Find out how to stop spending and start saving $5000 with this 52-week money challenge!
I never liked throwing money away, but I must admit that saving is not easy!
And if you find yourself wondering where all your money goes at the end of every month, you might realize that you are spending on many items that are not really necessary.
You probably make so many purchases out of old habits, but everything adds up.
Have you ever thought about how much money you are spending?
Some of the items we buy seem to make our life more convenient, while others are sold to us through expert marketing tricks and cultural habits.
We all spend too much on a handful of things, but a few easy tweaks can add up to significant savings!
By cutting out some non-essential items, you can make sure to hit your financial goals.
52-Week Money Challenge: Here is how you can save $5000 or more in a year!
It’s time to finally take control of your finances and start saving money this year!
You can save for your dream holiday, for a big purchase, or to pay off your debt: there is nothing better than setting up a challenge and having a goal in mind!
Setting goals is crucial otherwise, you end up losing sight of what you are trying to achieve. Not having an end goal in mind will make you lose the motivation you need to save money very quickly.
I created a free printable to help you with saving: the 52-Week Money Challenge.
This 52-week challenge is a great way to save around $5,000 in the next 52 weeks. You don’t have to start the first week of the year! You can start today and keep going for 52 weeks.
At the end of it, you will have an extra $5,000 in your savings account!
And to help you with your saving challenge, I put together a list of things you can cut off to save money. I know this list will help you to reach your goal!
Some of the average savings are based on a single person. If you are a couple, you are in for a much bigger result!
We managed to save quite a lot of money in the last couple of years by cutting down on this list.
You can too!
By following this 52-week savings challenge, you will be able to save $5000.
It really doesn’t matter. The most important thing is to be committed to the challenge. You can start at the beginning of the year. Many people do the challenge as part of their new year’s resolution. But it’s a flexible challenge, and the most important thing is to start!
This challenge will help you to build new habits, and by the end of the challenge, you’ll be more confident about your money skills. You will be able to increase your money savings and use them to build your emergency
A great tip that’ll help you to keep your savings safe (from You!)
Some of you asked me where you should keep your savings!
If you want to make sure you are making the most of your cash, do not keep your savings in your everyday bank account.
Move your weekly savings balance to a different bank account using automatic transfers. For example, you can earn up to 20x the national average with CIT Bank Savings Account, and you will be less tempted to spend the money you set aside! And earning high interest on the money you save will help you to build up your savings even faster!
By doing this, I saved thousands of dollars last year!
Useful free apps that will help you in your 52-week money-saving challenge
Here is what you should do when you start this challenge, especially if you need all the help you can get to save money!
If you want to save $5000, you will have to be very smart about how you shop, and these two apps are life-saving!
Rakuten: Earn up to 10% cash back on online purchases for things you will buy anyway. And it’s completely free! You need to download the app, sign up, select the store you need to shop from, and earn money! You’ll get a free $10 bonus when you sign up, and you’ll be able to see how much cash back you can make on each different store when you select it.
Download Rakuten here and start earning money!
Ibotta: This app is a bit different! You need to take a picture of your grocery receipts with your phone and upload them to the app. You will receive between $0.25 to a few dollars per receipt as cash back for buying certain products. It’s so easy. I can’t believe they actually give you cash for that.
Download Ibotta here and get another free $10 sign up bonus!
And now that you are all set let’s dive into my methods to stop spending too much money!
Things to do to save over $5000 in a year
1. Stop buying water bottles
AVERAGE SAVINGS PER YEAR: $180 (per person)
Plastic water bottles are bad for your wallet and the environment, too: bottled water is about 2,000 more expensive than tap. It also takes three times as much water than that contained in the bottle to manufacture it, and less than 30% of plastic bottles are recycled every year.
Carry around a reusable water bottle, and you will save hundreds of dollars a year. And you will help the environment too. If you live in an area where water is full of chlorine, you can use a Brita Pitcher at home to reduce the chlorine taste and odor often found in tap water.
2. Quit DVDs, CDs, and magazines and get books for free
AVERAGE SAVINGS PER YEAR: $100
I am a big book lover. I try to read one book a week because I believe educating yourself is one of the biggest things you can do in life. But this doesn’t mean I need to spend a fortune on it!
With apps, phones, computers, and online subscriptions, there is no need to spend much on CDs, DVDs, and magazines. Amazon Prime offers on-demand, ad-free music streaming, and unlimited readings on selected books and magazines.
You can also use your phone apps (both on iPhone and Android) for the free latest news, delivered by the best newspapers.
And if you love reading paper books, go to your local library and read for free! Or get your books from charity shops: you’ll help the charity, the environment, and your wallet!
3. Get free coffee (instead of paying for it!)
AVERAGE SAVINGS PER YEAR: $1,000 (per person)
No one is going to get rich by not buying a latte. I think we can all agree on that. That’s not to say you shouldn’t be mindful of your spending and understand how much you spend on your coffee!
If you are the girl or the guy that gets a fancy cup of coffee at Starbucks every morning, it can get expensive. A $5 a day coffee can quickly add up to over $1,000!
If you still want to indulge in a Starbucks a few times a week, why don’t you get your coffee for free?
I get my free coffee by using an app called Swagbucks. With it, you earn gift cards by simply taking quick surveys, surfing the internet, watching videos, or cashback on your online shopping! You can get Starbucks gift cards and quickly earn your FREE coffee.
I was a bit skeptical about using this app, but I made over $200 this year alone since I signed up for free, and I love it! It’s now one of my favorite apps!
4. Stop cable TV and subscriptions
AVERAGE SAVINGS PER YEAR: $400
If you think about it, you are probably paying for cable TV channels you rarely watch. Cancel cable TV now! Why pay for something you don’t fully use?
Netflix, HBOGO, and Hulu have made cable TV a thing of the past. Switching to an online service could cut your monthly spending on cable by over $30!
If you don’t watch many movies and TV series, you can also consider using an on-demand service or opt for Amazon Prime. Amazon Prime offers Prime Video, with many popular movies and TV Shows included in the subscription. If you have never signed up for it, you can try Amazon Prime for 30 days free.
And if you need any help to keep your subscriptions under control, there is a free app that can help you with that!
- Lower your bill by up to 30% for your subscriptions with ANY provider (internet, phone bill, cable, etc.).
- Analyze your transactions to quickly and easily understand where your money goes.
- Recognize recurring charges to ensure you have no forgotten or unwanted subscriptions.
Trim is entirely free and secure. Your free account gives you a personal finance dashboard, personalized spend alerts, and reminders, detecting and fighting overdraft fees, finding and canceling old subscriptions, and more.
Download Trim today, and start saving!
5. Prep healthy work lunches and delicious snacks
AVERAGE SAVINGS PER YEAR: $1,000 (per person)
We all start the year with good intentions, going out with co-workers only on Fridays. But before we know it, we end up going out every day! With an average work lunch costing up to $ 10 a day in a big city, you can spend over $2,500 a year on work lunches alone!
I am not asking you to pack your lunch every day, but by bringing your lunch from home 3-4 times a week, you can easily save more than $1,000 a year!
And it’s much healthier too! If you are cooking your lunch, you can control what you are eating. By packing your food at home, you can make healthy choices, add more veggies and control your portions too.
If you are not great in the kitchen, you can start by trying my delicious no-bake peanut butter balls. They are ready in 10 minutes and are my go-to snack during the week!
6. Cut some restaurant meals
AVERAGE SAVINGS PER YEAR: $800 (per person)
On average, people spend over half of their monthly food budget on eating out. For example, if you go out for dinner twice a week and spend an average of $15 per meal each, you end up spending over $1,500 a year per person. Don’t stop going out, but by reducing the number of times you go out by half, you could save $800 a year.
And to help you to cook more at home, you should try meal planning. It’s been a revelation for me!
Planning meals in advance helps you to know ahead of time what you are going to cook the following week, allowing you to know exactly what you need before heading to the grocery store. This is a great way to eat healthy meals while saving money and reducing food waste.
If you have never tried meal planning, I recommend trying the $5 Meal Plan to get you started!
For just $5 per month, you will receive a delicious meal plan, where every meal will cost about $2 per person (or less)!
7. Make your own greeting cards
AVERAGE SAVINGS PER YEAR: $100
Greeting cards are a thoughtful touch, but making your own birthday, Christmas or Valentine’s cards is so unique (and you’ll save at least $5 on each card). Plus, regular old cards sometimes don’t say the right thing!
You can create something personal, cheeky, and fun by making your own!
8. Stop buying trendy clothes
AVERAGE SAVINGS PER YEAR: $500 (per person)
We all want to look trendy and wear what the cool kids wear. But this can trick us into spending a lot of money on clothes that won’t last or look right the following season. It’s much better to invest in a couple of timeless quality pieces every season that you can keep for a longer time.
Classic clothes don’t have to cost a fortune, and you can wait for seasonal sales to get them at a great price. It just means you won’t have to deal with a closet full of bell-bottom pants in a few years!
Another trick you can use is to limit your clothes’ color palette. By choosing only a few colors, you will avoid buying different sets of accessories and expand your options – as all the colors you wear work together.
And another great way to save money on clothes is to declutter your wardrobe and sell what you don’t need online. You’ll be amazed by how much money you can make with stuff you don’t even use anymore.
And once you make a bit of money, you can put it aside to reach your saving goal!
Find out how you can save more by making more with my guide to selling clothes online.
9. Cancel your gym membership
AVERAGE SAVINGS PER YEAR: $800 (per person)
If you use your gym membership, there is nothing wrong with that! But most of us buy a yearly membership and forget about it. If you divide the number of times you go to the gym and the money you pay, I bet you are in for a shocking surprise.
There are much cheaper ways to stay healthy: go to pay-as-you-go classes, go for a run in the park or consider taking your workout routine at home!
I love doing free yoga classes in my living room for free! And I’ve never been healthier!
10. Avoid brand-name drugs
AVERAGE SAVINGS PER YEAR: $150 (per person)
Generic drug brands contain precisely the same ingredients as brand-name drugs and are always much cheaper. Estimates say you can save at least two-thirds of your annual drug costs by switching to generic drugs.
Don’t buy familiar logos for marketing reasons.
Always check the labels and go generic!
Are you ready to save $5000 in a year?
By reducing your spending on these things, you can save an average of over $5,000 ($5,030 exactly!), and if you convince your partner to take part in the saving money challenge, too, you can save much more.
How much can you do with that? You could both go on the holiday of your dreams!
The most important thing is to understand that you don’t have to deprive yourself! You can cut your spending by doing many things that will add up over time.
Let me know how your challenge is going!
Good luck! You can do it!