If you want to make big changes in life, you need to overhaul your whole philosophy towards something. This is a big part of why we see so many comparisons between personal finance and fitness (such as how it’s like running…). However, there are times in life when you just need to fit into that dress or you just need to be able to fund a vacation or you may even be living a really healthy/frugal lifestyle but you need something fun to rattle it up a little.
This is where money challenges come in. You push yourself to the limits for a set period of time and until you reach a short term goal and reap the rewards. Here are a few good ones.
Clark.com breaks down this challenge really well to help you save $5,000 over the year. It can definitely be a stretch some weeks, but they also list a ton of ways to help you achieve this goal. If $5,000 is absolutely impossible, knock a 0 off the end of those numbers and save $500. The most important thing about saving is that you start.
If socking away those numbers in the 52 Week Money Challenge seem like too much, think about the $20 saving challenge. Saving $20 a week for a year gives you an extra $1040 at the end of it.
Start by saving a nickel and every day add another, so the first day you save .05 cents, the next day you save .10 cents, the next day you save .15 cents…. and so on. This game is great if you have children at home, since it can show them the power of starting small and still winding up with a lot.
If a year is more of a commitment than you want to make, set an end date and start the $5 savings challenge. Save every $5 bill you receive during that time frame. This game is also easy to play with friends, since it’s achievable within most income levels and also relies almost as much on the luck of what kind of change your handed and much as your ability to save.
If you want a little more structure, but not a year’s worth of it, try the 30 Day Money Challenge, not only is it a shorter commitment, but as this great Savings Advice post points out, if you really focus on the challenge for a month, you not only have an extra cushion in your bank account, you can learn where your pressure point starts. It’s easy to save a certain amount of money, but at some point in the month, you’ll start to feel the squeeze – and you’ll now know you could easily be setting aside all the money up to that point.