Completing a No Spend Year is by no means an easy challenge, and If one of your goals for 2020 is to find ways to use your budget a little bit smarter and even to find those hidden pennies and pounds within that budget, so you can focus it towards paying off debt, saving or perhaps even financial freedom – this blog is going to help you get there a little bit quicker!
I’m going to be sharing with you my 4 BEST SAVINGS CHALLENGES and if one inspires you, why not give it a go for a month or even the rest of the year and see the difference it can make easily in your financial life ahead.
A lot of people are searching for ways to stretch their budget especially at this time of year, hidden pockets of money from changing a few habits and being conscious of what we are doing with our cash.
I see many money saving challenges that can leave you feeling stressed and under pressure with your money.
These can range from “No Spend Years” or simply deciding to half your food bills or similar – and these challenges can work but I find that a lot of the time people feel under extra pressure to keep up that strict mindset with money and end up giving up before too long.
My challenges will require you to save a portion of money every day or every week that then you put towards a different goal so perhaps it could be within your food or fun spending money that you’re actually taking that money from but ultimately we’re putting aside a little bit of money every single week or every single day for a particular new purpose.
Countdown to the Weekend Saving Challenge
This challenge requires us to put aside a certain amount of money every working day as you count down the number of days to the weekend and then at the weekend we don’t put any money aside.
- on a Monday when we’re five days away from the weekend we would put aside £5
- on a Tuesday we put aside £4 in our savings pot;
- Wednesday is £3 and so on until Friday is £1 and then we stop for the weekend.
You see very quickly how amount decreases towards the weekend counting us down with our money but that means every week you take part in this challenge you would have actually saved £15.
If you committed to this challenge for a full year after reading this you would save over £700 easily, a great amount towards any form of debt, savings goal or with the purpose to invest in an Investment ISA perhaps too.
That could be a family of Four cash-flowing their Christmas completely, or a trip away even if you decide to use the money instead for an experience rather than save or invest.
The simple switches in our daily habits to get us to reach those daily saving targets could be:
- Monday to save £5 take your lunch to work with you instead every week;
- Tuesday you could give up your morning coffee break
- Wednesday you could give up popping to the shops for a mid week small top up and so on.
The 10p Challenge
For this challenge we put aside every single day a multiple of 10p and slowly this starts to add up again in a similar way to large amount over the course of a year.
On the first of a month, you would put aside 10p
Second of the month, 20p now added (30p saved in total now)
Third of the month, we add 30p to the total
And so on until on the 31st of the month
(as the most extreme case depending on the month length), we put aside £3.10.
On the first of the next month we start all over again at 10p and repeat that pattern.
As it is a daily money saving challenge, I would recommend replacing your morning social media habit with opening up your online banking app and making the transfer there and then first thing in the morning.
Keep it super simple and easy so that you can easily add up the small amounts every day and leave it.
The overall positive aspect of this challenge is that it is so straight forward, and develops a daily habit of saving even though it might seem small actually over the year adds up considerably.
Saving in this way allows up to reach over £600 in one year of effort.
No Spend Week once a Month Challenge
My third favourite savings challenge is actually committing to having a “No Spend week once a month” to save a great amount of money by effectively going without any non-essential purchases for 7 days.
Those seven days you commit to not buying anything outside of food and petrol and paying for your bills that would keep you safe and dry.
You can check out my video all about the concept here:
In the past my family has easily saved £50-£100 equivalent for every week that we have marked as “No-Spend” which again over the course of a year will add up hugely towards your financial goals.
The massive positive benefit of this challenge as well is that it allows us to move away from one week a month from our normal default spending habits.
It forces us to rethink exactly how our daily spending habits of buying that coffee in work or stopping off at the shops on the way home to grab a few treats are affecting our bank balance.
I really love this particular challenge as it forces us in a good way also to do more “free things” and really see the abundance of opportunities for fun and joy without the need to spend more.
Money isn’t bad, it is just a tool to design the life we want with – but having the opportunities where we consciously decide to not spend money forces our brains to look for new ways to entertain and enjoy our life even for a short time.
10% Increase Saving Challenge
For my final challenge, you will need my notebook and a pen, and it’s called my 10% Increase challenge.
This challenge is basically not trying to squeeze money out of your budget instead we’re reframing it by recording every single time additional unplanned money comes our way, and then saving 10% of that extra money only.
Perhaps you’ve got a tax rebate, an extra bonus at work, your side hustles have given you some money – and you take 10% of that extra money in your life and put it aside as saved.
I love this challenge for two reasons – first of all you’re not trying to squeeze money out of the budget that you already have if you’re feeling particularly under pressure, particular tight for money.
This is a great tool to actually use this year as it will also change your mindset by focusing on money coming into your life instead your budget.
It also doesn’t matter what size of money or quantity of extra cash is coming our way if you’ve chosen to save part of in some way at least you’ve made a choice with part of your money to save 10% no matter what.
You use the notebook and pen to record every time that money comes your way, and over the course of a month you can clearly see as well the pattern of money coming into your life frequently from unexpected sources – and perhaps even a new way to look at money flow overall in your life.
I hope you enjoy these challenges, and as always let me know if any scream out to you to give a try – I can’t wait to see how much you save!