A money saving challenge makes saving fun again.
The Biweekly Money saving challenge is a great one to start with. It requires putting away cash for 26 weeks or every other week for one year. The amount you choose to save can vary based on your goals and comfort level.
Types of Biweekly Money Saving Challenges
If you’re paid bi-weekly, this plan type might suit your lifestyle best. It’s budget friendly, too. So if you have a little or a lot of change after bills, you can adjust this challenge to meet your needs.
26-Week or Biweekly Savings Challenge
There are many versions of this challenge. You can start with a small savings amount, like $3 or $4. If you choose the first amount, put $3 away in savings the first week. Every two weeks, add an extra $3 to the last amount you put away. So, the first week, you’ll put away $3. The second week, $6. The third week, $9. At the end of the 26-week challenge, starting with $3, you’ll have $1,053 in savings.
You might prefer a fixed savings goal, like $5,000 or $10,000. If that’s you, put away between $193 to $385 every two weeks. You’ll end up with $5,018 or $10,010, respectively.
Check your score with SoFi
Track your credit score for free. Sign up and get $10.*
How to Choose a Money-Saving Challenge
Choose a financial challenge that works with your budget and meets your goals. Setting goals and starting small can be a big win in many ways. It lays the building blocks for long-term savings habits that last over time.
Find a challenge that is budget-friendly. The amount you put away can be as little as a nickel on day one. If you have more change to spare — you can put away more money. Some challenges suggest multiple savings accounts or stashing cash. If you choose to open multiple accounts — interest-bearing accounts will earn some returns, are FDIC insured, and can be accessed for emergencies or planned expenses.
You might have specific financial goals, like an emergency or wedding fund. Or you might want to build a habit of saving. Whatever your goal, a challenge can help you commit to saving $500 to $15,000 in a set amount of time — or build a good habit.
Common Money Saving Challenges
And there’s no shortage of creativity. Google has about 337,000 pages worth of money saving challenges from Pinterest to blogs like Mama Managing Chaos or Dough Roller. You can even try saving $2,022 in the 2023 money saving challenge. Below is a list of money challenges to get you started.
100 Envelope Challenge
Number 100 envelopes from 1-100. Each day, put in the amount of cash listed on the envelope. By the end of 100 days, you’ll have $5,050 stashed away.
In a variation, 100 days can be broken down into 13 weeks for easier deposits. The last week is four days. Every other week, set aside the week’s total of savings. Below’s chart lays out the amounts:
Holiday Helper Fund
The holidays sneak up on us quicker than we think. If you’re planning your annual budget — try setting up an account or an envelope for gifts. Setting aside an extra fund for gifts, whether holiday, wedding, or general, keeps money out of sight and mind until you need it.
On the week of January 1, set aside $20 every week, or $40 every two weeks. By December 25th, you’ll have $1,040. If you like to shop early — aim for Black Friday! In 2023, Black Friday falls on week 47. That puts you at $940 for gifts.
52-Week Savings Challenge
The concept is simple. You set aside $1 at week one. Then $2 at week two. By the end of 52 weeks, you’ll have saved $1,378. You can also start with $2 or $10 on week one, $4 or $20 on week two, and so on. You’ll end up with $2,756 for the $2 challenge or $13,780 for the $10 challenge.
Another variation keeps the weekly savings contribution a fixed amount — which can be particularly helpful for smaller budgets. For example, you can put away $10 a week to end up with $520 at the end of the challenge.
The No Spend Challenge
Brunching on Sunday? Maybe not if you’re on this plan.
Pick a week or weekend and spend money on only necessities in a timeframe (like a month). Cut out discretionary spending on non-essentials like clothes, entertainment, and eating out. It’ll give you a chance to be creative with your time on limited resources.
Instead of eating out, try a new recipe at home. Instead of grabbing a new pair of shoes — dig deeper into your closet. You set your own time limit, so you can try it until you notice a change in your accounts!
Cash Only for a Month Challenge
An MIT study found that people tend to spend more with plastic, if given the option. It even stimulates the part of your brain associated with reward, pleasure, and addiction.
A cash diet can help stave overspending. Leave your cards at home when you go out and bring the amount of cash you decide to spend. You can look at the categories in your budget where you tend to overspend, like entertainment or clothes, and set aside cash for those categories. You can only spend the cash allotted for those categories.
Recommended: Does Net Worth Include Home Equity
The 365-Day Nickel-Saving Challenge
If you have a nickel to spare, you can do this challenge. On day one, put a nickel in a jar. On day two, put in 10 cents in the jar. On the third day, add 15 cents. By day 365, you’ll be adding $18.40 — to a total of $3,339.75 in your savings. You won’t have to put away more than $20 in a day and $130 in a week for the entire challenge.
30-Day Budget Preparedness Challenge
It helps to have a map for where you’re going. The same is true with spending.
Challenge yourself to a budget. First, download a budget planner like a spreadsheet template or a budget planner app. SoFi’s app is an effective way to track spending. It even has a debt payoff planner to track your progress.
Then, go through each category and add the amount you’d like to or must spend in each (such as housing, groceries, entertainment, etc).
Knowing how much to spend before you go out can help improve your planning and control your spending. For example, if you allocate $400 a month to groceries, you can plan it by spending $100 a week. If you don’t spend it all, you can put it in savings.
Money-Saving Challenge Potential Savings
Taking on one of these challenges can help you boost your savings anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000.
But goal-setting will help you determine how much you want to save. If it’s $20,000 in two years, try the bi-weekly savings challenge. If you want to have $1,000 in your account, shoot for the 52-Week Savings Challenge. It’s a fun, concrete way to start.
If spending less is your goal — a challenge can help you cut bad habits like overspending. Setting up a budget and spending cash (not plastic) can help. Some challenges can help you function as a money tracker if paying off debt is your goal.
Whatever your goal is, these challenges are practical journeys that can pay off.
A money saving challenge can be a fun way to build a savings account. It can motivate you to spend less and save more. It can be a concrete demonstration of how small change can add up.
One of the more popular ones is the biweekly money saving challenge. You can put away an amount you can afford — like $4 and increase it by $4 each week. Or you can set a goal of $5,000 and aim to set aside about $193 each week. It’s an easy plan that can adapt to many situations.
Best of all, you come away with stronger budgeting skills — like saving and prioritizing debt payoffs. These skills could help you make more fiscally responsible decisions. And when life happens, you’ll be better prepared.
SoFi’s app is one way to flex budgeting skills. It tracks your financial goals, accounts, spending, and more — all in one place. You even get access to your credit score at no cost. Try it today.
What is the 100 envelope challenge?
This is a popular 100-day challenge. Number 100 envelopes 1-100. For each day, add the amount of cash to the envelope’s number listed on it. For example, add $1 to the envelope labeled 1, $5 to the envelope labeled $5, and so forth. By the end of the challenge, you’ll end up with $5,050.
What is the most popular money saving challenge in 2023?
There is no top biller for popular money saving challenges, but the 52-Week Savings challenge is mentioned across most, if not all search results in a Google search.
How much money do you save with the 52-week challenge?
If you follow the original plan of starting with $1 on week one, then $2 on week two, $3 on week three, and so forth, you’ll end up with $1,378. Other variations involve changing the starting amount. For instance, you can start with $5 on week one, $10 on week two, until you have $6,890 put away.
Photo credit: iStock/Rawpixel
*Terms and conditions apply. (Must click on the link to be eligible.) This offer is only available to new SoFi users without existing SoFi accounts. It is non-transferable. One offer per person. To receive the Rewards points offer, you must successfully complete setting up Credit Score Monitoring. Rewards points may only be redeemed into SoFi accounts such as cash in SoFi Checking and Savings, SoFi credit cards or loan balances, and fractional shares subject to program terms that may be found here: SoFi Member Rewards Terms and Conditions. SoFi reserves the right to modify or discontinue this offer at any time without notice.
External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third-party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.
Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.
Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.