Blog , Finance

Challenge Saving Money Tips

Posted on Tuesday, August 8, 2023
by AMAC, Jeff Szymanski
challenge saving money tips

Saving money is unfulfilling for most people, at least in the short and medium term.  In fact, it’s often a downright bore.  But what if we could turn that on its head by taking the unappealing enterprise of saving and making it a game or challenge?  Consider one or more of these challenge saving money tips.  The emphasis here is on money that can be readily available if and when one needs or wants it.  Saving for retirement is a different topic.


No Spend Challenge

One of the more popular savings ideas is to not spend anything for a given time period.  It can be a week, two weeks, or a month.  Exempt for yourself items that must be paid or purchased, of course, like mortgage/rent, utilities, groceries, and gasoline.  The goal here is to say no to take-out and restaurant food, lottery tickets, alcohol, and other “impulse” or “feel good” type purchases.  For more information and guidance, read financial guru Allison Baggerly’s article, How to Do a No Spend Challenge and Save More Money.  


The 52 Week Challenge

A well known challenge that’s been around a while is to start by saving $1 the first week, $2 the second, such that one would save $52 in the last week of the year (or from when one started).  This gradual step up savings challenge will net one a handsome $1,378 after a year.


The 26 Week Biweekly Challenge

A variant of the above weekly challenge is to save money every other week, perhaps consistent with your paycheck.  Since most Americans are now paid this way, start with $4 in week one, then $8 in week three, then $12 in week five, etc.  After a year $1,404 will be accumulated.


Just 1% It

Who can’t survive on 99% of what they currently take home?  Here’s an easy challenge that can be put on auto-pilot, a strategy that works best for people that lack the discipline or fortitude to carve out savings every week or month for a year.  First, calculate 1% of your gross pay.  Then, divide that by your total paychecks for the year, and put that amount into a savings account after your first paycheck.  This is best done by direct deposit, so the money isn’t really received.  Follow the same process whenever you wish to increase your savings to a higher percentage.  Then enjoy watching your nest egg get larger and larger.


No Eating Out Challenge

For a less onerous approach to all of the above, just give up eating out for a month.  It doesn’t mean not eating.  Buying groceries and cooking at home can save an individual or family a lot of money, more than most may realize.  And it’s just a 30 day commitment rather than a year, though one could perhaps try two of the twelve months to double the savings.


These are five challenge saving money tips.  There is no shortage of other “gimmicks” that can also work, like “spare change” where you toss any cash back into a coffee can (assuming you pay with cash).  There’s also the “round-up money saving challenge” where a bank allows you to round up debit card purchases to the nearest dollar and deposit the change in a connected savings account.  If your bank doesn’t offer this, choose one of these ‘do it for you’ apps.


Jeff Szymanski works in political communications for AMAC Action and previously taught high school economics, history, psychology, and sociology.  He writes frequently on money issues and Social Security’s ill financial health.

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