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Are you one of the 57% of Americans with less than $1,000 in savings?
If so, this 60-day money saving challenge may be the perfect tool to help you get the ball rolling!
I know it’s a little uncomfortable to talk about, but given those statistics, this is a conversation we need to have.
Saving is hard, no matter who you are. But you’re risking a lot more by NOT saving money than what you’d miss out on if you stowed away some of that cash.
But money is tight. There’s barely enough to cover the bills, let alone save.
I get it, I really do. I’ve been there.
Being there is what made me the frugal minimalist I am today.
When I finished college, I was broke as a joke and barely making enough at my first “real” job to cover rent, groceries, and gas for my commute. I wasn’t mindful of my spending and racked up over $1,000 in credit card debt.
That may not sound like a lot to you, but I have an extremely low risk tolerance, and that $1,000 (on top of $40k+ in student loan debt) was soul-crushing at the time.
But I got my act together, paid off my credit card debt, created a plan to be completely debt free in 5 years or less, and saved up enough money to quit my job and start my own business.
I promise you I am NOT special. If I can do it, so can you.
If you’re ready to take the challenge, here’s a free printable I created to help you get started:
The Importance of Savings
I can tell you firsthand the importance of having a cushioned savings account.
If it wasn’t for my emergency fund, I wouldn’t have been able to afford unexpected vet costs to keep my dog (also my best friend) in good health.
I wouldn’t have been able to leave my job and pursue my passions.
My car would still be sitting in the driveway because I wouldn’t have had the money to pay for the repairs to keep it running.
When you don’t have adequate savings, you run the risk of having to take on more debt in the case of an accident or emergency.
Debt is your arch nemesis. You want to defeat it and then avoid it at all cost.
That’s my motto, anyway.
But the only way you can do that is to prepare your finances for the unexpected.
Why Saving to Save Isn’t Enough
For most of us, saving money just for the sake of saving isn’t motivating enough.
We have to have a reason to save. So take a moment to think about yours.
What do you want your savings to do for you?
Maybe you’re saving for a nice vacation to some new and exotic location.
Maybe you’re preparing for a big purchase, like a new car or a down payment on a house. Or a life experience, like a baby on the way.
Or perhaps you’re like me, and you just prefer the security of a few months living expenses at your disposal in case anything were to happen.
Decide what you want to save for. Then, figure out how much you need to save. Write these down, and look at them every day between now and when you accomplish your savings goal.
The Money Saving Challenge
When I was young, just like every other kid, I hated doing chores.
And I was a stubborn child, so my parents had their work cut out for them.
Whenever my dad gave me a chore, he wouldn’t call it a chore. Instead, he called it a game. He made rules about what we could and couldn’t do, and it turned into a competition.
Whoever finishes first wins!
As competitive as I was stubborn, he found the perfect way to motivate me to do what he wanted.
I’ve found the same method works for most people. Whenever there’s something you don’t want to do, but you need to do, turn it into something fun.
A game, a competition, a challenge.
I created this free money saving challenge to:
- Keep you motivated
- Hold you accountable
- Create a plan for success
With it, you’ll find a place to write down your goals, create an action plan, and track your progress along the way.
I’ve also included some money mindset tips for extra encouragement + motivation.
Good luck! Grab the challenge below to get started:
P.S. You can save even faster by trying one of these cool ways to make extra money:
My Favorite Ways to Make and Save More Money
1. Online Surveys
When I was working full-time, I would take online surveys in the evenings while catching up on Netflix to earn a little extra cash. You probably won’t get rich doing it, but it’s a good way to make some quick cash with very minimal effort.
My favorite survey sites are Swagbucks, PineCone Research, and Earning Station. The best way to make money with survey sites is to sign up for several. That way you won’t have a lag with zero surveys in your inbox.
Check here for more high-paying survey sites, plus some tips on how to make the most money with your time.
2. Shop Smart Online
Wikibuy and Honey search for the best deals on the Web, and Ebates rewards me with cash back when I purchase through their partner brands. You can get a $10 welcome bonus when you sign up with Ebates.
3. Shop Smart at the Grocery Store
Groceries are my weakness, but this year I’ve made a real effort to cook more meals at home.
I didn’t like the idea of meal planning because I felt like it took too much time that I didn’t have, so I started learning how to save money on groceries and signed up for $5 Meal Plan . Since every meal costs $2 or less per person, it’s really helped me get my grocery budget under control.
Now every Friday, the send me a list of meals for the week, along with the groceries for each. I choose the meals I want and leave out the ones I don’t. Sundays I go to the grocery store and I’m good for the week.
I used to go to the grocery store at LEAST twice a week, oftentimes three or four times. So this has been a huge money and time saver for me.
4. Teach English Online
I started teaching English as a second language with VIPKID in February of 2017, and I love it!
Teaching with VIPKID has been a great way to make extra money and continue paying off debt while I’m getting my business off the ground.
The flexibility is perfect for my schedule since I get to choose how many classes I teach and when. I’ve met some great students and teachers, and I’m super grateful for the experience.
5. Drive for Uber
Driving for Uber was my first official side hustle ever! I started doing it in 2016 while I was working full time.
It was a great way to make extra money fast (Uber pays weekly) and meet new and interesting people. None of the men in my life were happy about my side hustle choice, but I took safety precautions, like only driving during daylight hours.
If you’re interested in driving for Uber and want to hear more about my experience as an Uber driver, you can find it here.
6. Become a Mystery Shopper
I recently started mystery shopping with Bestmark because I like to try ALL THE SIDE HUSTLES. And I couldn’t recommend it to you without giving it a go myself.
It hasn’t been a great source of income for me because there aren’t many opportunities in my small town.
However, if you live in a larger area, mystery shopping could be a fun way to make some extra cash and get free stuff. Double win!
7. Rent Out a Room
So far, I’ve only used Airbnb on the renter side, not as a host. However, I’ve known many people who rent out space in their homes with Airbnb and they love it.
My physical therapist rents a room in his house during football season (I live in a college town) and makes bank. I would definitely be doing this one if I owned my house.
No room in your house? You can still make money with Airbnb by hosting a unique experience (cooking, playing with wolves, hiking, etc.).
8. Get Paid to Write
Another side hustle I have successfully tried. Freelance writing can be a very lucrative gig, and it can even become your full-time job if you’re willing to put in the work.
Holly Johnson from EarnMoreWriting.com did just that. Holly started freelance writing while working full-time, and grew her side business to a multiple six-figure business in only a couple years.
Now she offers a course teaching others how to do the same. If you’re not in a position to pay for the course (we are talking about saving money here, not spending it), I still recommend signing up for her free webinar. You’ll get some great tips on getting started. Plus, Holly is hilariously sassy!
9. Rethink Your TV Situation
I haven’t personally owned a television for about three years. Not having TV as a distraction has made me more focused, productive, and an overall happier person.
That may sound a little absurd, but I’m completely serious. I used to get sucked into watching TV in my downtime and I would spend hours doing nothing. At the end of the day, I would feel drained and unaccomplished.
Without a television, I’ve found new ways to engage my mind and focus on self-improvement. I spend more time outside and I read more than ever before.
If you’re not ready to give up on television altogether (I haven’t entirely either), then look into cheaper options like Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime. All three of these options are cheaper than cable and have tons of great shows and movies.
They also all offer a 30-day free trial.
10. Sell Your Stuff
Unless you’re an extreme minimalist, chances are there are at least a handful of things around your house that you could post and sell online right now.
Selling things you no longer need is a great way to declutter, get organized, and make extra money while doing it. Post your items on eBay, Craigslist, Amazon, and Facebook groups, or round up a bunch of items and have a yard sale.
11. Let Digit Save for You
After I left my job, I wasn’t making a steady, predictable income, so I cut back on my savings.
Actually, I stopped saving altogether for a little while.
I know, that’s really bad of me. But my income was unpredictable and I was scared I would need to transfer the money back over, or worse, I would overdraft my checking account!
That’s why I started using Digit. Digit automates your savings by analyzing your spending and transferring tiny increments from your checking account to your Digit savings account.
I was a little weirded out by it at first, but now I love it! Digit sends you a text message every morning telling you the balance in your checking account, even if they didn’t make a withdrawal.
You can text Digit back any time to ask about your checking balance, the amount in your rainy day fund, and recent transactions.
Seeing my checking balance every day helps to keep me from overdrawing my account and it’s a polite reminder to keep working on my business and finding ways to make more money.
Don’t forget to get it on the 60-Day Savings Challenge!
What is your favorite way to make or save more money?
I’m a financial coach and author + owner of Goodbye to Broke. I love all things personal finance, money management, and healthy living. And I talk to my dog way too much, if we’re being honest.