Nobody would disagree that paying for a vacation in cash is an excellent financial decision. Yet most struggle to save up for the occasion. The main reasons tend to be a lack of motivation and a definitive process. Money-saving challenges give you both encouragement and a clear path to attaining your financial goals.
A money-saving challenge is a creative savings idea to kickstart building funds for your next vacation. The purpose of saving money could be for a plane ticket, hotel stay, vacation shopping, meals and alcohol and other vacation expenses.
Benefits of Money-Saving Challenges
Money challenge gives a dull saving responsibility a new edge. Interestingly, we tend to respond to challenges differently compared to advice. Budget challenges introduce deadlines and milestones to encourage cash saving.
The most difficult part of saving money is getting started with the process. Money saving-challenges will activate the saving mentality. Once you get started and continue with the process, you’re likely to stay on the course.
These five saving challenges are the most effective based on their simplicity, effectiveness, and ease of getting started.
Five Effective Money Saving-Challenges
1. The 100 Envelope Challenge
The challenge starts with 100 envelopes and it takes 100 days to complete it, and therefore, some also call it a 100-day envelope challenge. This money-saving challenge is very popular on social media platforms, mostly TikTok, using the hashtag #100envelopechallenge.
How Does the 100 Envelope Challenge Work?
You need 100 envelopes for the challenge. Label the envelopes from 1 to 100, shuffle them and store them in a basket.
To begin the challenge, you’ll pick a random envelope each day. You’ll place cash equal to the envelope number and save it separately from the empty ones.
If you continue the process with all the envelopes, you’ll have $5,050. You will save over 5 thousand dollars in less than three and half months. The best part is you never have to come up with more than 100 dollars on any day.
2. The 52-Week Savings Challenge
Even though this money-saving challenge runs for the whole year, it is a very effective way to set aside money for a future vacation. The money challenge is a slow yet steady process of building cash balance. The best part is you don’t have to come up with more than 52 dollars in a week.
How Does the 52-Week Savings Challenge Work?
In the 52-week savings challenge, you’ll save money only once a week. There are 52 whole weeks in a year. You’ll save money equal to the week number.
For example, in week 1, you’ll save one dollar, two dollars in week 2, etc. In week 52, you’ll deposit 52 dollars in the account.
You’ll save $1,378 dollars in a year. It does not sound like a lot of money, but the effort to accumulate it is insanely minimal. Neither did it require aggressive budget-cutting. Therefore, the 52-week money challenge is highly feasible.
Variation for Faster Saving
Most of us are paid either weekly or bi-weekly. It might be beneficial to tweak the 52-week challenge into a weekly or biweekly saving plan.
3. The No Spend Challenge
The no spend challenge is a proactive way of limiting spending habits. It helps control your impulsive purchase decisions and improves your money mindset. The plan is to go on a shopping strike for specific days. It could be for a week, month, or year.
The areas where you tend to spend more money should be your priority for the no spending challenge. The best way to ensure the completion of the no-spend challenge is to start with a short period; a week or a month. You can increase the duration once you adapt to the process.
The no spend challenge is more effective when done with a spouse or group.
4. The No Eating Out Challenge
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report shows that American consumers love eating out, spending over $2,000 annually in 2020. This number could be much higher had there not been COVID-19 restrictions as people tend to order food multiple times a week.
The no eating out challenge helps curb expenses on outside food. The challenge will also encourage people to eat home-cooked meals, which are healthy and cost-effective.
However, preparing food takes time, and not everyone has the luxury of time to pack their lunch. Therefore, you can be flexible with this challenge. You can start with every other week and continue making it a weekly or monthly habit.
5. The Dollar Saving Challenge
It is the most simple saving challenge that you can start immediately. The main objective here is not about the total amount but about getting accustomed to saving. Saving a dollar a day may not sound all exciting, but you’ll have $365 in a year. You’d not have had access to this amount had you not saved a dollar a day.
You can stash away one dollar in your box/safe or electronically transfer it to your online savings account every day. High-yielding online savings accounts with automatic transfer serve best for the challenge. Your online account may not have an automatic daily transfer option, but you can set up a weekly $7 transfer.
Once you get into the habit of saving money, you can be creative and start a challenge tailored to your needs and requirements. The purpose is to pay for your vacation our right rather than going into credit card debt or taking out a loan.
It is tough to get into the habit of saving money. Even if we get started, it is challenging to stay on course long term. Money challenges help you stay focused and will keep you motivated.
This article originally appeared on Wealth of Geeks.
I am the founder behind the Dollar for Cent blog. I love strategies, numbers, calculations, and finance. As an engineer by profession, I’m always learning about personal finance, through books, podcasts, training videos, and online research. I’ve lived my life frugally and do not believe in overpaying for regular items. That means, I try to find ways to get a cheaper price, if not free.