Money doesn’t grow on trees.
Most of us have grown up hearing this idiom. Today, we know it is true: money is scarce, you work hard for your money, and you must save for a rainy day.
Unfortunately, this is easier said than done. This is where daily savings challenges can be a big help.
Where did the idea of daily savings challenges start?
To be honest, we are not sure!
Perhaps it was born out of a need to ‘just do it’ and start somewhere. After all, another great proverb is ‘A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.’
The idea behind a daily savings challenge is to save a small amount (that you won’t even miss) every day. Before you know it, these low deposits have amassed to an astonishing amount.
Voila! You’ve started a saving habit.
In for a penny, in for a pound.
People found that if they follow their ‘savings plan’ religiously, they can reach their saving goals.
Here are a few prevalent daily savings challenges that we found.
The year has 52 weeks.
The 52-week daily savings challenge comes in various arrangements.
In its simplest form, you can decide the total you want to save every week. You can choose to save for the full 52 weeks, or you can stop once you’ve reached your desired amount.
For some, it is ok to have some bonus spending money at the end of the year, while others set their goal at £5 000 or more to save for something special like a wedding, a honeymoon or a holiday.
The real 52-week challenge
In its most popular form, you are to save a pound amount equivalent to the week of the year you are in. For example, in week 1, you’ll save £1. In week 32, your deposit must be £32 and so on.
By the end of the year, you’ve saved £1378!
This website gives a handy weekly breakdown of how you can get to £1378:
Do it in reverse
Some people like this savings challenge better in reverse. You are to start at £52 in the first week and reduce the amount with £1 every week.
It is a build-up to quicker gratification if the amount decreases instead of increases every week.
Again, it is your call how much you want to save each week. Also, it is much better to save just £10 during December instead of over £200 as with the regular 52-week daily savings challenge.
Bi-weekly savings plan
Some people get paid every second week. They handle a bi-weekly savings plan better.
It is the same as the 52-week savings challenge, only that it is done in 26 weeks. You decide on how much money you want to end up with and work on schedule to pay a specified amount into a savings account every second week.
A penny saved is a penny earned
In a similar vein, the 365-day savings challenge asks you to save £1 per day for a year. That’s £365 at the end of the year. It is a simple strategy to save money for a unique gift or towards a holiday.
You can also do it in pennies: £0.01 on the first day of the year and £3.65 on the last day. That’s £667.95 in total. Who would have thought?
A buffer against job loss or unforeseen circumstances can be excellent.
You might need it
A great savings goal is to save enough to cover a few month’s salaries so that necessary expenses can be covered if needed.
For this savings challenge, you need to save 10% of your monthly income for a year. At the end of the year, you’ll roughly have the equivalent of a month’s salary in savings.
Do it for six years, and you’ll have that rainy-day fund all sorted.
Want some more ideas of how to buffer yourself against an unexpected job loss? Find it here:
Keep the change!
An adult piggy bank
This savings plan works on the same principle. Throw your spare change in a jar for the whole year and forget about it. You’ll be surprised at the amount saved at the end of the year.
Do it in £ 5’s
A variation of this is the £5 savings challenge. Keep all your £5 notes for a whole year. If you break a bigger bill and receive a £5, away it goes!
Stash it out of sight and resist the temptation of counting it. Keep adding to it throughout the year.
One advocate of this budgeting hack wrote on Facebook: ‘I did it and saved over £2000 last year. I am definitely doing it again!’
Here’s a fun account of how Vi, a self-proclaimed personal finance junkie enjoyed this challenge:
The ‘Do not spend’-challenge
No extras allowed
People usually accept this daily savings challenge for one month, but you can do it for longer if you want. The idea is only to buy exactly what you need.
No eating-out, no impulse shopping, and no entertainment for one whole month. You must take the money that you would’ve spent and save it instead.
The envelope savings challenge
Mark a series of envelopes with £ amounts. Pick a range you are comfortable with, such as 1-20 or 1-100.
The idea is to fill the pockets up to the corresponding number throughout the year. The envelope marked ’50’ for example, will hold coins and bills up to £50.
Again, you are saving in a fun way without even realizing.
Want to know more? Read some top tips about the Envelope savings challenge here:
Some more creative daily savings challenges
What’s the weather like today?
Choose a day of the week and save the highest temperature of the day in pennies or pounds. If you choose Tuesdays and live in London, you would have saved £16 on the 8th of October 2019.
Take your own lunch to work, and don’t buy fast food. Save the amount you would have spent. Do it for a month. Similarly, you can decide only to buy generic products for one month, and save the difference. Perhaps it is not saving daily, but over the long run it can make a huge difference.
Bad habit jar
Do you watch too much television? Are you always late? Penalize yourself for your bad habits in a playful way. Who knows, you might break the pattern and save some money in the process.
The best things in life are… well, not free
One of the most popular New Year’s resolutions worldwide is probably to be able to ‘save more.’ We all want to do it.
A daily savings challenge is a natural, fun way to start. Yes, it is mostly gimmicked, but at least it will help you remember what your goals are.
It is not easy to stay on track without a plan. Nothing in life is free – you must work towards it.
Choose your savings challenge, decide how much you want to save, what you are saving for, and get support from friends and family. Let them hold you accountable by asking about your progress throughout the year.
Take it one step at a time, and if you forget, make a mistake or can’t pay today – it doesn’t matter!
Keep going. It will be worth it in the end when you reach your goal.
A daily savings challenge can really kickstart a great savings habit. It might be a good idea to open a savings account, especially for this, so that you can keep track of your progress.
Start small but be consistent. It can only happen if you decide to realise your dreams. Start saving today with a savings challenge!
Read here for more daily savings challenge ideas. There is something for everyone!