“I dare you…”, “I’m sure you can’t” or simply “You chicken”. Do those phrases sound familiar to you? I’m sure that on more than one occasion these phrases have been the stimulus you needed to overcome your fear or galvanize you into action.
That is one of the keys to why savings challenges work so well for many people who are unable to get into the habit of saving.
On the one hand, they pose a challenge, something that our brain loves, especially if you also tease it with those phrases from the beginning. On the other hand, these are time-limited actions that have a clear goal. This is what allows your mind to maintain the effort needed to save.
We have selected four different savings challenges that you can try to start saving with, or push your savings further. Of course, you do not have to do all of them. In fact, if you are still not saving, the ideal thing is to choose one to start with.
The 52-week challenge
This is the most popular savings challenge and it can help you whether you are already saving or not.
In the first case, it will allow you to accumulate an interesting amount by the end of your journey. In the second case, it can be a savings supplement for expenses such as your vacations if it is difficult for you to include these within your monthly budget.
How does the 52-week challenge work? Every week you save the number of euros that corresponds to the number of the week you are in. So, in the first week you save one euro, in the second two and so on until you reach week 52, when you will save 52 euros.
At the end of the challenge, which covers a whole year, you will have built up a pot of 1,378 euros. It is as simple as that.
The advantage of the 52-week challenge is that the effort is very progressive. In the first couple of months you will hardly notice the effort and by the time you do realize, the ‘sunk cost’ effect will do the rest.
This is how it is distributed:
What should you do once you have completed it? As it lasts one year, you could play again or increase the stake. You could multiply the amount to save by two, for example.
The 30-day challenge
Another classic savings challenge is the 30-day challenge. This is a shortened version of the previous challenge.
In this case you have to save an amount on each day of the month. On day one you save 1 euro, and on day thirty, 30 euros. In the end you will have 465 euros in your pocket.
The virtue of this formula is that since it is shorter, you are more likely to complete it. The downside is that it is more demanding and you may find yourself halfway through the challenge with no chance of achieving it because you have already spent all your money.
One solution would be to do the challenge backwards, starting with a 30 euro saving and working your way down. Since it only lasts a month, the accumulated progress is not as important as in the previous method.
The Tik Tok challenge
Tik Tok is the social network of challenges and one that went viral is the Tik Tok Money Challenge. It is a very ambitious method of saving and will allow you to accumulate 5,000 euros in 100 days, although you can also divide this into weeks (approximately 2 years).
You just need a piggy bank, and a pen and paper. You have to put the money in the piggy bank and write down how much you are saving on the paper.
The trick is to write the numbers from 1 to 100 on that paper. For each number you put the equivalent amount in euros in the piggy bank. Your goal is to cross them all out in 100 days (or whatever time frame you choose).
The 21-day challenge
This is not a savings challenge like the previous ones, but a cost reduction challenge. It is explained in the book “The 21-Day Financial Fast: Your Path to Financial Peace and Freedom”.
This challenge lasts 21 days, over which time you are going to go on a financial fast. It is about eliminating any unnecessary expenses during that period of time, including virtually all unscheduled entertainment.
In other words, you do not have to unsubscribe from your streaming channels, although you could, but you do have to forego dinners out, internet purchases, and non-essential consumption in general.
How much can you save with this challenge? The answer depends on your expenses, of course. However, the power of this challenge lies not so much in the saving itself as in what it will teach you.
After three weeks without spending, you will have learned to find other alternative and free leisure options and you will place much more value on the expenses that make you happy, which are the ones that you will have missed. If you also take the opportunity to unsubscribe from something along the way, there is a good chance you will just not resubscribe.
As you can see, most savings challenges that actually work have beginning and end points. And that is great to start with, but it can be a drag when it comes to repeating the same challenge over and over again. To prevent this from happening to you, there is a different saving method that works automatically, and which we will tell you about here.