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Money saving challenges that are fun and simple.

Doing a money saving challenge is a fun and really smart way to jump start your travel savings fund and get a little creative with your process instead of just throwing any leftover money into a sock drawer and hoping for the best.

The best part about doing a travel savings challenge? Well, doing challenges like these will help to build new money saving habits that will stick with you long after the challenge is over. You’ll feel an amazing sense of accomplishment when you complete one and your travel fund will thank you.

If you find it hard to stick to things like challenges, I highly suggest that you find a friend or family member that will try and do it with you! That way you can motivate each other throughout the process and there will be less of a chance of you falling behind.

I definitely don’t want that for you, so if you need a buddy send me a note and I’ll complete the challenge with you.

I’m going to start small with the travel saving challenges and then work the way up to some more aggressive ones. So, here we go.

money saving challenge

No Spend Weekend

This first money saving challenge isn’t about putting money aside but it will help you with slowing down on your spending habits so you have more money in the bank at the end of the month.

Before you attempt to try a no-spend weekend there are a few things you should do first.

Sit down and make a list of things to do. Get everyone involved, even the kids. Chances are they’ll have some pretty unique ideas up their sleeves. Going on a road trip with your kids? Learn here on how to stay sane during the trip. Or get some fun ideas on what to do during the boring car ride.

Also, rummage through your kitchen and plan out meals with items you have hiding in your pantry. Make sure you have everything you need to make the weekend a success.

A few ideas would be to:

  • Go to a park
  • Have a picnic
  • Play board games
  • Camp in the backyard
  • Go for a bike ride
  • Hand wash your car
  • Yard work
  • Read a book
  • Bake
  • Movie night
  • DIY projects
  • Clean out the garage
  • Go to the lake or pool
  • And of course plan your next vacation.

BONUS: More ideas to spend less while saving. Travel the World Without Leaving Home, 14 Exciting Ways to Tour Your Own City, How to Take a Staycation, and 30+ Amazing Ways to Travel Virtually.

Say No to Extra Spending

With this challenge you will be taking the money that you would spend on extra things and instead put it towards your travel fund. For instance, I’m walking past a Starbucks and instead of going inside, I put that $5.45 in my travel fund.

Did you know that if you did this 3 times a week, you would be saving $16.35 a week, $65.40 a month, and $784.80 a year? There is a lot I can do with $780 dollars.

Maybe coffee isn’t your thing. Check out what you buy each week at the grocery store that you don’t need and add it up. Sometimes seeing what you spend overall makes you gasp and ask yourself why.

With this challenge, if I also purchase ice cream every week, for instance a Great Value (generic brand) 48 fl oz. ice cream for $2.97. That would save me $11.88 every month.

So, if I don’t buy the $65.40 coffees and $11.88 ice cream for just one month that’s $77.28 that I’m saving every month for just two items.

Crazy right?

Every Penny Counts

Photo by Jonathan Brinkhorst on Unsplash

With the every penny counts money saving challenge, you save money each and every day but the amount is never something that will bankrupt you if you’re struggling.

On the first day of the year-long challenge, you’ll save exactly $0.01. On the second day, you’ll save $0.02 and so on. By the last day of the challenge you’ll be putting $3.65 into your travel fund.

That’s under $4. You are never putting in more than $4 a day.

Some people think that the challenge is going to be more difficult once you’re at the point of saving $3+ a day, but it actually gets easier. You’ll be spending the entire year building up a habit of saving that you didn’t have before and the $3.65 a day will feel like nothing.

After an entire year of saving you’ll have saved $667.95 in your travel fund, which I think will feel pretty darn good!

If it would be easier for you to save $3.65 right away and then work backwards, there is no reason you can’t do that. Whichever way works best for you.

Saving Weekly Coins

I know that the world is starting to become paperless. So, this challenge may be obsolete in a few years but for now it’s one of my favorites.

It’s one of my favorites because for some it’s a lot harder to put $5 in a jar than to put $5 in coins in a jar.

In this challenge, you’re going to be saving all of your coins. When you purchase items in cash, don’t give the cashier the correct change. Instead, hand them all dollar bills and take the change.

About once a week or month, depending how much cash you spend and how fast your change pile grows, take it and put it into a jar. When the jar is full, you will then take all your change to the bank and put into your travel fund.

The amount will be different every week, depending how much you spend, but it’s almost like getting extra money in your account for doing absolutely nothing. And spending the money you would anyway.

The Automatic Savings

With this type of challenge, it’s more ‘out of sight, out of mind’.

This is one that my husband and I work on together. And it started when we decided to get married.

We were wanting to pay for the wedding without going into bankruptcy or without getting sticker shock at the end and wondering how to pay for it. So, we discussed on what each of us could afford to set aside each month from our paychecks.

We opened a savings together and the number we decided on got automatically withdrawn from our paychecks and placed into the account. Out of sight, out of mind. And now, after the first couple of paychecks, I don’t even notice that money being gone from my personal account.

We still have this account but it is now being used for our vacations.

Even if you put $5 a week into the account, that’s $520 at the end of the year. ($260 for each of you) If you could do more, then great! Even $20 a week will gain you $2080 in a year.

The Tight Budget Monthly Challenge

Photo by Michael Longmire on Unsplash

If you don’t think you can put away money every week, try this monthly challenge and save $1000 in just one year.

Now there is a reason that you are only saving $30 in January and December, because well, It’s around Christmas time. And saving in those two months may be difficult for most.

Download the spreadsheet here.

Week of the Year Challenge

During this money saving challenge, each week, you save the amount of money for the week of the year it is. So, for week 1, you save $1, for week 2, you save $2, for week 3, you save $3, and so on. However, not everyone has the same saving ability.    

Some people find it hard to save more money in December, so the forward method probably isn’t for you. Sure, it’s great to save a little in January but then all the big goals are in December. Kind of like the every penny counts challenge.

If you do it backwards then all the big goals would be in January but that may be difficult for others as well. So, there is a third way, where it is equally weighted, which works out to about $106 each month.

Download the spreadsheet here. Please note, for this spreadsheet there are three tabs at the bottom. The forward, backward, and alternative tab for whichever way works best for you.

At the end of this year challenge you will have saved $1378.

$40 a Week = $2000 in Cash

Each week put away $40 if you can for a year, this will get you a little over $2000. And if you put it into a savings account you will earn a little more in interest.

If you would like a spreadsheet, please download here.

Save $10,000 in 52 weeks

This challenge is a little more aggressive. Okay, it’s a lot more aggressive but if you can stick to it, you will be saving up to $10,000 in just a years’ time.

For every month, you save $125 in Week One, $150 in Week Two, $175 in Week Three, and $300 in Week Four. You repeat this every single month and at the end of the year, you would have saved $10,000.

Even if you wanted to do about half of that amount. $60 in Week One, $75 in Week Two, $80 in Week Three, and $150 in Week Four, that would still get you a little over $5000 in just one year.

Save All Your $5 Bills

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

Simply save every $5 bill that you encounter for an entire year into a jar or box or something and don’t touch it for an entire year. Imagine how much you can have saved at the end of the year.

The only issue is that this travel saving challenge requires that you use cash, same as the weekly coins challenge, for your purchases.

8 Weeks Savings Plan

Going on vacation and only have 8 weeks before you leave? But wait, you have absolutely no spending money because you used it for the hotel, flight, and all the other expenses.

Don’t worry. Here is how you can save $520 in just an 8 weeks’ time.

Grab this free spreadsheet on what you need to save, here.

Not sure you can put that money away, try scaling back. If you cut out 1 restaurant meal a week and $50 x 8 weeks that would equal $400. Or try skipping the coffee shop 2 days a week and save $10 x 8 weeks gets you a total of $80. What’s more important? The vacation or eating out and getting coffee from the coffee shop instead of at home.

money saving challenge

Your Money Saving Challenge Summary

For most of these challenges, where you are saving up money every day or week and have a spreadsheet to go from, I would suggest placing the sheet on the fridge or someplace where you can see it every day.

With self-control, motivation, and commitment, you can get your trip paid for in no time. It takes a change in mindset, positive thinking and a whole lot of discipline to save large amounts of money.

This is your money, your life, and your dreams! Stay focused but remember to have fun. You’re not shorting yourself today to save for tomorrow, you’re disciplining yourself for the experience of a lifetime.

So, tighten that belt, and let’s get traveling!

Go out and experience the world.

Need a little boost on how to save some extra dough. Check out these shocking ways on how to save for your next trip.

Or maybe you just need some inspiration? Read here.

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