14 New Money Saving Challenge Ideas for 2024 [FREE printables!] | Homegrown Hillary (2024)

Sometimes, we all need a little extra motivation to help kickstart new habits. Saving money is no different!

When I taught high school economics, I loved making games for my students to support them, help them keep track of their progress, and give them an incentive to keep going. But of course, games aren’t just for kids.

I’ve created a dozen new savings challenge ideas (plus included two old favorites) for you to choose from. Or, if none of them quite fit your specific situation, let the examples spark new ideas and ways to challenge yourself.

And if you’re specifically interested in the no buy month savings challenge, you can check out my articles on the specific rules to no spend months and tips to having the best no spend month ever.

Where to save your money

Before we begin, let’s talk about where to stash all the money you’re about to save. Some people really struggle to save. So deciding where to save your money can make all the difference in whether or not your savings challenge will go well.

If you’ll be saving mostly dollar bills or change, you might want a physical place that makes accessing money more difficult, like one of these piggy banks for grown ups that requires a password to open. Just make sure you have a trusted friend create the password, or make up something random and hide the code in a safe place! The best part about these password-protected banks is that they’re reusable (unlike the ‘break them to get the money’ banks). So you can do challenge after challenge!

If you’re more interested in saving money digitally, I’d suggest the Chime banking app. Chime offers savings accounts that automatically save a portion of your paycheck, so you’ll never even see the money in your checking account and think it’s available to spend.

Chime also offers automatic round-up savings with their debit card. Every time you make a purchase, Chime will round it up to the nearest whole dollar amount and pocket the extra few cents for you in your savings account. This is great if you have low willpower when it comes to saving money, since all the savings happens in the background.

With that out of the way, let’s talk about the savings challenge ideas themselves.

1. The $250 Tip Jar

If you work in an industry that earns tips, this is the savings challenge for you. You can either take a little under two months (50 days) to save $5/day, or you can go as fast as you like to use your tips to save $250. To help you keep track of your savings and give you a visual for how close you are to your goal, I’ve made you a savings tracker!

14 New Money Saving Challenge Ideas for 2024 [FREE printables!] | Homegrown Hillary (1)

2. Dollars to Points.

In this savings challenge, you can write up your own “rewards” chart, just like your school used when you were an elementary student. For every dollar you save, you earn yourself one point. Then, you can ‘spend’ those points on rewards that you’ve predetermined. Here’s an example:

50- Netflix movie marathon (with buttery popcorn!)

100- Coffee date with special person

250- At-home spa night

500- Re-decorate a room in your house (with stuff you already have)

1000- One guilt-free day spent doing your fav hobby all day

3. Shake the Dice.

Every day, toss a dice (or use a dice app to do it for you). Then, you need to save the amount on the dice that day ($1-6). Feel free to give yourself one ‘re-roll.’ At the end of the year, you’ll have saved somewhere between $365 (if you rolled a 1 every single day) and $2190 (if you rolled a 6 every day)!

Of course, you could do a challenge that’s shorter than one year, but you run the risk of hardly saving anything if you only roll low numbers for a short time. At least if you do this challenge for a year, you’ll at LEAST save the $365.

4. Savings Bingo.

If you’re an expert at savings challenges, this one might seem familiar to you. This savings challenge requires a bingo chart. You can make your own, or you can download mine below. All you need to do is choose one square to “complete” per day. Once you save that amount, you can color in the square. After coloring in each square, you’ll have saved $75 in less than a month, which makes this a great savings challenge for beginners.

14 New Money Saving Challenge Ideas for 2024 [FREE printables!] | Homegrown Hillary (2)

5. Temptation Trapper

For this challenge, you’ll pick a particular area in which you struggle with overspending. This might be fooddelivery, cosmetics, hobby supplies, etc.

Next, commit to going a certain amount of time without spending in that category. Maybe you pick a weekend, a week, or a whole month, depending on how often you spend and how long you could reasonably hold out.

Finally, keep track of every time you’re tempted to buy something in that category. Note where you are, what you’re feeling, and what you were doing immediately before you wanted to spend. Then, put $1 in your savings account every time you overcome temptation. You did it! (For a bigger challenge, see “donuts to dollars” below.)

6. Donuts to Dollars

To kick things up a notch, you’ll need to pick a bad habit of yours or a budget category where you always overspend. (In my example, it’s eating donuts.) But maybe you’ll pick splurging on beauty products, or vaping, or late-night Amazon shopping.

Then, each time you feel like spending in that category you have to save not just $1, but however much you were just about to spend. About to order a $15 “Live, Laugh, Love” sign? Put $15 in the savings account. Is your blinker already on to turn into the Starbucks drive-thru? Better take that $5 bill and stuff it in the “rainy day fund” jar.

Though you could just do this one indefinitely, I’d highly suggest picking a specific period of time. That way, you can be your own cheerleader and say “just one more week” if you need another boost of motivation besides the savings.

7. Savings Sudoku.

This is like savings bingo, but it’s an EXTRA challenge. Instead of a 5×5 square, it’s a 9×9. That means you’ll end up saving $405 by the end of an almost 12 week period if you color in one square a day. OR, you can double up and try coloring in multiple squares a day and get the challenge done in almost six weeks.

14 New Money Saving Challenge Ideas for 2024 [FREE printables!] | Homegrown Hillary (3)

8. No Spend Month

Like I mentioned at the beginning, I love no spend challenges. I personally saw huge benefits in my life after completing my first no spend month, and I really would encourage everyone to try one at least once. Whether you’re doing No Spend November, No Buy July, or any other month of the year, you stand to really benefit from slashing all your non-essential spending for a bit.

The reason a no spend month is so effective is because it forces you to practice new habits for a longer stretch of time than just a weekend or 7 day sprint. That gives you plenty of time to encounter multiple temptations and overcome them.

No spend months also help you become more aware of your weak points, help you understand exactly where your money is going, and challenge you to be more resourceful with what you already have.

9. Mystery Box

This is a great challenge if you have kids (or really goofy friends) who want to help you save. Have them run around your house and fill a shoe box or other container with the most random things they can find. Alternatively, give them $10 and let them get a handful of prizes from the dollar store that are equally random. Either way, you’ll be more motivated to reach your savings goals if you get to pull out something ridiculous and laugh with them about it every week!

10. $5,000 in Six Months

In this savings challenge, your goal is to fully color in the giant thermometer. Every week, you have a specific savings goal. For the first ten weeks, you’ll need to save $150 each week. The next set of ten weeks requires you to save $200 each week. And then the final six weeks, you’ll be saving $250 each week.By the end of the challenge, you’ll have saved a whopping $5,000 in just six months!

14 New Money Saving Challenge Ideas for 2024 [FREE printables!] | Homegrown Hillary (4)

11. Head-to-Head.

First, find a buddy to compete with. I suggest finding someone who needs to save roughly the same amount of money as you. Then, see who can save it the fastest! You could also try a “who can save the most” challenge, but sometimes those challenges are often just determined by whichever buddy makes the most money. You can do daily or weekly check-ins to see who’s winning and talk about what strategies you’ll use that day/week to save.

12. Team Challenge

This is just like the “head to head” savings challenge idea, except you need at least four friends to play. Split all available friends or family members into two teams, and have a scoreboard where you tally up your savings every week. The team who saves the specified amount of money first can collect a prize from the losing team. Just make sure to pick a fun, lighthearted, and ideally FREE prize so you don’t blow through the savings you just collected.

13. $1,000 Savings Sprint & Cool Down

This savings challenge is perfect for someone who’s starting the Dave Ramsey baby steps and needs to save their $1,000 starter emergency fund.

From Day 1 thru Day 5, you’ll save just $10 a day.

From Day 6 thru Day 10, you’ll save $25 each day.

Then things really get crazy!

From Day 11 to Day 15, you’ll save $50 each day.

From Day 16 to Day 20, you’ll save $75 each day.

Finally, you start to get some breathing room again

From Day 21 to Day 25, you’ll save $30 each day.

And finally, from Day 26 thru Day 30, you’ll go back to saving $10 a day.

If you do this challenge during any of the months with 31 days, you get one day as a freebie. When you’re through, you’ll have saved a whole $1,000!

14 New Money Saving Challenge Ideas for 2024 [FREE printables!] | Homegrown Hillary (5)

14. Going Streaking.

This savings challenge rewards consistency more than anything. Start by picking a small amount you feel you could definitely save every day, such as something between $1 and $5. Then, grab a calendar, monthly printout, or hand-draw one to use specifically for this challenge. For every day in a row you save your target amount, you can color in the day’s square. If you miss a day, start your next “streak” with a new color.See how long a streak you can get!

That’s all from me! If you’d like to get more money-saving content straight to your email inbox, be sure to sign up for my newsletter below. Thanks for supporting the blog!

14 New Money Saving Challenge Ideas for 2024 [FREE printables!] | Homegrown Hillary (2024)

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