Money saving challenges have always fascinated me. These challenges are not like other challenges. Winning a challenge requires a combination of character traits besides a thorough knowledge of how money works – something that many people lac
In my view, everyone should try money saving challenges at least once. Setting aside the obvious benefit, which is saving money, these challenges can also help someone figure out what kind of person they truly are.
Some of the challenges are below:
The rainy day fund
This challenge is on the easy side because a number of people around the world – not just in the US – have emergency funds or money saved for the rainy days.
The challenge is simple and straightforward. You must create an emergency fund and don’t spend a dime from it. Studies have found that emergency funds come in really handy in the time of a crisis. A recent study has found that almost 15% of Americans survived the covid-19 lockdown and the resulting economic downturn because of their emergency savings.
While creating an emergency fund and maintaining it isn’t that difficult, resisting the temptation to use it to buy something flashy off the shelves is hard. If you can resist the temptation, that means you have excelled at the art of money management.
$1 a day week
Living off one dollar a day is tough, for the majority of Americans. That this challenge is tough makes it all the more fun to win it.
A dollar a day means seven dollars a week and only twenty eight dollars a month. Frugal living would be an understatement to describe this kind of a lifestyle. Austerity is a far more suitable word. The good thing about this kind of financial asceticism is that it pays off. Living off the grid, without basic amenities is unthinkable for a number of Americans. But someone who is comfortable living $1 a day week would have no qualm with it.
If $1 a day week sounds too extreme, start with $2 a day and then switch to $1 a day. But remember, backing down because the challenge is too tough to face means accepting defeat. You are not a defeatist, are you?
One no-spend day week
This one is not as strict as the last one, but effective nonetheless. The challenge is to select a particular day in a week. On that day, you won’t even spend a dime.
You might find it very hard in the beginning but getting used to not spending money has its perks. If studies are to be taken seriously, a lot of people buy stuff not because they need it but because they feel a strange itch to buy. There’s actually a term to describe this itch. The term is compulsive buying.
The no-spend day week is an antidote to compulsive buying. Its obvious benefit is that it lowers weekly cost. But aside from that, if you mark one day every week on which you won’t spend anything, and keep doing it weeks after weeks, you’d eventually become more responsible with money. After that, make it two no-spend days a week.
Save $5 a day
This challenge requires you to save $5 every day. Saving $150 a month and $1800 a year is nowhere near a huge accomplishment. But like every other saving challenge, you do it primarily to build a healthy habit. Americans are bad at savings. What’s even worse is that this trend is observed mainly in millennials and zoomers. Setting challenges and winning them can help them learn the importance of saving.
There’s something you need to remember when you are saving $5 a day. You should continue it. More often than not, people start something, but couldn’t carry it on till the end. Don’t be one of them. Make it a practice so at some point it benefits you.
The minimalism challenge
Minimalism as a trend is here to stay. It lowers cost, frees space and doesn’t harm the environment the way a lot of consumeristic trends do. You can leverage minimalism as a resource to save more and better manage your finances. But doing that is challenging.
It is challenging because deep down we all want to spend more and live a life full of luxury. What we fail to understand is that the philosophy of saving is incompatible with this kind of a lifestyle.
To save more and manage money in an orderly manner, one must adopt a minimalist lifestyle. Start the challenge with baby steps. Get rid of things you don’t need, one day at a time. Eventually, you’ll master this trade and win the challenge.
The five challenges I listed here are not tough to follow. More so because one challenge supplements another. Hence, winning one of the challenges could help you win the others.