Challenging Yourself to Save

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Saving money is an important skill to learn. This is a page about challenging yourself to save.


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Want to go on vacation? Want to have money to spend on Black Friday?

While watching the Disney Parade (Christmas 2013), mom and I saw the cruises they offer and I decided to do some research. I found a destination that mom and I would enjoy and was trying to figure a way for me (myself only) to save for this trip. Hard for me to save money with current bills. Mom and I plan to go on this trip in 2-3 years. I needed to save and save quickly.

Last Christmas, as part of my Christmas gift, my mom gave me the Money Challenge. The challenge is: Week 1 save $1 and put it away, Week 2 save $2 and put it away, etc through Week 52, save $52. I looked and thought about this and realized that the higher the weeks were, the more that would be coming out of my paycheck (like October, November and December) and I wouldnt be able to do it those months. I did the math and it comes to $115 a month, if you took the total of doing it weekly ($1,378). Therefore, about $28.75 a week. Much more manageable for me. But since I get paid once a month, I just save $115.


Then I took it 4 steps further to save money.

  1. I LOVE movies and love buying the $5 movies at Walmart. I can easily over spend. I LOVE LOVE Black Friday sales at Walmart because their movies range $1-$10 on the movies. So, I figure if I don't buy a movie that week, I will save money during the year. So, I figure I would put $20 aside a month as well for save up for Black Friday. That way I won't feel bad for spending too much that way. When November comes, I will have saved $200 for Black Friday ($20 Jan-October). Then NEXT year, I will have $240 since I will start saving again in November of this year. No guilt now if I buy a ton of movies or other items.

  2. Each year I get a little raise at work. I figure, if I could live on what I made the previous year, I can live on it again the next year (or make myself live on it). So, each month, I take the difference from January 2013 salary and January 2014 salary and I put that difference away. It might be a small amount, but it will help majorly to save money. Since I am single and live with my parents, I can do this since I dont have many major bills to pay.

  3. I save a certain amount of money for gas since I travel a ways away to work. If I spend less than that amount, I take that money out the next month so I dont spend it. Even if its $5-$10 I didn't use, that is $5-$10 more for my vacation fund or for a big purchase I plan to make in the future.

  4. At the end of each month, after bills are paid and BEFORE I deposit my check from work, if there's money left I didn't spend that month, I take that out of my checking and start each month at ZERO and then I put my salary in.

I plan to keep up these plans for many years to come and will make adjustments to point #2 as prices go up. But I plan to stick to living off 2013 salary for as long as I can.

Also, don't blow your tax refund if you don't have to. I personally use tax refunds for car insurance, license sticker, etc. I spend a certain amount on myself and I save the rest.

I now go through life with the "Do I need it?" attitude and it helps tremendously! I don't even stop and buy $5 movies anymore because I know Black Friday will have a better choice range!

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