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30-Day Savings Challenge: A Guide to Effective Money Saving

Jessica Martel • April 4, 2024

Calendar for 30 day savings

Do you find it hard to save money?

If so, you’re not alone. Saving money requires a commitment to make it a habit. Even then, you may get off track when an unexpected expense hits.

One way to make saving money easier is to try the 30-day savings challenge. Here’s how it works: When you have the urge to make an impulse purchase, wait for 30 days and give yourself time to think about it.

While considering the purchase, deposit the money you need for it into a savings account.

If you still want to buy that item after the 30-day period is up, go for it. Otherwise, the money stays in your savings account. This can increase your savings, improve your finances, and help you reach your short and long-term financial goals.

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What is the 30-day impulse spending rule?

We all get tempted by impulse purchases. Maybe you walk into a store and come across something you want to buy. Or, you may see an intriguing ad for a new product or service you want to try.

If you find yourself thinking about spending money based on your reaction rather than your budget, this can turn into an impulse purchase.

Impulse purchases can throw off your budget or cause you to build debt if you spend too much. Here’s where the 30-day impulse spending rule comes in handy.

Rather than telling yourself you can’t have something, you commit to thinking about it for 30 days. Take a piece of paper and write down:

  • The name of the item or service you want to purchase
  • Where you found it
  • How much it costs
  • The date you want to decide by (30 days from now)

Put this note on your fridge or somewhere you’ll see it often. Commit to thinking about the purchase for the next 30 days. At the same time, start putting money aside for the item in a savings account.

Consider if it’s a genuine need or a want. Think about why you want that pair of shoes or subscription box, and other ways you could spend the money if you don’t buy it. The goal is to become more aware and intentional about how you spend your money.

If you still want to make the purchase at the end of 30 days, do it. However, you’ll have saved money if you’ve forgotten about the item or realized it wasn’t that important.

How does the 30-day saving rule work?

As you consider your impulse purchase for the 30 days, start putting money into a savings account. If you decide to buy the item, you can withdraw money from your savings account, but this means the money is no longer available for another savings goal.

The 30-day savings rule helps motivate you to increase your savings. Why?

When you work hard to set aside some money, spending it on a purchase that isn’t an actual necessity or doesn’t align with your values can feel more difficult.

When you consider all your other savings and financial goals, the money you set aside over 30 days can provide a sense of security to cover future emergencies or help you pay for your summer vacation.

Ready to put your savings to work? Open a Chime high-yield savings account* to watch your money grow.

Using the 30-day rule: Effective tips

To make your 30-day savings experience as effective as possible, consider the following tips:

  • Make a wish list. Whenever you’re tempted to make an impulse purchase, write it on your wish list. You might find that after waiting 30 days, your desire for the item or service has gone away.
  • Boost your savings. To boost your savings, consider storing your money in a high-yield savings account where you can earn more interest than a regular savings account.
  • Rank your financial goals. Consider how the items on your wish list compare to your other financial goals. When you give yourself time to think about it, would you rather spend your money paying off credit card balances, building an emergency fund, or saving for a new car?
  • Use a budgeting app. A budget is simply a plan for your money. Creating a budget can provide insights into your current spending habits. If you want help creating a budget, there are several great budgeting apps to check out.
  • Treat yourself. The goal of the 30-day rule isn’t to stop you from buying something you want ever again. It’s to become more mindful of your spending. To help you stick to the 30-day rule and stay motivated, make sure you treat yourself every once in a while. That might mean occasionally buying a fancy coffee or going out for lunch with friends within your budget.

More 30-day savings challenges

Saving money isn’t easy for everyone. This is why it’s nice to have a framework like the 30-day challenge to help you get started. Thirty days is a helpful time frame to challenge yourself to save as much money as you can.

Here are a few 30-day money savings challenges you may want to consider in addition to the 30-day savings rule.

Save spare change

If you want to increase your savings, consider saving as often as you spend money. Every time you make a purchase, set aside a small amount of money to save.

Don’t use cash? No problem. With Chime, you have the option to Round Up your purchase to the nearest dollar and deposit it into your savings account.¹

For instance, if you buy a coffee for $6.75, your purchase is rounded up to $7, and the extra $0.25 is automatically deposited into your account. Saving your spare change can add up over time.

No dining out challenge

How much do you spend on dining out every day? Do you take your lunch to work, go to happy hour a few times per week, or dine out with family every Friday?

All these purchases add up, and you may be surprised to see how much you spend on restaurants in just 30 days. If you spend an average of $10 per day on work lunches and coffee in the morning, that’s easily $200 per month. This doesn’t include weekend meals, takeout runs, and dinners with friends or family.

Commit to eating at home for 30 days straight and see how much you can save. Find ways to save money on food like meal planning, getting creative with snacks, and prepping your meals weekly if you have time.

To make saving as easy as possible, figure out how much you think you’ll save and set up an automatic savings transfer for that money.

Save $500 in 30 days

Setting a goal to save $500 in 30 days can be the perfect jumpstart to create a cash cushion. Having some money in your savings can provide financial protection and enable you to do more with your money in the future.

One key to success is breaking down that $500 goal and setting a weekly or daily savings amount.

For instance, you can save just $17 or $18 per day or $125 per week to meet your $500 savings goal. By breaking it down, the number feels manageable.

Review your budget and see if there are any expenses you can temporarily cut back on to free up more savings. Can you pause any subscription services, save on streaming services, or shop with a list to try and reduce your grocery bill?

You can also consider looking for opportunities to earn more money. Consider taking on a short-term gig or side hustle. Some options to consider include dog walking, selling items from your home, driving for a ride-sharing company, or working a part-time job.

Can you commit to the 30-day challenge?

Committing to the 30-day money challenge will allow you to gain the discipline you need to save money consistently for months or even years. Are you ready to give the 30-day savings rule a try?

For more tips on how to save, check out our list of money saving hacks.

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¹ Round Ups automatically round up debit card purchases to the nearest dollar and transfer the round up from your Chime Checking Account to your savings account.

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