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7 Different Money Challenges to Start in 2021

By Rebecca Ki
January 4, 2021

After all 57 months of 2020, we can finally say Happy New Year! 2021 is giving us a brand new chance, and the best part of a new start is the New Year’s resolutions. 

But since 80 percent of New Year’s resolutions fail by February, we put together 7 of our favorite money challenges: To help you start — and actually achieve —  your financial dreams. 💰

7 Different Money Challenges to Start in 2021

1. 52-week challenge

Let’s start off with something simple, shall we? This challenge will help you save a lot with what seems like just a couple dollars! During the first week of the year, you’ll save $1. During the second week, you’ll save $2. In the third week, you’ll save $3. And so on, and so forth. Add a dollar each week of the year and, by the end, you’ll be stashing away $52 — for a total of $1,378. Easy money!

🔥Tip: Download a handy printable savings chart to stay right on track.

2. No Spend Challenge

It’s gettin’ chilly in here! A no spend challenge is also known as a spending freeze. The idea is to lower or pause all non-essential spending completely for a short period of time. That way, you can save that money for a specific goal, like making an extra student loan payment or amping up your vacay fund.

It doesn’t have to be dramatic. You can start with a no spend weekend or Sunday right away, then ramp up to a week. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can even try out a month! 

Reminder: A spending freeze doesn’t apply to your bills. Be sure to pay them on time during your challenge in order to avoid late fees and of course, keep the lights on.😉

3. $5 Challenge

There’s only one thing to know about this challenge: Never part with a $5 bill. In other words, whenever you get your hands on a $5 bill, tuck it away in a piggy bank or a savings jar. This exercise is the perfect example of small savings growing into big bucks!

Samantha Wageman, a stay-at-home mom, in Dallesport, Wa. completed this challenge several years ago. “I was going halfway across the country and wanted to have some extra spending money, so I started saving every $5 that I came across. I ended up having over $140 by the time I left for the trip.” 

4. Save the Change

My husband has been doing this for years and it works well for him since he prefers using cash for almost everything-including dry cleaning, gas, and food. Every day after work, he empties his pockets and adds all his loose change into a savings jar. The first time he counted it up, he had enough cash to buy a plane ticket to Jamaica! Talk about a major payoff.

🔥Tip: If you don’t carry cash on the reg, that’s okay! If you use a Chime Visa Debit Card to spend money, Chime will round up each purchase you make to the nearest dollar, and transfer the extra change right into your Savings Account. You’d be surprised how quickly the little things can add up! 

5. $1 a day challenge

It doesn’t get much simpler than this: Save $1 per day, every day of the year. Before the ball drops, you’ll have $365 in your savings account. Of course, you could always make this more challenging by stepping up your daily savings goal. For example, if you save $3 a day, you’ll have $1,095 by the end of the year. This challenge might remind you of the 52-week challenge, but you’re saving daily instead of weekly — which means more money in the bank at the end!

🔥Tip: Set a weekly calendar reminder to add money to your Savings Account so you don’t miss a beat. Or take it to the next level and set up automatic transfers, because the best money challenges are the ones you don’t even have to think about. 😉

6. Create your own challenge

The founder of the Instagram account Our Debt Free Story created her own challenge called #noeatingoutnovember. Granted, she did miss five days, but it was still a success because she was able to understand the reasons that caused her to spend money on dining out or ordering in. At the end of the day, this challenge helped her change her habits, and start spending less.

🔥Tip: If you have a specific spending habit you’d like to change, chances are others would benefit from it, too. Why not organize your own challenge, then share it with the world?

7. 30-day Meal Prep Challenge

Eating out costs $$$, and you know that $$$ looks way better in your Savings Account. For this challenge, grocery shop and plan out your meals in advance for an entire month. This has the extra perk of being healthier because you’re cooking for yourself, gets rid of wasted groceries, and adds a nice chunk to your savings. 

🔥Tip: Check out some easy, affordable ways to eat good, regardless of those kitchen skills.

Take Your Money Goals to the Next Level

No matter where you are in your financial journey, 2021 offers us all a chance to take our money goals to the next level. By doing one (or more) of the fun challenges above, you’ll get to save, spend, and learn more about your financial habits in the long run! We see it already — becoming a money master is in your future. 🔮

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