History of the Challenge
There was a woman who said she loved the concept of the 52-week money challenge, but she couldn’t do it. She explained that each week, when she needed to put aside the money for that week, she would panic.
The first couple of months were okay because the dollar amounts were low, but as they started to increase, the weekend became a time of terror because she knew she needed to put away money that she didn’t have. She ended up giving up because the challenge was causing more stress than it was worth. She asked me if there was a different challenge that might be able to help her.
It became clear what she needed. She liked the concept but dreaded when it was time to put money away because she didn’t have it when the week ended. What she needed was a challenge that forced her to save money before it was gone. She also needed to save smaller dollar amounts. Doing it this way would help so that she didn’t panic. The 365-day money challenge was born.
How the Money Challenge Works
The concept of the challenge is simple. There are 365 days in the year. Every day before you go out, you need to pay yourself first. This step is vitally important. The woman panicked because she didn’t have the money at the end of each week. What she needed to do was pay herself first.
After printing out the challenge sheet, you need to place it somewhere where you’ll see it each morning – someplace like on the mirror in your bathroom. It needs to be visible and in your face each morning, so you’ll be less likely to forget about it.
Each morning when you get up, you need to pay yourself some amount before you do anything else. The payment can be anywhere between a single penny to $3.65. Once you have made that payment to yourself, you “x” out the box on your chart. Your next payment the following morning can be any of the remaining amounts on the table. You continue to do this every morning for the entire year. When finished, you will have saved $667.95. Even better, you will have formed the essential financial habit of paying yourself first, which will be an asset for the rest of your life.
365 Day Money Challenge (click on image to print)
Get In The Habit of Paying Yourself
Studies have shown that it can take as little as three weeks or as long as 254 days to form a habit. Therefore, it’s important to make saving as easy as possible for as long as possible. Making payments to yourself or transferring the funds for a year satisfies all the requirements to make a habit. As your income grows, continuing this habit will help you build wealth. By the end of the year, saving money will be a natural part of your day.
Advantages of the Challenge
There are a few advantages to this savings challenge.
The first is that you’re starting with such small amounts that anyone, no matter what their current financial situation, can participate. If all you can do is pay the absolute minimum amount each day for the first month, you’re only out $4.65 for 30 days.
Additionally, $668 is an excellent start to an emergency fund. Even more important than that, you’ll put yourself in the position to save much more money in the following years. If you saved your money in a high-interest savings account, you would earn compound interest for an even higher balance.
If you want to more of a challenge, increase the daily values. If you want to try another substitute, here are some challenge articles that might be a better fit: