Five Money Challenge Ideas for 2024

Ever wondered how small changes in your spending habits could lead to significant financial gains? Inspired by the success of her own experience with a "no new clothes" challenge, Emma is sharing five new ideas challenge ideas to test yourself and improve your financial wellbeing in 2024.

Last year I took on the challenge of not buying a single item of clothing for a whole year — and it was one of the best things I’ve ever done. While there were instances when it was tough, for example, around my birthday or when I had an event to attend, I found the whole process really quite powerful. It taught me a lot about my spending habits and helped me save some money in the process. I’m now so much more mindful about my clothing spending and am able to buy better with the learnings I gained from the year of not buying.

If you love a challenge and fancy putting your financial habits through their paces, here are five money-saving challenge ideas to try in 2024.

1. 100 envelope cash stuffing challenge

Cash stuffing is a popular personal finance method that sees you switch tapping the plastic for budgeting with cold, hard cash. The 100 envelope challenge is a money-saving challenge using cash envelopes that can help you save $5,050 throughout the year.

Take 100 envelopes and number them 1 through 100. Then, throughout the year, fill each envelope with the number of dollars written on the back. In envelope one, save $1. In envelope 50, save $50. Once you fill every envelope, you’ll have $5,050. It’s a fun one to do with kids, and using cash can help you detach the challenge from the rest of your finances.

2. No-spend/low-spend challenge

A popular savings challenge is the no-spend challenge. This involves cutting your spending right back to the bare essentials for a defined period of time. Some people opt for a ‘low spend challenge’ that cuts out certain categories of spending but allows a bit more freedom in predefined areas.

Doing a no-spend challenge can help you be much more mindful with your spending decisions, and develop a lifestyle of living with less that could help you on your journey to financial independence. You can choose to do a no-spend challenge for one week each month, or for a month at a time whenever you need a reset.

3. 75 Richer 

A variation of the 75 Hard (a mental toughness challenge that requires you to do two workouts a day and drink 3 gallons of water every day, among other hellish rules), 75 Richer was created by finance creator Katie Gatti Tassin aka @moneywithkatie. For 75 days, you follow a set of personal finance rules with the aim of improving your finances and juicing up your savings.

The rules include:

  • Track your spending
  • Cook at home a minimum of six nights a week
  • Transfer 10% of your salary to your savings as soon as it hits your account
  • Listen to a finance podcast of your choice each week
  • Read one money book of your choice
  • No discretionary purchases over $25
  • Unfollow one account each week that influences you to buy things you don’t need
  • Make one extra debt payment each month
  • Transfer to an investment account each month

4. 75 Hard Style

Another variation on 75 Hard is the 75 Hard Style challenge coined by analyst and fashion writer, Mandy Lee. The idea of the challenge is to maximize your wardrobe by getting dressed with things you already own for 75 days in a row. You don’t buy any clothes for 75 days, with the aim of saving money and getting more in touch with your personal style.

5. Snowball Spending Challenge

This one is actually a spending challenge I invented myself *takes bow* that is a really fun way to start getting more engaged with your finances. Each month, you review your transactions and identify any spending that was optional. PocketSmith’s transaction reports are a great way to do this! Then, total up all those transactions that you had a choice over — that’s now your ‘opportunity number’. Your challenge is to use that opportunity number to move closer to your money goals in the next month. Repeat the same process each month and you’ll gradually refine your financial behavior in each individual monthly container.

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Emma Edwards is a finance copywriter and blogger, on a mission to humanize the financial services industry by creating meaningful content that’s accessible and empowering. You’ll find her penning money tips at her blog, The Broke Generation, sharing financial insights on Instagram, or injecting life into content for her business clients.

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