Plan To Save or Fail To Save
Saving money requires a lot of discipline. I find that if you don't plan on saving, you will fail to save. I'd like to consider myself a good saver and as time goes on, I become better at it than I was before. At the start of 2016, I tried something called the 52 week challenge where I saved the dollar amount associated with the week number of the year from 1 to 52. At the end of the year when the challenge was over, I ended up saving $1,378. Initially, I thought that it was going to be difficult because I have 2 other savings that I maintain, so this was additional. Because this was additional, I set the goal of using the money toward a student loan and I am happy to report that I've accomplished that goal.
Since the 52 week challenge was successful in 2016, for 2017 I wanted to try something different. I am making an attempt to save even more money. I am trying 3 different savings challenges. I know this is a bit ambitious but we'll never know what we are capable of doing if we don't make the effort to try.
The first challenge I am going to try is the Daily Money Challenge. In order to save $1,465 by the end of the year, you will have to repeat this savings pattern for the next 52 weeks:
Sunday $1, Monday $2, Tuesday $3, Wednesday $4, Thursday $5, Friday $6 & Saturday $7
To keep this automated, and keep me on track with it, I calculated that this is a $28 savings commitment each week which is totally doable. Since I get paid bi weekly, I've set automatic transfers to a savings account for this challenge only of $56 every 2 weeks.
The second challenge that I am trying is the $5 Challenge. My sister and friend told me about this challenge and I thought that it was interesting so I want to try it. How the challenge works is that every time that you come across a $5 bill you have to save it, very simple. I plan on doing this for the entire year so I made a savings jar just for this.
I've provided a tutorial on a cool savings jar that you can make if you are in the mood for some arts and crafts.
Step 2: Pour the entire 2 fl. oz. of the paint into the jar.
Step 3: Hold the jar side ways and rotate it in a circular motion until the majority of the jar is covered with paint.
Step 4: Place the jar upside down so that the remainder of the paint can flow down out of the jar. This also helps with ensuring maximum coverage of the jar. Check periodically to make sure that your paint is covering the jar nicely. Once the jar is completely covered, leave it to dry overnight.
Step 5: This step is optional. I wanted to add something to the outside of the jar so I created a label and printed it out to apply to the outside using double sided tape.
And there you have it, a savings jar for less than $5!
The third challenge is a simple "Just Because Fund". Whatever money I have leftover from the allowance that I give myself after each pay period, I will put in this fund. I am using a shadow box "bank" to hold the money for this challenge. It is really easy to make!
If arts and crafts isn't your thing, you can definitely try this bank project.
Step 1: Purchase a Shadow Box of your choice. I purchased a 8x8 frame from Michaels.
Step 2: Print out a photo or phrase that you would like to place in the box. Typically, people place a photo or phrase that the money that they are saving is intended for. For example, if you are planning for a specific trip, you would place an image of the place you want to go in the frame. I chose an image that I found on Tumblr and added "Just Because Fund 2017". This part is totally up to you.
Step 3: Place the image and backing back onto the frame to close the frame.
Step 4: This step is optional, I decided to opt out of this one. This one is for you to create a slot for you to easily add money into your new bank. This frame is too nice to manipulate (like most shadow boxes) so I will just add the money by opening the back each time.
I'm no finance expert however, I did want to share this with you all. I hope you learned something new or at least want to try one of the challenges during this new year. If you do decide to try one, let me know which one, I'm interested in knowing. Stay tuned each month for a new money related post.