A Savings Challenge For Every Month

A money-saving challenge is a way of squeezing extra cash from the budget you have set for yourself so that you save more. One way is to do it with a savings chart so you can track your progress. 

Money savings challenges can help you save for anything you are aiming to put money aside for. 

This could be the peace of mind of having an emergency fund. Savings could be for your future life in your retirement, or they could even be a goal, such as a deposit for your first house.

Having savings has been a complete game changer for me – saving money means I can sleep better at night, no longer worrying about the next emergency that could arise, and could be paid for. 

It also makes me feel so much happier – I am now living within my means, and I can focus on quality time with my husband and focus on my business. 

Related posts you will find helpful to determine how you are going to save.

Sinking Funds. How do they work? How do I use them?

How do you make savings challenges fun? 

One key thing I have learned about myself is that I need to make something fun and colorful to keep motivated to keep going with my goals. 

I use bright savings envelopes, but you can always use normal envelopes.

The other way I make it fun is to have a different savings challenge every month. 

So here are my savings challenges for each month of the year. 

Don't worry – you can pick this up whenever you want. The great thing about saving is that you can start any time of the year.

Savings challenges for every month

Negotiate January

In January, as in all months, I will look at my upcoming subscriptions and assess whether I can get a better deal for them. 

First, you should use a subscription tracker like I use to plan your year and your negotiating. It is super helpful, and it helps me avoid forgetting anything. You know that feeling when it's too late to save money on your car insurance because it has been renewed for the year automatically? 

Subscriptions can be lots of things you pay out for every month, like: 

  • Car insurance
  •  Home Insurance 
  •  Cell phone contract
  •  Broadband and cable contract

They can also be once-a-year payments – so for me, my car insurance and breakdown cover come out once a year.

They can also be once-a-year payments – so for me, my car insurance and breakdown cover come out once a year. 

Then for me, it is time to take action.

Can I get a better deal by switching? 

For example, on my energy bill? 

Can I negotiate my cable bill down again by buying a cheaper Sky Sports Bundle?

I'm going to aim to save money on two subscriptions I can do this on.

 If I save £50 on my home insurance, I will pay this amount into my savings funds.

  • Usually, I will have saved for my home insurance in a bank saving pot (online), so when I pay for my insurance, I will transfer the whole amount into my checking account. 
  •  Then, I will withdraw the £50 I have saved and allocate it to one of my savings envelopes.

Here are some links to other articles you will find useful on this topic: 

Ways to Save Money on Energy at Home 21 Ways

Fiver February 

I will dedicate an extra fiver from my cash envelopes to my savings in February. 

Every week, or more if you can, take £5 out of one of your cash envelopes and save it into your savings envelope. 

Make your coffee, March. 

Instead of buying out coffee, I will try and make more coffee and take it to work in a reusable cup. This is going to be the most difficult challenge for me. 

Every time you have a house-made coffee, put what you would have spent in your savings envelopes.

 I bought this cute coffee cup made of bamboo. 

Pack your lunch, April 

I plan to avoid the local sandwich shop every day of the month.

 Over time last year, I was pretty good at this, but I have slipped again. 

My goal also includes no breakfast out and no stopping at the local chocolate store. They are all that I class as bought food during the day.

I will make a note of anything I have avoided, and at the end of every week, I will estimate to the nearest pound how much I have saved myself. 

This will go into my savings envelope.

Make money count May.

During May, I will take out money from each cash envelope and deposit it into one of my sinking fund envelopes. 

Each week, I will take out £1 from each envelope and put it into whichever sinking fund I feel I need to save more for.

 On each envelope, I will mark where the money has gone with SF for sinking or savings fund. 

June Generate

In June, I will make an extra effort to hustle. 

I'm aiming to sell at least three items that I don't need anymore on an auction site like eBay. 

I will save this amount for every item that sells to my saving fund of choice. So in May, I will be tidying my house in preparation and making some tough decisions on things I will donate to the local charity shop and sell. 

My rough rule for myself will be:

 Have I used this thing for a year?

 If not, then I will decide whether to donate or sell.

Use Ebay's filtering tools to increase your sales: 

  1. Search for the item you want to sell. 
  2.  Filter on completed and sold items. (You will get information on how much the items sold for and whether Buy it Now or an Auction was best). 
  3.  Look at the completed items, and there will be a pattern on what price items tend to sell. 
  4.  Use this to guide you as you prepare your listing.
  5.  If you have watchers on a Buy it Now thing, you can send them a tempting offer that lasts for a limited period. (This has created quite a few sales for me!)

Eat in July

Before we have our main vacation of the year, it's a great time to experiment in the kitchen.

I will gently convince Mr. Budget to stay in longer to eat.

He is a great chef with amazing ideas, so this is perfect. 

Why not cook more at home?

 Eat out every two weeks and make this an extra special treat.

Save the money leftover in your eat-out budget cash envelope into your savings envelope.

Aim for the Stars August

This month's savings challenge will include me and my husband aiming to do as many things for free as possible. 

Every week I will be choosing two envelopes to be taking £5 from to transfer into my savings envelopes. 

Read here for ideas on free things to do.

No, spend September.

As many days as possible in September, I will try not to avoid spending anything from my cash budget envelopes in certain areas and challenge myself not to spend anything at all. 

This will force me to plan out my grocery budget so that I include most things and don't need to keep running to the store for extra bits and pieces. 

I will transfer any leftover cash, which should be more this month, into whichever saving envelope I feel needs a helping hand.

Own brand October

I'm sometimes the victim of brand names and paying more than I need to for this. 

October, for me, will be about chopping the grocery budget by using the supermarket's own brands of things.

 They are so much cheaper than famous brands. 

The challenge will also include any other groceries I would typically go to another store. So as far as I can, I will not be using Tetley tea bags and paying for Aldi's own.

 (At work, I will use supermarket-brand teabags. Mr. Budget insists on Tetley at home!) 

Loose Change November

I usually keep my loose change in my cash envelopes, but I will use it differently in November. 

At the end of each day, I will transfer any loose change into my sinking or savings fund envelopes. This includes one-pound and two-pound coins, so it will challenge me to plan and keep within my cash budget. 

Delve Deep December 

For the year's final month, I will choose a combination of four monthly challenges and complete a different one every week. 

In December, we are all subject to different demands on our money and time, so this month, for me, will be all about flexibility. 

One week for me will be the Loose Change November challenge; then, week two will consist of Aim for the stars August. 

By giving myself this breathing space, I will provide myself with room to save, but not at the expense of destabilizing my monthly budget. 

In Conclusion

I can't believe how excited I am, having planned and shared these savings challenges with you. 

By sharing, I am committing to this plan to squeeze even more savings out of our budget in 2020. 

By sharing with you, I want to give you the spark of an idea that could help you save more this year.

Picture this for a minute: 

You – with more peace of mind next time your car breaks down. 

You – sleeping through the night like a baby, having put a saving plan in place for Christmas 2020. 

You – feeling proud after every monthly challenge – looking at your increasing savings pots. 

Right. Come and join me. What do you have to lose?