnhs essential expenses. The reason saving money is important is that without money you have no security, no financial backup for when plans go awry.
Which Money saving Challenges are you going to try?
I know 25 different money saving challenges are a lot to get through but they provide you with choice for all the different financial situations you may find yourself in.
Choose 1 saving challenge to start with, perhaps one of the shorter ones as a trial before embarking on something bigger and longer.
I always recommend completing a no spend challenge first to test yourself. You can move onto a monthly or 52 week savings challenge once you see how much you can save by being more conscious about your spending.
Remember to transfer your savings into a separate savings account and use a savings challenge tracker so you can see the progress you are making!
Start taking back control of your money by grabbing your copy of the Money Saving Starter Guide today.
Come and follow me on Pinterest for more money saving hints and frugal tips!
Last Updated on 5th January 2022 by Emma