6 Money Saving Challenges To Improve Your Finances
Yes, let’s say what we are all thinking, children, are expensive.
If you take inventory, you will notice that you are probably spending a fortune on raising your child, and this can put a strain on anybody’s finances. Hence the need to budget and save.
Whether you are saving for rainy days, for plans, for college tuition or a vacation, you should always put some money aside. You know what they say, saving requires us not to get things now so that we can get bigger ones later. It’s the concept of delayed gratification.
There are so many money-saving challenges that have proven to be very useful in getting some of your coins in the bank, and I will be sharing some simple, functional but handy money challenges that have helped me with my savings habit.
As a mom, you have little or no time to give your intended saving habit a 100% attention, and that’s why these methods I’m sharing are easy and plug and play.
1. The Round-up Money Saving Challenge
Technology is great! It has made life easier for us in so many ways, and savings is one of them. For the ‘round-up challenge,’ all you have to do is get a few apps on your phone, connect them to your bank account and take the loose change and save or invest it, therefore, rounding up your account balance to a whole number.
This eliminates the stress of saving and automates the process for you. It’s so smooth and seamless that you don’t even know it is happening.
Some settings on Acorn can help you invest your money while Chime helps you to save when you get paid and when you spend. Both apps are great; really, it just depends on what you’re looking to achieve. For a fee, they are both FDIC insured, so no worries, your money is safe.
Though you may not have millions saved at the end of the year, that spare change on your bank account has been set aside, and they’ve become a lump sum you can use to pay a bill or buy some groceries.
Tip: To keep track of your challenge and progress, I always check in once a month and see how I’m doing and how much I have saved.
2. The Treat-Yo-Self Jar/Piggy Bank/Envelope
All thanks to Donna from Parks and Recreation, everyone wants to treat themselves, even when they don’t deserve it. It’s easy to splurge on a Starbucks Frappuccino every day, after all, you’re a mom, and you’re always stressed. But as cliche as it sounds, little drops of water make a mighty ocean. As 10 $5 bills make $50.
Personally, this has been one of the hardest challenges for me because I am addicted to treating myself. Whether it’s new yoga pants or the new and improved wine cooler, I am always buying new things.
This year I decided that whenever I feel the need to buy myself something new, I put about 70% of that cost into a treat-yo-self jar.
That’s not to say if someone wants to treat you, you should turn it down.
Girl you deserve to be pampered, take that gift card and get the spa treatment. After all, you’re saving your own money.
Tip: A piggy bank may be a better option for this as opposed to a jar because the money is not easily accessible, and you won’t be tempted to spend it on something frivolous.
3. The Coupon Money Saving Challenge
Another wonderful invention is the advent of coupon apps. You don’t have to go grocery shopping again looking like the discount-crazed mom. With some coupon apps, you’ll save money on grocery shopping and get some cash back.
Ibotta is the best app for grocery shopping.
Here’s how it works. Create a shopping list while you’re at home and search for those products on your list in the ibotta app. Save the ones you need, then go ahead and shop.
Don’t be ashamed to look for bargains; you’re doing the right thing.
Tip: Though you can cash out from any of these apps at a certain threshold, I suggest you leave it for about six months, so you can visibly see how much you have saved in the course of your shopping.
4. The Payday Ritual Money Saving Challenge
The feeling that comes with receiving your paycheck is right up there with having a clean house and neatly folded laundry. It gives you a sense of fulfillment and accomplishment.
That’s why it may be challenging to part with an amount of the check. This challenge requires a lot of discipline and self-control. All you have to do is remove a percentage or fixed amount from your paycheck and lock it down in a savings account or a short term investment.
It could be 40% or maybe $150 out of $500. Whatever you do, make sure it’s a constant amount, and you’re committed to the ritual.
Tip: I will advise that this is the first sum of money taken out of the paycheck. This makes it a little easier for you. Therefore, anything left can be used for your detailed plans or recurring expenses.
5. The Dollar By the Day Money Saving Challenge
This is pretty easy and straightforward. It’s a daily saving challenge. Here’s how it works.
On the 1st day of the month, you save $1, you save $2 on the second day and $15 of the 15th day of the month and so on. So for each day, you save the equivalent amount of the date. This requires a lot of commitment. Therefore, it may only be feasible for a short period, a month, for example. It also helps to set a reminder on your phone for the savings challenge.
By the end of the month, you would have saved almost $500.
Tip: If this challenge seems a little too difficult for you, feel free to modify it to lower bills or shorter frames of time. Remember, no matter how trivial the money may seem, it always adds up.
6. The Family Money Saving Challenge
It’s only right to round this off with one of my personal favorites. I highly recommend this savings challenge because it plays on the competitive nature of humans, and it strengthens the family’s bond.
Involving the children teaches them about savings early, and it gets them to adopt the culture for the future.
The most effective structure is to draw out a chart at the beginning of the challenge and assign everyone their savings goal for a specific time.
The target for the children should be reasonable, fun, and have an incentive so they will be encouraged to participate.
Once a month, the family comes together and input how much each person has saved, then they create a leaderboard (maybe in the living room), so everyone knows the family member who is currently leading in the family savings challenge.
Tip: It’s always better to have a more structured savings challenge with your spouse, then put the money together at the end of the year for a vacation or a weekend getaway.
It requires a lot of patience, dedication, and hard work. You can either commit to saving and watch your money to grow slowly over time while you cultivate a solid savings habit or you can spend all your funds on frivolities and have nothing saved for emergencies or future plans.
Whatever savings challenge you choose to try out, having an accountability partner (maybe your spouse, your sibling or a best friend) who will keep you in check and help you on those days when you’re tempted to spend it all.
Like Sophia Amoruso said, ‘Money looks better in the bank than on your feet.’
Thank you for reading with us today! If you need some more tips to save money be sure to check our similar content like “Functional Household Budget for a One Income Family” or “How to Eat Out for Under $20 with a Family of 6“. Join us on Facebook and Instagram and join the conversation with other strong mothers finding ways to improve their daily lives. See you there! 👩👧👦