6 Spending Challenges to Up Your Savings Game
16th August 2021
As the cost of living increases, saving can seem impossible. The answer may be a trend that has won the interest of bloggers and finance gurus all over the world: the spending challenge.
A spending challenge aims to increase a person’s savings over a set period of time. By following certain rules during the designated time frame, such as keeping all receipts or not purchasing new clothes, anyone can significantly add to their savings. There’s a spending challenge out there for everyone so keep reading for some of the best.
1. The No-Spend Challenge
One of the most popular spending challenges is, ironically, the No-Spend Challenge. Choose an amount of time that is realistic for you and eliminate all spending on anything that’s not a necessity.
You’ll need to sit down and work out what counts as a necessity for you and your family. Most people categorise mortgage or rental payments, utility bills, vehicle costs, medical costs, insurance, and phone and internet bills as unavoidable. Get clear on what’s a necessity and then refrain from spending on anything else—no exceptions.
This challenge will teach you how much you can accomplish without spending on creature comforts, such as dinners out or beauty appointments. And as a bonus, it will show you how much you’re spending on unnecessary purchases.
2. The No New Clothes Challenge
Purchasing new clothes is a routine activity for most people. While clothing is a necessity, many people spend far more than they need to in this area.
You can get an idea of how much you’re overspending and save a decent amount of money by following the No New Clothes Challenge. Designate a period of time, whether it’s a month, three months, or more, and commit to not spending a penny on new clothes.
The key to surviving this challenge is timing it carefully. If you’re just about to head into summer, where you might have a handful of weddings or other parties to attend, it’ll be especially difficult to keep up your commitment. Similarly, if you’re pregnant, you can expect that the urgent need to buy new clothes will arise and disrupt the challenge.
3. The Spare Change Challenge
The Spare Change Challenge is as simple as it sounds. The aim is to save up all of your spare change for a year - something you may already do.
Whenever you stumble upon loose change, add it to your savings. That includes any change you receive from cash purchases or coins that you find around the place or down the sofa.
The Spare Change Challenge is slightly more difficult than it once was in a society that’s becoming increasingly cashless. But you can also save your virtual spare change. Some apps like Moneybox will track your debit cards and automatically move your spare change to a separate savings account.
4. The Receipts Challenge
The Receipts Challenge is all about building awareness around your spending habits. Simply keep every single receipt that you receive for a month. Every purchase counts—even a seemingly insignificant cup of coffee.
Looking back over all your purchases at the end of the month will give you the chance to reassess your spending habits. You’ll see first-hand that frequent little purchases, such as a cup of coffee, can add up over time.
5. The Weather Savings Challenge
This challenge involves choosing a day of the week, noting the weather on that day, and then depositing that amount into your savings account.
The beauty of this spending challenge is that the outcome will be totally random. It can be fun (and a little daunting!) not knowing exactly how much you’re going to deposit every week. To customise this challenge, you can choose to always match the temperature of a particular day no matter what it is, or wait until the end of the week and choose one of seven temperatures that you’d like to match.
The original founder of this challenge lived in Arizona, where temperatures soar up to 105 Fahrenheit. Naturally, if you live in the UK or particularly colder location, you’ll end up saving significantly less, so consider using multipliers if you want a true challenge.
6. The Holiday Helper Challenge
From a financial perspective, the Festive Season can cause a lot of stress. You can get a headstart on your spending a year in advance with the Holiday Helper Challenge, which has you take a certain amount from your budget every week and put it towards a holiday fund.
The more you put aside each week, the more you’ll have to spend on gift-buying, decorations, and other holiday-related expenses come December. But it’s not necessary to put a significant amount towards the holiday fund every week—even as little as £5 can add up to a lot by the end of the year.
A spending challenge is a great way to increase your savings. From the No-Spend Challenge to the Weather Savings Challenge and everything in between, there’s a suitable option for every type of spender and saver.