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3 Challenges That Make Saving Fun

January 06, 2017

Student loan debt is on the rise and credit card debt as prolific as ever, so families have re-prioritized debt consolidation and are looking for efficient, organized ways to pay down their debt.


That is where social media comes in. In light of the changing economic landscape worldwide, many individuals have begun sharing their tips and tricks for growing their savings accounts.

These simple savings challenges, often designed for hard working families who have high spending and little cash, have completely taken over Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook.

The best thing about these fun and easy ways to increase your money? They don’t require you to find a second job or rob a bank. They are even proven to work!

Social media seems to be the secret to the success of these challenges.  Participants share the journey and the challenge with their friends, families, and even strangers—and that accountability helps them stay focused whenever the temptation to withdraw from their savings account arises.

So what are these challenges? We’ve listed them below.  Have you ever participated in one of these challenges? Tell us about your success (or failure) in the comments below. If you decide to take on one of these challenges, let us know. We want to hear about it!

A Year Without Spending

In 2006, a small cooperative in San Francisco calling themselves “The Compact,” pledged not to buy anything new for an entire year.  This challenge, taken up and recorded by bloggers and other son on social media has grown popular throughout the years. It has helped spenders change their perspective on wasteful spending and reprioritize the difference between needs and wants.

A Year Without Spending doesn’t expect consumers to give up on purchasing necessities like food, new underwear, and maintenance products. However, morning coffee trips to Starbucks, new clothes, household décor, take-out, and video games are cut out of the spending equation.

It requires the saver to change their spending mindset, do an intense deep dive into their financial struggles and challenges, and come face-to-face with their bad behaviors. And let’s face it, it’s not easy to go a whole year without buying coffee, take-out, or clothing.

Still, wouldn’t you want to add your name to the elite on Facebook and Pinterest who have successfully completed the No Spend challenge? Their reward is the satisfaction of having successfully paid off their credit card debt, student loan debt, mortgage, etc.  Some people who have successfully completed the challenge report saving up to $14,000 in the course of one year.

Savers who have completed A Year Without Spending claim that their lifestyle has permanently changed after completing the challenge. Blogger Angela Barton told The Delicious Day that “…after the year was over it was what I was used to. It is hard to explain. It is not like after the year was over I thought, ‘I can’t wait to go to Target and buy plastic stuff!’ The idea of going into a department store and spending that kind of money on clothes is just not something I want to do.”

If you feel as if you’re family spending habits have gotten out of control and that you are in need of a lifestyle change, consider taking up the, “A Year Without Spending” challenge.


Read More about A Year Without Spending:


The 52 Week Challenge


You can earn $1,378 by saving an extra dollar every day of the year. It’s called the 52-week challenge, and it was started on Facebook by savvy saver Kassondra Perry-Moreland in 2013.

The process of saving in the 52-week challenge is simple. You put away a slowly increasing amount of money each week for one year. The first week, it’s $1. The next week it’s $2, the third week it’s $3—and the last week it’s $52.

Making the challenge feel more like a game than a savings plan is the secret to its success. Other people suggest that you start by saving $52 in your first week and decrease the amounts every week after that. Either system works.

You can start this challenge any week of the year. At the end you’ll have enough saved up for your emergency fund, your credit card debt, or for that new appliance your family really needs.


Week Deposit Amount Acct Balance Week Deposit Amount Acct Balance
1 $1.00 $1.00 27 $27.00 $378.00
2 $2.00 $3.00 28 $28.00 $406.00
3 $3.00 $6.00 29 $29.00 $435.00
4 $4.00 $10.00 29 $29.00 $465.00
5 $5.00 $15.00 31 $31.00 $496.00
6 $6.00 $15.00 32 $32.00 $528.00
7 $7.00 $28.00 33 $31.00 $496.00
7 $7.00 $28.00 33 $33.00 $561.00
8 $8.00 $36.00 34 $34.00 $595.00
9 $9.00 $45.00 35 $35.00 $630.00
10 $10.00 $55.00 36 $36.00 $666.00
11 $11.00 $66.00 37 $37.00 $703.00
12 $12.00 $78.00 38 $38.00 $741.00
13 $13.00 $91.00 39 $39.00 $780.00
14 $14.00 $105.00 40 $40.00 $820.00
15 $15.00 $120.00 41 $41.00 $861.00
16 $16.00 $136.00 42 $42.00 $903.00
17 $17.00 $153.00 43 $43.00 $946.00
18 $18.00 $171.00 44 $44.00 $990.00
19 $19.00 $190.00 45 $45.00 $1035.00
20 $20.00 $210.00 46 $46.00 $1081.00
21 $21.00 $231.00 47 $47.00 $1128.00
22 $22.00 $253.00 48 $48.00 $1176.00
23 $23.00 $276.00 49 $49.00 $1225.00
24 $24.00 $300.00 50 $50.00 $1275.00
25 $25.00 $325.00 51 $51.00 $1326.00
26 $26.00 $351.00 52 $52.00 $1378.00


Chart Created by The Stingy Saver

Read More about The 52 Week Challenge:

The Banned Spending Challenge

This is the least extreme of all three spending challenges. Similar to the no spend challenge, this challenge forces you to alter your habits in order to save money and improve your finances. The Banned Spending Challenge asks you to choose one thing that you feel you spend too much money on, such as take-out, morning coffee, or new shoes.

Challenge yourself to not spending any money on this weakness for a set period of time. Maybe go a month without stopping for coffee in the morning, or challenge yourself to not buy any clothes for six months.

Every time you are tempted to spend money on one of these purchases, place the cash you would be spending in a savings account instead. You’ll be amazing by how much those morning coffees and take-out lunches add up!  Think about it, not paying $2 on coffee for one month will earn you an extra $60! (Soon you’ll be able to afford the fancy coffee maker/espresso machine you’ve been eyeing).

Read More about The Banned Spending Challenge:

So, do you think that one of these savings challenges are right for you? Then come on in to Finger Lakes FCU to open a new savings account and begin to track your newfound savings!

Have you completed one of these challenges? Tell us your story either here, or on our Facebook page.