Today I’d like to throw down some great money saving ideas to put on your agenda and “challenge” you to save! Some of these are old tested and true standards and some are a little bit off the beaten path, but sometimes we need to be reminded about the simple ways to save our money. I am going to take my own savings challenge and report back to you after the month of May. I want you to do the same and follow these tips!
Money Savings Challenges for You to Try
1. A no spending to and from work week
You may be thinking, “Gary, that’s just totally impossible!” Nope. Well you ask, “how is it done?” It is quite easy actually. First, go ahead and fill your gas tank up the day before you start this particular challenge. You’re going to need gas for sure, but by doing it in advance you can easily avoid the temptations of stopping by the gas station on your way to work to get a little pick-me-up coffee and bagel. Make a cup and a snack at home before you head out the door. Can you manage to put the spending on hold for just those five work days? You can most definitely do this challenge. I believe in you. When the work week is over, you just might want to start applying this saving tactic to your life every week. Do it and you can easily save $25 every week!
2. The $20 saver’s challenge
On every Friday of the month, put a $20 bill into your savings account and do not touch it. Put it in your savings account or if you don’t have a savings account, you can of course open one that will pay you interest and it’s free to do it (open online and get the best interest rates!). Even if you don’t use or have an account, take the $20 bill and put it into an envelope. It’s not a big amount, but it is a start to adding money to your savings. If you are saving your money in any of the other ways in the challenge, then you should most definitely have that extra $20 to hide away. That could be over $1,000 in just one year.
3. The no fast food savings challenge
For an entire month, I ask you to not spend any money on fast food: McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Burger King, Sonic, etc. You can do this! During this challenge, you will be shocked at how much you can save. Way too often we eat at these places like it was a reflex, even if it’s just a quick snack or lunch or drink! Keep track of your money so you can see just how much you are actually saving. If you have a family, this challenge will save you a lot of money!
4. The stay put and have fun at home savings challenge
Instead of going out for drinks with your friends or having a family outing at the movies, etc., you could stay at home and spend some quality time with your family. A few fun things you could do at home could be playing Monopoly or other board games as a family, pitching a tent in your backyard, roasting hot dogs and s’mores, or having a family fun movie night. Movie theatre snacks are outrageously priced, so pop some popcorn in the microwave (just pour some kernels into a brown paper bag and pop), pour yourself your favorite drink that you have on hand, and get cozy on the couch with your family or friends. Try it; it has worked for hundreds of years.
5. The spring cleaning/yard sale challenge
In just one weekend, a yard sale can be a huge way to make some extra cash. Not only that, but yes, it’s spring cleaning, too! If you are like me, you may have closets or an attic full of clothes and you really just don’t need or wear them anymore. You can go through all of these things and have a yard sale with all of it. With whatever money you make, you simply put the money away and save it for a rainy day. Advertise your yard sale in the neighborhood paper of the town you are living in.
You can make your own signs and hang them up at your local grocery store or a nearby telephone pole. Another great way to advertise your yard sale is on Facebook and yard sale sites. Tell your Facebook friends and that will get you a ton of traffic for your yard sale. Last time we did this, we made almost $200 at our weekend sale!
6. Cancel your gym membership until next winter
Seriously save $20-$40 a month by just doing your exercise outside! The warm weather and sunny days are perfect for walking, running, biking, swimming…you name it.
If you simply ask about a “break” for personal reasons and promise to return, the gym may say yes. It’s better for them to retain you that way than to lose you completely. You can always go back come October and resume. Ask the gym if you can suspend your membership until the beginning of fall and save perhaps $100 or more!
7. Use a reward card when you fill up
Last, but most definitely not least, is to get a rewards card for your gasoline. Cards are completely free and are offered at most big chain stores and supermarkets similar to the fuel rewards offered where I live from Shell and Stop & Shop. Fueling cards in particular are offered at gas stations (like Shell and Exxon) and in many other places. You can save 5 to 10 or even up 30 cents per gallon. I recently signed up for one of these at a local gas station and I have saved over $10 so far. That is half of a tank for me! You can also score points on items in the store like for a drink or a snack, which is awesome! You really need to take advantage of these great rewards.
You can try any one, two, or all of these ways to save, but whichever you do, please write it all down and tell me about it! I’m planning my savings challenge for this month and will report the results back in my newsletter in June. Oh, you don’t subscribe? Well now you have an even better reason to do it and find out what you and other readers have to report on the SST savings challenge! Are you all in?