Motivating Money Challenges To Try This Year On 'How To Money'

By Diana Brown

February 22, 2022

Man hands putting gold wooden number 2022 on stack of coins. tax payment, investment and banking.2022 New year saving money and financial planning concept.
Photo: Getty Images

We all know that a challenge – like National Novel Writing Month or Dry January – can be incredibly motivating. When we take part in a group challenge like those, we have accountability, a solid deadline, and a clear goal to reach – all the elements you need to succeed. So on this episode of How To Money, Matt and Joel share some of their favorite money challenges – for spending, saving, investing, and earning – that can provide the motivation we need to reach our money goals more quickly and effectively. No matter where you are in your money journey, there’s a challenge you can set for yourself that will help you finally build up that emergency fund, max out your Roth IRA for the first time, kickstart your investments, and so much more. If you’re in a rut with your finances, one of these challenges might be exactly what you need to make transformative changes and set you on a path to financial freedom.

No-spend challenges are some of the most popular and easy to implement; much like not drinking for a month, give yourself a specific category (no new clothes, no eating at restaurants) as well as a specific deadline (a month is most common, since it usually takes 30 days to develop a new habit). If overspending on groceries or restaurants is your main problem, consider the Pantry Challenge: Commit to eating everything that’s left in the fridge and pantry before going back to the store. The average American would save $40 per person per week by eating at home, so the amount you’ll save may surprise you. But take note: If you don’t funnel those savings into its own specific category (emergency savings or a vacation fund), you could easily spend it elsewhere without realizing it. Make sure you’re tracking your progress and putting that money where it can do the most good in your life. 

Maybe spending isn’t your issue, but you’re not great at saving – think about the 52 Week Savings Challenge, where you put aside $1 the first week, $2 the second, and so on until the final week of the year when you set aside $52. You could put away over $1,300 that way, and the incremental aspect will make it much easier to keep up with. Maybe you’re great with savings, but you haven’t started investing – consider a challenge where you max out your Roth IRA by putting a chunk of change every month directly into that account. There are so many ways to make your money work for you, but first, we have to challenge ourselves. Listen to this episode of How To Money for all these great ideas – and don’t forget to visit their website for fun ways to keep track of your progress!

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