Not everybody loves a challenge, but for those who do, they can work wonders. Try these five money challenges in whatever form gets you most fired up to improve your finances.
1. The Savings Challenge
This can take many forms. The only rules are that it has to involve saving, and like any challenge, it has to be specific and timebound. It could involve:
- A One Year Challenge: Saving a set amount each month or paycheck and putting into a savings account
- A One Month Challenge: Saving a small daily amount and physically putting it in a jar or piggy bank
- A Spare Change Challenge: Using cash for daily spending and saving all your spare change for a set amount of time (could be a week, month or year)
- A ‘Quit Something’ Challenge: Quit smoking, drinking or anything that costs money, and put every cent you’d have spent on it into a bank account or piggy bank
2. The Income Challenge
This one is common among entrepreneurs and side hustlers and is as simple as it sounds. You’re simply aiming to increase your income. But again, you’ll need to set challenge rules that are specific and timebound. The challenge can be:
- Make your first $100 online this week or month
- Make your first $1,000 from a new skill this week, month or quarter
- 2x your income this month
- 10x your income this year
3. The Debt Repayment Challenge
Again, this is a simple one. Make a plan to pay down debt, and put a time limit on it. You don’t have to eliminate all debt, though that’s a great long-term goal to have. The challenge you set yourself can be:
- Pay off a specific debt.
- Pay off your smallest debt.
- Pay off your highest-interest debt.
- Reduce your debt by a specific amount.
- Get your debt to under a specific number.
Remember to have a date to complete the challenge.
4. The No-Spend Challenge
I’ve written about trying a no-spend month before. It doesn’t have to be a month, of course. You might want to go mad and do a no-spend year, or start off easy and do a no-spend weekend. To make this more fun, consider starting by:
- Making a list of all the free things you love to do (anything goes)
- Making a list of things you already have that can provide free entertainment (art supplies, books you haven’t read, sports equipment you own that you rarely use)
- Make a plan to do or use the above during your no-spend period
5. The Decluttering Challenge
This will only improve your finances directly if you convert some of your clutter to cash. Although living a more minimalist life often saves money on repairing, maintaining and storing your stuff, you may find you save money long-term even if you give most of your stuff away.
To earn money directly with your decluttering challenge, consider selling your unwanted items via:
- Yard sales and flea markets
- eBay, Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist
- Sites that buy specific items, like GameStop, Ziffit or The Real Real
- Vintage or consignment shops
Challenges are so much more fun with company. Enlist a friend or family number to do yours with you, or keep an eye on your business Facebook groups for those income challenges.
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