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7 Daily Money Saving Challenges to Try

Your savings not growing fast enough? Check out one of these daily money saving challenges to stretch you beyond what you think you can do.

Looking to make small, daily progress on your savings goals?

woman in orange sweater with money and calculator, text overlay "7 daily money saving challenges to try"

These daily money saving challenges are super helpful to keep you making small actions every single day that will add up to big savings at the end of a few months or year.

So, what makes the right daily money saving challenge for you?

It’s one that you get excited about (your heart pumping slightly faster is a good sign!), and that will challenge you and your finances just enough (but not too much that quitting becomes the only option).

Also important? You want to choose one where the end date of it gets you closer to your savings goal by the deadline you want.

Daily Money Saving Challenges

Remember that for any of these daily saving challenges below, you can tweak them to meet your needs by:

  • Changing the amount of money you set aside each day
  • Changing the number of days you participate
  • Changing the format (envelopes, tracker, money jar, etc.)

1. The Penny Challenge

Got a penny?

Great – you can start this 365-day penny saving challenge.

Each day, you’ll add one more penny than the day before, meaning that on day #1 you’ll save just $0.01, but on day 365, you’ll save $3.65.

By the end of this daily challenge, you’ll have $667.95.

Here’s a free printable to help you keep track of everything.  

2. Daily Round-Up Savings Challenge

Do your own “keep the change” or round-up savings challenge by tallying all receipts from each day, and then rounding up the total to the nearest dollar. The rounded-up part is how much money you need to save.

For example, you have the following receipts on a Saturday:

  • Starbucks: $3.23
  • Walmart: $64.56
  • Target: $45.32

You would round each up to the nearest dollar ($4.00, $65.00, and $46.00), and then save the amount of change needed to get there ($0.77, $0.44, $0.68, or $1.89 in total).

Psst: don’t carry around cash or coins? That’s fine – just track daily how much to save, and then write yourself a check to deposit into your savings account OR automatically withdraw the total amount at the end of the week.

3. Daily Random Bubble Saving Challenge

lots of random, little bubbles of various sizes for $20, $1, $5, and $10

Each day, choose one bubble either randomly (you can close your eyes and point), OR, choose one that you want to go after.

Money amounts are either $1, $2, $5, $10, or $20.

Color in as you go!

Psst: you'll also want to check out my 11 fun money saving games for adults.

4. 100 Money Envelope Daily Challenge

Focus your efforts on saving money over the next 100 days by taking the 100-day money envelope challenge.

What is the 100-envelope challenge?

The 100-envelope challenge is a daily money saving challenge where you randomly pick one of 100 envelopes each day, and have to save the amount of money written on it (by putting it inside of the envelope). Envelopes are labeled from between $1 to $100. If you complete the challenge, then you’ll have $5,050 by the end of 100 days.

How much money do you save with the 100-envelope challenge?

By completing the challenge, you will have $5,050 set aside in your stash of envelopes.

To be honest, this is a difficult savings challenge to complete! Most of us aren’t going to have an extra $5,050 laying around in a little over three months.

Not only that, but using 100 envelopes can be a bit wasteful.  

Because of this, there are several variations that have been created.

Check these out:

  • You can do a digital version with this free tracker
  • Cut the amount of each envelope in half, labeling between $0.50 and $50 for $2,525 saved in 100 days
  • Take the 100-money envelope PENNY challenge, by starting off with $0.01 and adding a penny each day (so, a total of $1.00 at the end of 100 days) – you’ll save a total of $50.50 after 100 days

5. 60-Day Christmas Daily Saving Challenge

We all know Christmas comes right at the end of the year. Yet most of us fail to save up for this expensive time!

An easy way to do this is to do a 60-Day daily saving challenge with the end goal being Christmas expenses.

Each day, set aside $1 more than the day before (starting with $1). At the end of those 60 days, you’ll have $1,830 set aside for holiday spending.

Hint: is that too steep? No worries. If you set aside $0.50 more each day than the day before, starting at $0.50, then you’ll end with $915 60 days later.

These could include:

  • Airfare/gas/hotel/travel costs
  • Gifts for kids
  • Gifts for coworkers
  • Gifts for family members
  • Gifts for friends
  • Decorations
  • Events and occasions you want to attend (like an ice castle, or a performance)

As you’ll probably need the money to spend before Christmas actually happens (at least in our household, our holiday spending starts before December!), I would recommend that you start this daily saving challenge 60 days before December 1st, or October 2.

6. Day-of-Week Daily Saving Challenge

Choose a money amount for each day of the week, and then be sure to stick that amount of money aside on that day – in an envelope, money jar, your savings account, etc.

You could choose:

  • $1 for Mondays
  • $5 for Tuesdays
  • $3 for Wednesdays
  • Etc.

7. Month-of-the-Year Daily Saving Challenge

For each of the 12 months, choose a dollar amount. That is the dollar amount you will need to set into savings each day of the month.

You could do:

  • $1.00 January
  • $0.50 June
  • $2.00 September

Really, whatever you’d like to do. Assign it in the beginning of the year, and challenge yourself to get through the whole year with this daily savings challenge.

Think that you won't be able to finish these? Don't get discouraged. Daily money saving challenges are called that for a reason they're supposed to challenge you and your finances so that in the end, you do more than you would've done without attempting what you thought was impossible. In the words of a certain famous fish: just keep swimming.

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Amanda L. Grossman is a Certified Financial Education Instructor, Plutus Foundation Grant Recipient, and founder of Frugal Confessions. Over the last 10 years, her money work helping people with how to save money and how to manage money has been featured in Kiplinger, Washington Post, U.S. News & World Report, Business Insider, LifeHacker, Woman's World, Woman's Day, ABC 13 Houston, Keybank, and more. Read more here.