SALARIES / MAY. 16, 2015
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5 Money Challenges You Should Try Today

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Is saving money an impossible feat to accomplish? You’re not the only one. Polls have suggested that at least one-third of people don’t set aside money on a regular basis, and with the national savings rate in the doldrums, it’s quite likely that people won’t be saving additional funds anytime soon.

If it’s been said once, then it’s been espoused a billion times: saving money is imperative; life and death even. No matter what age you are, you should be putting away money for a rainy day or worse: a day filled with snowstorms, volcanoes, earthquakes, and other natural disasters!

See Also: 5 Life Hacks That Save Money

You probably know someone who spends a lot of money on cigarettes, electronic gadgets and clothing, and then tells you they’re broke. This is because they don’t understand the process of saving or they don’t have the inclination of doing it. However, they’re going to suffer the consequences of action.

Are you someone who can’t save even a nickel? Here are five of the most popular money challenges you should try today.

1. Buy Nothing Day

You probably haven’t thought about it, but how often do you buy stuff throughout your week? If you’re a consumer who purchases an item every single day, then it’s time to cease immediately. One way to do this is to incorporate a "Buy Nothing Day" into your weekly routine. It works exactly like the name says: you buy absolutely nothing on one day during the week. "Buy Nothing Monday" is currently the most popular day, which is something you should try.

As time goes by, attempt to have a "Buy Nothing Saturday." If you overcome this, then you can overcome any other financial matter.

2. 30-Day Expense Tracker

Over the course of the next 30 days, maintain a journal or a spreadsheet that lists every single item or service you have acquired. Everything from a latte purchase to a pair of socks, your book should consist of the date, item purchased and the total cost (don’t round up or down). The idea behind this is that you’ll realize you spend too much money and sooner or later you’ll slow down.

3. 52-Week Jar Challenge

This is a hugely popular one because it doesn’t take much effort or willpower, at least not in the beginning. It works like this: you put $1 in week No. 1, $2 in week No. 2, $3 in week No. 3, and so on. And by the time you reach week No. 52, you will chip in $52. Although it is based on anecdotal evidence, a lot of people are having tremendous successes with this savings system due to its level of simplicity.

4. The [Insert Here] Jar

Do you have a terrible habit? Do you swear too much? Do you watch too much television? Well, each time you swear, turn on the television, eat red meat or say something mean, you put money into the jar. For instance, if you drop an F-bomb or if you click on the remote, then you toss a quarter into the jar. Once the year is finished, you may have a large chunk of change on your hands.

5. 90-Day Want vs. Need Competition

Sit down, grab a piece of paper and pen, and write down what you need in life to live. Remember: what you really need. This usually includes food, transportation, a roof over your head, et cetera. Then for the next 90 days, only acquire stuff you really, really need to survive. What this also means is that you can’t travel to the shopping mall and buy an expensive outfit or the latest iPhone but only items you can’t live without. Once the 90 days are up and you’ve achieved this, then you can buy something you want – maybe you’ll prefer to save the money and go for another 30 days!

See Also: 10 Ways to Travel the World on a Budget

We aren’t savers. It’s as simple as those three words. Whether it’s because of low incomes, deplorable financial habits or a rising cost of living, we don’t sock away enough money. Despite the astronomical number of web articles, newspaper reports, television segments and personal finance books, we aren’t getting the hint. Perhaps any of these five challenges will at least encourage you to save more. They won’t transform your life, but they’ll make a dent.

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