Want to build your own money challenge? If you enjoy internet memes, being frugal, and participating in online challenges this might be a fun way to encourage yourself and others to save more. Lots of people enjoy them, and while not as many are into money challenges there is a unique opportunity to save and potentially go viral by creating your own version of popular online money challenges or modifying existing challenges (usually not tied to being frugal) to add a money-saving element to them.
How do you create your own challenge and post it online to encourage others to join you in saving money during the “new normal”? Believe it or not, it’s easier than you think. The real question isn’t CAN you create a new money challenge, but SHOULD you? And if you do it right, the answer is usually yes, you should.
Elements Of A Good Money Challenge
To create a good money challenge, you have to strike a balance between fun and being frugal. The best money challenges urge you to start small and work your way up and this is an excellent formula to follow. Don’t make the challenge too difficult at any stage, but especially in the opening days or weeks of the game.
The key is to make the challenge fun without letting it become too easy or difficult to complete. There should also be some kind of specified payoff at the end of the challenge–this can be as simple as “When you complete the challenge you will have saved $500” or more complicated end-games including parties or some other type of recognition for those who participated.
Structuring Your Challenge
Some money challenges are tied to a specific activity or habit. For example, if you start a money challenge where the rules dictate you save the same amount of money you spend each day on Starbucks desserts, you might tier the challenge to start small with the savings–for every coffee, tea, or pastry you buy in the early days of the challenge, you have to put one dollar into your savings to offset.
Such a challenge could increase by a set amount each week until you have reached the point where you must match the exact amount you spend at the coffee shop with a deposit into your savings. Making such tiers creates anticipation and helps you maintain interest in the game.
You should also create a specified beginning and end date for the challenge. If you enjoy your money challenge you can always reset at the end of the first one and start anew with the same rules–small savings at first followed by larger deposits based on your spending habits at the coffee bar.
That’s just one example–you can create your money challenge based around any activity at all, and you can even do a reverse money challenge where you must save MORE money until you have reduced a habit you’re trying to get rid of–putting less money into savings every day you DO choose to work out versus adding more on days you don’t.
When you have created and tested your money challenge you can post it online using social media to encourage other people to join you. Don’t forget to create a unique hashtag and make it shareable for best results.
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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.