Have you ever tried to save more money but end up completely broke anyway? Even if you think you’ve done so so well. Maybe you even think your house is haunted by money-hungry gremlins or your piggy bank has a hole in the bottom?
The truth is, saving money can be really tough. Even if you follow clever budgeting tips and use every single discount code out there, unexpected expenses might empty your piggy bank faster than it can grow.
But believe it or not, you can save money even if you’re really the worst with money. Below, we’ll give you 9 great ideas on how to save money more efficiently.
1. 52-week challenge
This is the absolute most famous personal finance challenge out there.
The idea is simple: every week, you need to save a dollar more than the previous week. In the first week, you’ll save one dollar, next week two dollars, the third week three dollars, etc.
By the end of the 52nd week, you’ll have saved 1375 dollars!
It might not be the easiest challenge but it’s kind of fun to follow the weeks and see how you’ve saved over a thousand bucks by the end of the challenge!
2. Saving your change
Put your credit card away and start using cash. This challenge will change your piggy bank’s state!
Every time you use cash for buying, save the amount that’s between the bill and the next dollar. So, when you spent $5.20, put $0.80 to your piggy bank.
It’s a surprisingly easy way to save money!
If you don’t like to use cash, you can download the Acorns app that works on the exact same principle, but everything’s automated.
3. The 365-day challenge
This is similar to the 52-week one but instead of saving money every week, you have to do it every day.
Sounds frightening? Well, you don’t need to save one dollar at a time. Instead, you have to save a penny at a time.
The first day, you have to save a penny. The second day, two pennies. On the third day three pennies. By doing this every single day, you’ll have saved over 600 dollars by the end of the year!
Again, it might not be the biggest amount but it’s so ridiculously easy to save a few pennies every day.
4. Make purchases during “shopping holidays”
Sure, some purchases can’t be delayed. But some sure can. Don’t spend more than you need and if possible, wait until Black Friday or Cyber Monday. You can find insane deals for these shopping holidays with some discounts even going up to 80%.
Or if you feel you’d like to splurge a little on yourself, do it during Black Friday. This way, you won’t hit your piggy bank hard since you can grab one of those sweet discounts.
5. Save just one specific banknote
Choose whichever banknote you like the best, whether it’s a Jackson, Lincoln or a Washington. Every time you get one of those, put it in your piggy bank.
This is a great low-maintenance saving option for those who don’t want to follow certain timeframes or “saving schedules”. It’s a bit more liberal approach and leaves things up to fate, but it still adds up over time.
6. Food budget
Do you seem to eat away most of your money?
If so, then this approach might help. Set a specific daily food budget and never go over the limit. For example, you can set yourself a 5 dollar budget each day.
It might be hard at first but it challenges you to think outside the box and find more budget-friendly dinner ideas. And it’s definitely doable!
7. Spending-free week
Instead of saving money, you can avoid spending money.
This challenge is a simple one. You need to agree on a certain time frame where you won’t spend anything or won’t spend any money on going out (or making some unplanned expenses). So, for example, you can buy food and pay your bills but can’t go out or make any impulse-buys.
It’s a bit of a drastic measure but it can help you start controlling your financial habits a bit better.
8. Make a personal challenge
Do you have any unhealthy habits you’d like to quit? Like smoking or eating too much chocolate? And you discover time and time again how you’re spending way too much on that habit?
In that case, create a personal challenge. Quit that habit and save money each time you crave that habit. For example, if you quit smoking, save 5 bucks each time you’d like to grab a smoke. Instead of smoking, you’ll “take away” that money.
In a way, it’s like your personal “tax” for that habit.
9. Save every extra penny you earn
Have a weekend-job? Got a little bonus? Found money on the street? Make a promise to yourself: every time you get some extra money, save it.
This might not be the most efficient way to save money but it sure helps. After all, every penny counts!