Having a budget and a method of saving money that works for YOU are super important. Creating a savings plan is one of those adult life tasks we know we need to do, yet it’s still a struggle for many of us!
I definitely don’t think there’s a one size fits all budget or money savings method for every person. Whether you’re looking for a 52 week savings challenge or a monthly savings plan or just a savings plan for fun, there’s an idea for you in this post!
We all have different interests, different learning styles, have different salaries and all have unique life experiences and goals. Because of these differences, I researched the best 10 money saving challenges and I’m pretty sure there’s one that works for every person and savings goal!
For myself, the best way to save money is to plan for it in my monthly budget. We save a set amount each month and automatically have it transferred to either a savings account or retirement accounts. This method especially works well with larger financial goals. I still believe this is the best way to develop good financial habits and to make sure you’re paying yourself first!
For my daughter, Madi, who is 22, her savings plan is to live off of her paychecks and the tip money from one of her jobs is what she saves. Both of us have a system that works, that are unique to our own personal preferences. What’s your system? I’d love to hear about it!
But what about for those little extras? That system seems to make the most sense for retirement goals, college planning, or saving for a down-payment but what about for smaller goals like a new laptop, short get-a-way, an emergency fund or new appliances? That’s where the fun money challenges come in! Whether it’s saving change and filling up a jar, using a cash envelope system, or saving a varying amount each week, there’s a fun method to save for smaller goals that’ll work for most everyone!
When I was growing up, my uncle’s favorite money challenge involved a wooden box he’d make himself. He drilled a tiny hole in the top that was just enough to roll a bill and push it through the slot. This money savings box had NO way to open it and you literally had to saw into the box to access the money! He’d make himself a new wooden savings box each year, and each week he’d take spare bills and add them to his box. At the end of the year, he’d break into it and however much he saved would pay for a small trip. How fun and clever is that?
So whether you prefer to save your coins, extra bills, use a structured plan or do something random, here’s a money savings challenge that’ll work for you!
Idea by Jamie at Medium Sized Family
Savings Goal: $1000/year
This is one of my favorite ideas, so I featured it first. YOU get to pick which amount you’re saving each week! Simply cross off what you can do that week and turn it into a fun, realistic game!
Idea by Smart School House
Savings Goal: $667.95/year
This is also a super fun challenge to do with your kids! Helping them start positive financial habits when they’re young is important! But of course, being that this penny challenge still saves over $600, it’s still an awesome idea for adults too 🙂
My husband does a yearly change jar challenge. He carries a wallet but doesn’t want to carry change, so he drops it in his money jar. Every December he counts his coins, and he’s always pleasantly surprised to realize he just saved HUNDREDS of dollars with minimal effort!
Idea by Suzi @ Start a Mom Blog
Savings Goal: $1200/year
One of my 2018 goals is to start a bullet journal, when I came across Suzi’s post, I knew I had to include it in my ideas on how to save for little goals. I highly suggest checking out her entire post about saving money! It’s quite inspiring! What I love about a bullet journal money challenge, is you can choose whichever amount works for your budget.
Idea by Hairs Out of Place (Oh hey! That’s me 😉
Savings Goal: $1378/year
Here’s the challenge I’m starting in 2018 and the reason I love it is because it starts out saving a really small amount. You can read more about this savings idea in my money challenge post and even download a tracking spreadsheet. This gives people who aren’t used to budgeting and tracking money time to develop new habits and start slow after the crazy holidays. As you develop positive savings habits, you can work during the year to cut out unnecessary expenses.
Idea by The Practical Penny
Savings Goal: $1000/3 months
Idea by The Million Dollar Mama
Savings Goal: $2700/year
What I like about this challenge, is you get the hardest part out of the way right off the bat! The amount you save lessens over time, so by the end of the challenge and possibly during the holidays, is when you have the easiest savings goal. It’s basically the reverse of the money challenge post I wrote about above, but again, the reason I listed 10 money challenges in this post is so you can find the best one for YOU!
Idea by The Stingy Saver
Savings Goal: Up to You!
If you’re a cash saver, whether it’s $1 bills or $5’s or change like my hubby, saving your extra coins or cash until your jar or box is full, is an easy way to save without following an exact dollar amount!
Idea by Carrie Elle
Savings Goal: Up to you!
So for those of you that love to work with cash and want to keep your extra money at your home, the cash envelope system is the perfect savings challenge!
$1000 in 30 Days Savings Challenge
Idea by Coffee Mascara
This is a great savings challenge for those with more aggressive savings goals or who have quite a bit to save each month. If you follow this for the whole year, you’ll end up with $12,000!
Bi-Weekly Savings Challenge
Idea by All This BS
Savings Goal: $5000/year
For those of you who prefer to save money when you get your every other week paycheck, a bi-weekly plan is a great savings solution! At the end of the year with this plan, you’d end up with an extra $5K. No photo to share, but you can read more about the bi-weekly savings challenge here.
So Where Does This Money Extra Money Come From??
So are you wondering WHERE to get the extra money for your savings challenge? That’s often the hardest part! Almost everyone WANTS to save, the problem for many is how to get yourself to a point where you have extra to get yourself started!
We’ve been living off of one income for over 16 years, and man, some years were really tough! I’ve ALWAYS had a side hustle to help with extra expenses, save a little money and pay for kids extras. So basically, the exact type of small savings goals that are perfect for a small savings challenge! Who doesn’t have little extra expenses come up almost every. single. month.
So if unplanned expenses come up monthly for most people, how do people ever save money?? This is why I think it’s extremely important for people to have a second income source, even if it’s $200 extra per month.
My 4 Favorite Ways to Make Extra Money
Again, because we live on one income and have a super supportive spouse, the money I make from blogging helps with little projects around the house, helps me save to replace the hand-me-down furniture and eventually will help to for trips. Currently, I’ve made over $500 within my first 3 months of blogging combined and my goal is $1000/mo by the end of 2018.
I truly believe there’s a way to make money blogging regardless of your niche or interests! My first month blogging report is over 3500 words and literally tells you step by step what I did (and am still doing) to get over 10K blog pageviews in my first month and I’m over 45K in my 3rd month! It also lists every blogging service and product I have that have helped me get here. Please ask me any questions if you want help getting started with a blog 🙂
Our finances might change as our youngest heads to college in two years, so it’s my 2 year blogging goal to be making over $3000/mo within 2 years. Is blogging a make money quick plan? Nope! But the beauty of blogging is it’s YOURS and it can be whatever you WANT it to be and there are SO MANY different ways to make money with a blog. Plus, whether you have 7 hours a week or 30 hours per week, it’s a flexible job that works around your schedule and life.
What’s awesome about surveys is anyone can do it. When you’re waiting for a kids sports practice to get done or watching TV or even on the exercise bike at the gym, it’s easy to knock out a few surveys. If you’re retired and want a few extra easy bucks, surveys are perfect for that! I’m even getting my teen son started on surveys; why not teach them young to help pay their own expenses and earn a few extra bucks?
My favorite survey company is Pinecone Research, they’re considered one of the best, the surveys are actually interesting and you make $3 for each one you complete! The best part? You can even cash out at $3!
Here are a few other survey companies that are our favorites:
- My Survey
- Harris Poll– By signing up with Harris Poll, you help shape policy for government agencies, large corporations and non-profits.
- VIP Voice
#3 Apps That Pay You to Have Fun
Our two favorite apps that give you options to earn extra cash in more than one way are Inbox Dollars and Swagbucks. Not only can you take surveys to earn money, you can also earn money by playing games and watching videos.
- Inbox Dollars– They pay you to read emails, take surveys online, play games, and go shopping! They require an App Store download($5 FREE bonus avail.)
- Swagbucks– You can get paid to do surveys, but you can also make money to watch videos, play games, and shop. ($10 FREE bonus available)
#4 Selling on eBay
When my kids were younger, being an eBay seller was the main way I paid for extra expenses and activities for the kids. One year, between credit card travel rewards points and doing well on eBay, I paid for our family to go on a 10 day vacation to Maui!
I started out by selling our extra items from around the house and expanded over time. If this is of any interest to you, be sure to read my detailed post on EXACTLY what I did to make over $1000/mo flipping toys on eBay.