Good news if you need to find FUN money challenge games to help save money in 2020–the only real limit is your imagination. How much you save is only one consideration for some money challenges in 2020, getting more value out of your money is also a concern.
Some people like to take the word “challenge” in the phrase quite literally, so if you are the competitive type, keep reading as there’s one just for you.
The 52-Week Money Challenge
The lending website Bankrate.com encourages its customers to consider an easy money challenge with a fixed financial outcome if you complete it successfully; the 52-Week Money Challenge will have you depositing one dollar the first week, and adding a dollar to the deposits every week for a full year or for 52 full weeks.
Starting with one dollar at Week One, and ending up with 52 dollars at Week 52, you will end up saving $1,378. Another way to do this challenge is to start at the beginning with the most expensive deposit ($52) and go backward from there.
This version of the 52-Week Money Challenge could be quite helpful for those who anticipate winter holiday shopping as a potential barrier to finishing the full 52 weeks.
Pick something you spend money on each week–gas, groceries, Starbucks Iced Green Lemonade or Peppermint Mocha, etc. Add up your weekly costs for this specific expenditure and set your first challenge to reduce the amount you spend next week by a modest amount. Start by trying to save five or ten dollars that week and see what happens.
In the following weeks, see how far you can reduce that weekly expense. In some cases, you could bring it to zero dollars if you are really into Walmart cakes, but for gasoline and groceries the role of this challenge is more about making you aware of your actual spending.
And remember that increasing the value of your money is NOT always about cutting out the fun things; you can always search for money-saving coupons or coupon codes to help cut the actual costs of your purchases. That is not cheating!
The Competitive Savings Challenge
Some people call this the Head-To-Head Savings Challenge, but whatever name it goes by in your neighborhood, this can be as simple as getting a group of friends together in a contest to see who could deposit the most money into savings each month. It can be as elaborate as creating a level playing field by comparing expenses to see who saved more each month “where it hurts”, as compared to those with more disposable income.
Some competitive savers like to add incentives; the winner that month could treat the “losers” to an inexpensive outing or the players can chip in for a prize at the end of the contest.
The Simple Challenge
One simple money challenge is to create a list of monthly expenses and try to modify or eliminate one of them each month. For example, is transportation a serious expense for you?
Can you find an alternative such as public transit, ride-sharing, or even bicycling (in some locations)? That is one of the simplest money challenges around. You might be surprised to learn how much you are paying for things like digital streaming subscriptions. Cutting out one of those a month could free up some much needed petty cash.
Even if you work from home and don’t need to face the morning rush hour each day, knowing you have money-saving transportation alternatives can be a big help.
Joe Wallace specializes in personal finance, military affairs, and consumer protection topics. Since 1995, his work has appeared on Air Force Television News, The Pentagon Channel, ABC and a variety of print and online publications. He is a 13-year Air Force veteran and collects unusual vinyl records, which gives him an excuse to write the vinyl blog Turntabling.net.