The 52 Week Money Challenge hit the internet a few years ago– where you save $1 in the first week of the year, $2 in the second week of the year, and so on– and is a great idea to boost your savings. However, it can be difficult for some people who might not be able to set aside $210 in the last month of the year. Saving so much money in one month can be intimidating for beginner savers. So, an alternative to the 52 Week Money Challenge was born– the Daily Money Challenge. Like the 52 week money challenge, you set aside a set amount of money, but this time each day instead of once a week.
Do a Daily Penny Challenge.
How many of you walk past a penny on the ground and keep walking because it’s not worth your time to pick it up? Well, now it will be! For this challenge, set aside one penny on day one, two pennies on day two, and so on until you are saving $3.65 on the last day of the year. Even on the last day, it’s still a manageable amount to save. You can easily save $3.65 by brewing your morning coffee at home instead of going to the expensive cafe or by drinking water instead of a soda when you are out to eat. By the end of the challenge, you will have saved $667.95. If you’ve never saved money before, that’s definitely a good start and will put you over halfway to saving a mini-emergency fund of $1,000 (as taught by Dave Ramsey.) Just be warned that if you choose to physically save all of these coins, cashing in at a Coinstar will cost you 10.9% in fees. If you choose to cash in at a bank, they may make you roll your coins into coin wrappers by hand; it happened to a friend of mine and it took him an hour at the bank to roll all of his coins!
Do a Weekly $12.85 Automatic Transfer Challenge instead of the Daily Penny Challenge.
One of the biggest issues to doing the daily money challenge is not carrying cash. Like many of you, my paycheck is direct-deposited into my account, I pay for all of my expenses using my debit card, and never carry cash unless I need it, which requires me to stop at the bank to withdraw some. Plus, the idea of keeping so much cash in my house makes me uncomfortable. Enter: the automatic transfer challenge. Unfortunately, most online banking systems will not let you set daily automatic transfers; the most frequent automatic transfer you can do is weekly. However, you can still participate in the challenge! If you were to automatically transfer $12.85 a week into your savings account, you will save $668.20 by the end of the year. That’s less than the cost of one fast food meal per week!
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Do a Daily Nickel Challenge.
If saving pennies doesn’t provide you with the amount of money you need, save nickels instead. By the end of the year, you save $3,339.75. Although it will be a little trickier to save a larger amount of money, this is perfect for people who need to significantly increase their savings in one year’s time.