7 Money-Saving Challenges to Try in 2023 (2024)

Saving just got a lot less boring.

Saving money is a great way to improve your financial security and increase your standard of living. But it can be really hard to lock all that money away when there are so many things you want to buy with it right now. Making a list of your goals and tracking your progress can be helpful, but it doesn't work for everyone.

That's why some people are turning to gamification to help them save, and it seems to be working. One Commonwealth study found that gamification helped customers save 25% more often than people who didn't use this strategy. If you're up for trying it, here are a few money-saving challenges you can try to complete in 2023.

1. No-Spend Challenge

The name pretty much sums up this challenge. You choose a time period you're comfortable with -- it could be a week or a month -- and during that time, you only spend money on essentials. So you'll still pay for your groceries and your mortgage, but you might skip desserts or trips to the movie theater.

Put all the extra cash from your No-Spend Challenge into a high-yield savings account. This will help you earn a higher rate of interest on your funds, which can grow your net worth even faster.

2. 52-Week Saving Challenge

This challenge encourages you to build a savings habit by gradually saving a little more each week. During the first week of the year, you save $1. In the second week, you save $2. And the week after that, you save $3, and so on, until you reach $52 saved for the last week of the year. If you stick with this, you'll have saved $1,378 by the time we ring in 2024.

And you can feel free to tweak this challenge if you feel it's too easy or too difficult. You could increase the amount you save by $5 intervals each week, for example, or aim to increase the amount you save every other week instead of every week.

3. "Who Can Save the Most?" Challenge

This is a great option for those who have a competitive streak or do best when they're working with someone else toward the same goal. Essentially, you compete to see which member of your household can reduce their average monthly spending the most.

Start by looking at a few of your previous month's expenses to get a baseline for what you normally spend. Then, cut discretionary purchases, use coupons, and employ whatever other tactics are necessary to cut your spending as much as possible. At the end of the month, compare your results with the rest of your household. You may even want to set up a prize for the winner.

4. Round-Up Challenge

The Round-Up Challenge involves rounding up every purchase to the nearest dollar and putting the excess change in savings. It might not seem like much, but it could still be possible to save several hundred dollars each year this way, depending on how much you normally buy.

If doing this math sounds too complicated for you, look for a budgeting app or bank account, like Chime, that will do this for you. There are even some investing apps, like Acorns, that have this round-up feature.

5. 2023 Challenge

In honor of the year 2023, make it your goal to save $2,023. This challenge doesn't have a ton of rules, so you can decide how you'll get there. Setting mini-targets along the way (i.e. saving half the total by July 1) is a great strategy for keeping yourself motivated and on track.

6. Pantry Challenge

We're all guilty of buying food that we don't get around to eating or ingredients that go bad before we can use them. This challenge encourages you to cut down on that food waste and slash your grocery bill in the process.

Do your best to use up some of the older items in your pantry before you buy new ones. There are apps out there that can help you find recipes based on the ingredients you already have if you're struggling to come up with ideas on your own. This could even help you find some new favorite dishes.

7. No Dining Out Challenge

If the Pantry Challenge sounds a little too daunting for you, opt for the No Dining Out Challenge instead. This is where you skip restaurants and takeout for a set amount of time. A month is a good starting point for a lot of people. Alternately, you could decide to limit yourself to only going out to eat a certain number of times per month during the year.

Or you could make your own

The above challenges are just suggestions of things you could try. But you know yourself best. If you want to tweak some of the rules above or create your own challenge to help yourself save, go for it. Keep refining it as the year goes on and track your progress to see how much your savings account balance has grown.

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7 Money-Saving Challenges to Try in 2023 (2024)


How much do you save with the 52 envelope challenge? ›

Week 1, you save $1.00. Week 2 you save $2.00, and it continues through the year, adding one more dollar to each week's savings goal. By Week 52, you'll set aside $52.00, which will bring the year's total savings to $1,378!

What is the 25 cent challenge? ›

Kids start small and gradually deposit a little more into a kids savings account every week for 52 weeks — a full year. For example, during week one your child puts 25 cents into savings. On the second week, 50 cents is added. On the third week 75 cents gets deposited. By year's end, your child will have saved $344.50.

How to save $10,000 in 6 months weekly? ›

Typically, you need to save $1,666.67 per month, or $417 per week. You should, however, adjust this amount based on your income and expenses.

What are the challenges of saving money? ›

Here are seven money-saving barriers — plus advice on how to knock each of them down.
  • Spending too much on housing. ...
  • No defined budget. ...
  • The “I'll save when I make more money” mindset. ...
  • Lack of a measurable savings goal. ...
  • Student loan payments. ...
  • Your comfort zone. ...
  • Overusing credit cards.

How to save $5000 in 3 months with 100 envelopes? ›

The 100-envelope challenge is pretty straightforward: You take 100 envelopes, number each of them and then save the corresponding dollar amount in each envelope. For instance, you put $1 in “Envelope 1,” $2 in “Envelope 2,” and so on. By the end of 100 days, you'll have saved $5,050.

How to save $10,000 in 100 envelopes? ›

Here's how to get started:
  1. Label 100 envelopes from 1 to 100 You can be as creative with this as you wish. ...
  2. Put your envelopes in a container You can either keep them in numeric order or mix them up. ...
  3. Pick 1 envelope each day The number on the envelope you choose is the amount of cash you should stick inside of it.

What is the $3 savings challenge? ›

The plan is refreshingly easy, even for the math-challenged: set aside $3 in the first week and put it into a savings account. Then add another $3 each week after, so $6 is saved in week two, $9 in week three, and so on.

What is the 1 penny challenge? ›

This challenge requires you to save 1 penny on the first day, gradually increasing the amount by adding 1 penny each day, and maintaining the daily incremental increase for 365 days.

What is the 365 penny challenge? ›

The premise of the Penny Challenge is simple: You start by saving one penny on day one, two pennies on day two, three pennies on day three, and so on. Each day, you increase the number of pennies you save by one until day 365, where you will save $3.65. By the end of the year, you'll have saved a total of $667.95!

How can I save $100000 fast? ›

7 tips for getting your first $100,000
  1. Figure out how much money you can safely save each month. ...
  2. Automate your savings. ...
  3. Maximize your employer-sponsored savings and investment accounts. ...
  4. Save your tax refunds and work bonuses. ...
  5. Pay off existing debt. ...
  6. Seek a raise or some other way to increase your income.
Jan 2, 2024

What happens if you save $100 dollars a month for 10 years? ›

How $100 a month can help make you wealthy
If you invest $100 a month for this many years......this is how much you'll end up with.
2 more rows
Oct 1, 2023

How much will I have if I save $5 dollars a day for 10 years? ›

Saving $5 per day

After 10 years: $23,725.

How to do a no spend challenge? ›

The No-Spend Challenge isn't giving up all spending, again it's nonessentials. You need to pay the bills and buy important things that pop up (like groceries or school supplies, or even a new heater if yours goes out). The goal is to challenge yourself to only spend on the essentials.

What is the 1 to 50 saving challenge? ›

Label your envelopes from £1 – £50. The corresponding amount of money will go in each envelope. Then, place the envelopes in the box. Each week pick out an envelope to fill up – you don't have to go in order, some weeks you might have more money left over than others.

What is the 1000 savings challenge? ›

Saving over $1,000 in a month may sound really hard, especially if you aren't used to saving money. The 30-Day Savings Challenge helps you to gradually save up the money to reach your goal of $1,000. On the first day, you are only saving $5! Yep, that's right, only $5! I know you can hit that goal!

How can I save $5000 with the 52-week money challenge? ›

Here are a few more ways to save $5,000 by the end of 2023:
  1. Save $96.16 every week.
  2. Save $192.31 every two weeks.
  3. Save $416.67 every month.
  4. Save $1,250 every quarter.
  5. Save $2,500 every six months.
Jan 5, 2023

How much is $1 dollar a day for a year? ›

The answer to that question depends on interest rates or rates of return. With no interest involved, putting one dollar a day into a bank account (or a jar at home) will see you end up with $365 in a year. Multiply that amount by 30 years and you'll end up with $10,950.

How can I save $5000 in 6 months? ›

Here are a few ideas that could help:
  1. Opt for groceries over restaurants. The costs of eating out and ordering delivery can add up fast. ...
  2. Cancel pricey subscriptions or memberships. Make a list of what you pay for streaming services, the gym, and other monthly expenses. ...
  3. Find free activities where you live.
Oct 23, 2023

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