Save money with fun challenges

How to save $4,778 in a year with money challenges

5 simple money-saving habits that can help transform finances.

Marshall Hargrave
5 min readNov 24, 2023

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Like everyone, saving has consistently been a struggle for me. Finding what works best for you is key. I started with daily and weekly micro-habits to see which savings methods I could get to stick.

An illustration of a savings challenge.

Let’s look at five specific money challenges that I’ve found the most useful:

Challenge 1: The 52-week money challenge

This popular savings challenge involves steadily ramping up a weekly auto-transfer from $1 up to $52 over the course of the year.

Here’s how it works:

  • Week 1: Save $1
  • Week 2: Save $2
  • Week 3: Save $3

And so on until…

  • Week 51: Save $51
  • Week 52: Save $52

By the end of the year, you will have stashed away $1,378.

The 52-week challenge leverages the power of small consistent actions. Great wealth is built through regular deposits, not irregular windfalls.

The downside to this savings challenge is that it is tough to automate. This savings method is also back-end weighted. Meaning that if you start it at the beginning of the year, you’re trying to save most of the money for this challenge during holiday time.

Completing this challenge can show you the power of incremental savings, granted, I’d rather just be able to start with a set amount, such as $10 a week, and have it automatically increase by 1–2% or so per week.

Challenge 2: No-spend days

I had heard about no-spend challenges but found the idea of committing to a full no-spend month too overwhelming. So I modified it to fit my needs by designating no-spend days instead, typically 2 days per week.

On these days I would cut out discretionary purchases like:

  • Coffee shops
  • Dining out
  • Online shopping
  • Entertainment

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Marshall Hargrave

Serial entrepreneur. Finance, startups, investing. Catalyst-focused, event-driven. Hip-hop vigilante. On the quest for the best hot chicken.