Try a 30 Day Money Saving Challenge To See What You Can Save
When some people think of saving, they imagine grueling self-sacrifice—or “pinching pennies until it hurts.” But who wants to punish themselves when saving can be fun and simple?
It can be hard to kick-start a habit of saving, but it can also be rewarding and gartifying. Plus, your future self will thank you.
If you’re looking to build strong saving habits while making saving money fun, try a 30-day savings challenge. It’s a great high-intensity effort to exercise your financial muscles and also an enjoyable way to score a short-term gain, while quickly seeing the benefits of saving.
You can set the monetary goal to whatever you like. For the purpose of this example, we’ll try saving $1,000.
Let’s get started!
Tips for starting a 30-day money-saving challenge
The goal of the 30-day challenge is to see how much you can cut back to save $100. One good way to do that is through SaverLife’s Race to $100 challenge, where you could win up to $100 if you add $100 more to your savings by the end of every month!
Here are some ideas to further motivate your saving:
Define your “why”
Spend time thinking about the “why” behind your goal. Finding you’re “why” might prevent you from bailing out when things get more than a little challenging.
If your “why” is compelling enough, it’ll stop you from succumbing to treacherous spending temptations, especially in moments of weakness.
Is there a dream vacation to the Amazon rainforest you’ve dreamt of? Or, do you need to start a college fund for your daughter? Perhaps you just want to be comfortable in the event of a rainy day.
Whatever it is, be as detailed as possible when you plan, write down, or talk about your why. This exercise creates a vivid image of what motivates you and can reignite your motivation to save when you are lacking willpower.
Write down your goal
Studies show writing down goals can help you stay motivated, whether through vision boards or even a picture associated with your goals.
Seeing your nebulous hopes and dreams translated into written words on a page, for many, makes them feel more real than a mental picture.
So, before we get too far in the weeds of our 30-day journey, take a moment to write down your goal. Try putting it in a place where you’ll see it every day, such as on your fridge or bedroom mirror.
Don’t wait to start
Rationalizing reasons to put something off makes it difficult to start.
Avoid entertaining the idea that you can always start next week, next month, or next year, or, that there is some reason to wait.
The best way to accomplish what you intend to do is by starting right this minute.
Do the challenge with other people
Doing your 30-day money-saving challenge with at least one other person builds a robust support system that you can fall back on when the going gets tough. Involved friends and family can also help keep you accountable.
Celebrate your successes
We often don’t give ourselves enough credit. It can be so easy to pile praise on friends and family when they accomplish something.
Remember to extend yourself the same kindness and accolades!
It’s not easy to save money, and you should give yourself a pat on the back even for tiny triumphs. It helps reinforce successes, making them feel worthwhile and easier to replicate in the future.
How you can start saving money
Figure out what you can live without
Try to keep track of everything you spend money on in a month and see if there are unnecessary expenditures you can cut out. You’d be surprised how much you can save over time once you start cutting back on any ancillary spending.
For example, you might want to skip that fancy mint chocolate chip frappuccino from your neighborhood’s overpriced coffeehouse. You can save as much as $2,000 a year by making coffee at home!
Or, this might be a good time to cut back on bad habits that also burn holes in pockets, like giving up cigarettes, excessive drinking, or frequent trips to fast-food joints.
Try a “no-spend weekend”
Try cutting out all spending just for the weekend. This means no checkbooks, credit cards, or cash. You don’t have to worry about using pre-funded cards for transit, or any gift cards you might have sitting in your wallet.
Instead of going to a movie theater and eating out afterward, try watching a movie on your favorite streaming service and making dinner at home.
Try not to plan it too far in advance. Spending extra money in anticipation of not spending it defeats the purpose.
For example, rationalizing going to Chipotle on Thursday because you won’t be able to on Saturday is cheating. So is stocking up on expensive videogames to play in anticipation of needing something to do.
Decide no earlier than Thursday to commit yourself to a no-spend weekend and make do with what you already have on hand.
Getting hit with a late fee because you forgot to make your credit card payment on time is lost money on top of spent money.
Automating credit card payments means avoiding losing money in fees.
You can also try to automate other regular payments that you make. This includes bills and rent. Remember to be on the lookout for any processing fees that come with credit card transactions.
This is a habit that will serve you well long after the 30-day money-saving challenge is over, and may end up being a major convenience.
Implement a mandatory waiting period
Implement a mandatory 24-hour waiting period before making any purchases that aren’t essential.
Doing this will dramatically cut down on impulse spending. If the 24-hour period passes and you still think your purchase is necessary, go for it.
However, waiting can help you consider the costs and benefits of your purchases, helping you realize how much you can cut back on.
Remember that small purchases add up
A $5 Taco Bell meal or a $3 store trinket might not sound like a lot, but making many small purchases can add up to mountains of cash over time.
Plus, it makes it easy to rationalize more frequent, albeit smaller purchases that can keep you from making the large investments you’re most looking forward to.
Remembering this when making those frequent “inconsequential” purchases can help you stay on course with your budgeting.
Be conscientious while you grocery shop
If you aren’t careful, your grocery bill can rack up.
With inflation on the rise, it can be easy to overspend – especially if you have bad habits you aren’t cognizant of.
Here are a few ways to lighten your grocery bill:
- Avoid spending on minor conveniences: Generally, prepared foods and precut fruit and vegetables are marked up. Stick to purchases of whole ingredients.
- Stick to generic: You can also save considerably when you avoid big-name brands. Generic foods and ingredients are nearly identical in taste and quality.
- Shop the perimeter: By limiting yourself to shopping only around the store’s perimeter, you’ll not only save tons of cash, but you’ll also enjoy more robust physical health. Staying away from the center of the store helps avoid packaged products chock full of additives.
- Shop in bulk: Finding deals is an opportunity to stock up and save. Be sure, though, that you’re spending on a needed product and not just for the thrill of the deal.
- Limit frequent grocery trips: Shopping only once every seven days cuts down on impulse shopping which can be a budget killer.
Review insurance policies
In the last few years, insurance rates have skyrocketed.
Regularly reviewing your policies should be a priority if you are trying to save money. It ensures that you are always receiving the lowest rate.
If you have an older car, you may decide that you don’t need comprehensive coverage anymore and drop down to a lower rate. That way, you can save by not paying for more coverage than you need.
Be sure to check your deductibles, because they can make a big difference in what you pay for a monthly premium.
If you have an emergency fund, consider increasing your deductible from $500 to $1,000 to cut down on what you pay monthly, especially if you infrequently need to see your doctor.
Be sure to compare rates and coverage to make sure you are only spending as much as you need for coverage that is right for you.
You can lower your cost of living on necessities like car insurance and health insurance with our member-exclusive SaverPerks. Sign up for SaverLife to accelerate your saving..
Quit eating out for a month
One easy and significant way to save money during a one-month saving challenge is to avoid eating out for 30 days. You can make a meal at home for a fraction of the cost of eating out. Plus, you’ll have leftovers for another day.
You might have to get creative about how you spend date nights or hang out with friends, but we consider that an opportunity to be adventurous.
Try going for a picnic at a state park, finding a nearby beach, or finding unique monuments where you can share a homemade meal. You’ll save some money and see some new sights at the same time! Your partner might even find these efforts to be more thoughtful than a typical restaurant.
Cancel monthly subscriptions
Try giving up at least one of your monthly subscriptions for 30 days.
Do you spend on a gym membership you don’t use? Are you subscribed to several streaming services when one would be just fine? Try going through a bank statement from the last month to see if there are unknown, or unwanted, subscriptions that you can try doing without.
Who knows—you might find that after the conclusion of this little financial experiment, you don’t miss not having them as much as you thought you would.
Trim your phone bill
If it’s been a few years since you last looked at your phone plan, it might be time to revisit it.
Some providers offer incentives for switching or starting lines. You might even try to find friends or family that you can share a plan with.
Build financial security with SaverLife
Even implementing a few of these tips can help you save $1,000 of money you may have otherwise carelessly spent in just 30 days. When you’re ready to commit to a life of saving, or if you want some help making saving decisions, Saverlife can help you meet your goals.
At SaverLife, we have a passion for making saving money easier. We’re a nonprofit that helps you build financial security so that you can live without waiting on your next paycheck.
But spending money doesn’t have to be just business, and we believe that saving money should be fun. We offer rewards and programs to motivate your saving decisions.
With just $5 saved per week, you’re given the chance to win a cash prize to boost your savings even more. Strong financial decisions send a virtual scratch ticket straight to your inbox. Saving money has never been so easy, or so fun!
Get started today!