Challenge Yourself to Save
Some Simple And Fun Tips For Boosting Your Savings
Oftentimes with our savings, we “set it and forget it,” and that’s okay as our savings account will still quietly grow. However, sometimes it’s fun to make it a little more interesting and up your savings game. Here are a few easy and fun ideas to keep your savings top of mind and help save a little more than you may have in the past.
52-Week Savings Challenge
There are 52 weeks in a year, and the idea is to save every week beginning with $1, upping the amount in $1 increments each week.
Week 1: $1
Week 2: $2
Week 3: $3
Week 52: $52
If you start in the new year and consistently save in this manner (never more than $52 at its peak), at the end of a year, you’ll have saved $1,378. It doesn’t matter if your year starts in January, June, or November as long as it lasts 52 weeks. This challenge can also be done backward by starting your first week at $52 and working your way down to $1.
Spare Change Challenge
Whenever you make a purchase and receive coins back in change, you can drop those pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters into a jar. Commit to not touching the change that you’ve added to the jar for a certain period of time (perhaps a year) before you count it up to see how much you’ve saved. First Source has a coin-counting machine in our New Hartford branch that will count and deposit the coins for you when you are ready to cash them in.
Do you have a 401K plan with your employer? If so, at the start of this challenge, you’ll increase your contribution to your 401K by 1%. A few months later, you can increase your contributions by another 1%. You can keep doing this for as long as you’d like and at whatever frequency best fits your needs. Sometimes this challenge is done quarterly or even annually.
365-Day Nickel Challenge
This one is similar to the 52-week challenge, except you start on the first day by saving a single nickel. Then, each day you increase the amount you’re setting aside by one nickel. For example, by day three, you will be setting aside three nickels, and on day 45, you’ll be setting aside 45 nickels. If you do this throughout an entire year, you will end up with a fund of $3,379.75 on day 365.
Five-Dollar Bill Challenge
Simply save every five-dollar bill you receive for a predetermined period of time. Do this for as long as you’d like. If $5 seems too high for your budget, try the same challenge with one-dollar bills. On the other hand, if you’re in a good place financially, you could double down and save all the ten-dollar bills you receive instead. It is recommended to move this money into a ”challenge” savings account as you go so you are not tempted to spend it.
Money often leaks away a few dollars at a time. You may be buying a daily coffee at retail prices instead of making it at home. You may buy lunch out rather than packing your own. Then comes the afternoon soda each day from the vending machine at work. If you can kick just one of those habits for a month, you might gain monumental savings. You may even find that you don’t miss what you gave up, providing you with momentum to keep saving. The trick is to keep track and take that money you would have spent and move it into a savings account so that you actually save those funds.
When you buy something, round up the amount to the nearest dollar. Direct the difference to your savings account. You can do this the old-school way by recording rounded-up amounts on paper or on the computer and then depositing that amount into your savings account. Or, you can automate it with one of several apps. You can find information about some of these apps with this list from NerdWallet. If you use one, be sure you understand any terms and fees involved and where your money goes.
Buddy Money Challenge
Challenge a friend, partner, or family member to save more money than you do in a month. At the end of the month, check in to see who gets to declare victory in this money-saving challenge. Picking an affordable prize in advance that the winner has to buy the losing participant that month can spice up the competition.
You can open a Special Purpose savings account for any one of these challenges online, in the mobile app, over the phone, or in one of our branches. If you have questions, call 315-735-8571 to speak to one of our friendly Financial Service Representatives or schedule an appointment today.
Bring This Session to a Live Setting
If you would like to schedule our Community Educator for a seminar or workshop for any Financial Friday educational topic, please email your request to FinancialEducation@fsource.org