UPDATED: July 27, 2021

Who doesn't want to have extra cash? For some people, saving comes easy. But for others, they need a little push like starting a money-saving challenge. You’ve probably heard about different money-saving challenges. Some versions last for a week; some a month, three months, one year, and even two years. Regardless of how long you want the challenge to run, money-saving challenges can help you manage your finances better.

You’ll improve your discipline in handling money, and you’ll develop the habit to save. It may be hard to get started at first, especially if you’re on a tight budget. But even if that’s the case, don’t let it stop you from saving money now. You can start simply by starting the coin jar challenge. Then you can move on to a 30-day challenge and eventually, on a two-year challenge.

So, here’s a list of money challenge ideas you can choose from.

  • 52-Week Savings Challenge
  • 30-Day Money Saving Challenge
  • 104-Week Money Saving Challenge
  • $5 Money Saving Challenge
  • No Take Out Money Saving Challenge
  • No Name Brand Money Saving Challenge
  • Penny Challenge
  • Coin Jar Challenge
  • No-Spend Money Challenge
  • Bad Habit Money Saving Challenge

What is a Money Savings Challenge?

It’s simple. A money savings challenge, as the name suggests, helps you save money within a specific period. You need to set the amount according to the rules of the challenge and create a money savings chart so you don’t get confused. 

A money savings challenge is a fun way of saving money. Whether it’s for your dream vacation, money for a startup business, or an emergency fund, a savings challenge can help you achieve your financial goals. When choosing a money savings challenge, be sure to choose one that you can afford and is in line with your financial goals. You’ll find different challenges that will help you save money. Choose one that comes with realistic financial objectives and results.

When is the Best Time to Start a Money Savings Challenge?

Anytime is a good time to start a money savings challenge. But some people prefer to join one at the start of the new year, new season, or new month. Ultimately, it depends on what you want to achieve.

  • New Year – The New Year is the perfect time to join a money savings challenge such as the 52-week money challenge. It will last for the entire year so be sure that you’re committed to completing the challenge without fail. This is a good option for those who have been joining challenges for a while now and those who want to save more.   
  • New Season – Joining a money savings challenge such as the 90-day savings challenge is an excellent option if you’re saving up for something like a vacation or an emergency fund.
  • New Month – This option is perfect for newbies. If this is your first time to join a money savings challenge, then start with a monthly challenge.

Money Challenge Ideas

If you’re ready to save, here are some challenges that may inspire you to start.  You can find some of these money saving charts here that you can print off and stick it on your wall.

1. 52-Week Savings Challenge

The 52-week money savings challenge lets you save money every week for 52 weeks or one year. The amount you save per week increases. It is one of the most popular ways of saving money and it can help you improve your self-discipline when it comes to handling your finances.

  • Classic 52-week Money Saving Challenge. There are many variations to this kind of challenge but the classic one involves saving $1 for week 1, $2 for week 2, $3 for week 3 until you save $52 on the 52nd week. By the end of 52 weeks, you’ll get to save $1,378. If you think you can save more, then you can double or triple the classic version and begin with $3 and add the same amount every week.
  • Reverse 52-Week Money Saving Challenge. You can also start the 52-week money challenge in reverse wherein you save from the highest amount to the lowest amount. For example, you start saving $52 on the first week, subtracting $1 every week for 52 weeks.

2. 30-Day Money Saving Challenge

You can also try the money savings challenge monthly. There are many variations to this type of challenge. You can save a certain amount of money every day for one month. If you want something more exciting, you can stop online shopping for 30 days or you can challenge yourself to bring lunch to work every day or to prepare your food at home instead of going to restaurants or ordering take-out for one month. It depends on you.

3. 104-week Money Saving Challenge

If you don’t want to stop at 52-weeks, then you should give the 104-week money-saving challenge a try. It’ll last for 2 years and you’ll definitely save a lot of cash if you manage to follow it through until the end. Once you complete the challenge, you’ll have about $5,500 in your savings.

4. $5 Money Saving Challenge

The $5 money-saving challenge involves saving every $5 that you have. Whether it’s fresh from the ATM or you got it as a change for your purchase, you need to save it. Save at least two $5 a week and you’ll have $520 by the end of the year. The more $5 you save, the more money you’ll have once you complete the challenge. By the way, the $5 dollar challenge isn’t limited to a 1-year duration. It can be as short as one month or as long as 104 weeks. It’s up to you.

5. No Take Out Money Saving Challenge

This challenge involves not eating take-out food within a specific period. So, you need to prepare your own meals for 30 days or more. If you are one of those who love to eat take-out food, then you can start this challenge. You’ll be amazed at how much you can save by the end of the challenge.  A variation to this could be no store bought ready to drink coffee.  Imagine how much you would save every week if you made your own coffee or avail yourself of the free coffee at your workplace. It’s really just a matter of habit. 

6. No Name Brand Money Saving Challenge

If you’re fond of shopping for branded goods, you can take up the no name brand money-saving challenge. You can still make purchases but you’ll have to go with generic ones instead of branded ones as they are much cheaper.  Often, the difference in quality is not really that discernible for things such as milk and some other staples. 

7. Penny Challenge

The penny challenge is simple and more affordable than the 52-week money savings challenge. As its name suggests, you save a penny every day. You start saving a penny on day one and add a penny every day going forward. Do this for one year and you’ll save $667.95.

This challenge is straightforward and easy to complete. By the end of the challenge, you’ll have several hundred dollars to spend on a holiday getaway. But if you’re looking to save more than that, you might want to try a 90-day or 52-week challenge.

8. Coin Jar Challenge

The coin jar challenge is a simple money-saving challenge that involves putting all your excess change in a jar at the end of the day. You can even do this as a family and have fun together while saving.  This also inculcates good habits for the younger members of the family. 

9. No-Spend Money Challenge

The no-spend money challenge involves not spending any money (other than for basic necessities) for a specific duration. Taking a break from spending money on your wants rather than your basic necessities, will not only help you save but also lets you know more about your spending habits. It will make you realize if you’re an impulsive buyer or if you tend to purchase things that are not needed.

How long you want to do the no spend challenge will depend on you. You can start small by doing it during weekends, one week, or you can try a monthly-long no-spend challenge right away (requires more planning and discipline).

In terms of the rules, you’re allowed to spend on basic necessities such as gas, food, and bills. What you’re not allowed to spend on are eating out, online shopping, buying new clothes, and other products or services that you don’t absolutely need.

If you have a family, make sure to inform your loved ones about your plan and why you’re doing it. If you have kids, help them understand the purpose of the challenge so they’ll know why they shouldn’t ask you to buy extra things during the duration of the challenge.

10. Bad Habit Money Saving Challenge

If you have a bad habit like swearing too much or smoking, then you should do a bad habit money-saving challenge. You can make this more fun by having your friends join you, especially if they share the same bad habit. Every time you swear or smoke, you put money into your bad habit money jar. Agree on the amount you need to put in every time you do a bad habit and how long you plan to do the challenge. It’s a fun way to motivate you and your friends to save while saving money for a vacation or something that all of you can use.

11. Expense Apps to track your expenses

Another useful idea is to have an expense tracking app on your mobile. This way you know exactly how much you are spending and what you are spending on.  It helps build discipline as well as greater awareness of your spending habits. 


Participating in money-saving challenges can help you build an emergency fund or save for a major purchase or a vacation. You just have to be motivated and committed to getting started and continue until it’s done. Choose from one of the money-saving challenges from the list provided above and have fun while saving.