4 Actually Solid Money-Saving Challenges

Plenty of money-saving challenges are trending online - some more realistic than others. Here are the top saving challenges that actually work.

May 9, 2023|by Spave

These days, users are turning to social media apps like TikTok for a lot more than just social interaction. TikTok campaigns like #LearnOnTikTok and #DidYouKnow have encouraged creators to upload more educational content than ever before.


So it’s no surprise that financial enthusiasts have gotten in on the trend by sharing tips and money-saving challenges in popular sub-communities like #FinTok and #StockTok. In fact, a recent study from Barrons revealed that more Gen Z Americans now turn to TikTok for financial advice than they do to professional financial advisors.

But it’s important to understand that while such trends have led to the rise of plenty of great money-saving challenges, they’ve also spawned some truly terrible financial advice. How are you supposed to weed out the good from the not-so-great?

We’ve got you covered with a collection of savings challenges that actually work. Let’s take a look at some of the best challenges currently trending and break down why and how they work.

The More Realistic Approach to the 100 Envelope Saving Challenge

In case you’re unfamiliar, TikTok’s popular 100 envelope savings challenge promises to help users set aside over $5,000 in just 100 days. The idea is to number 100 envelopes from 1 - 100, then start by putting $1 in the first envelope on day one, $2 in the second envelope on day two, and so on.

By the end of the challenge, you’ll end up with $5,050 - but does it work? Sure… if you happen to have $5,000 lying around to stuff into envelopes over the course of a little over three months!

Unfortunately, this is not a realistic goal for many of us who simply don’t have that much money to spare. Instead, check out this $13/day savings challenge from CNN that can help you save $5,000 in a year.

While it still may not be easy, it’s definitely a far more realistic way to go. Our advice?

Ditch the envelopes. By transferring your money to an investment account or high-interest savings account each day, it’s possible to earn even more from your money.

The 52-Week Savings Challenge

Hey, inflation is no joke and times are tough for most people out there. That’s why the 52-week savings challenge is a great way to start, especially if you’re just wading into the whole savings thing.

Another of the most popular money-saving challenges, this 52-week plan involves saving $1 on week one, $2 on week two, and continuing to up your savings each week for 52 weeks. If you stick to the plan, you’ll end up with $1,378 at the end of the year.

If you want to get a little more ambitious, you might also consider putting a spin on it by tucking aside $5 each day for a year, which can help you save $1,825. Even creating your own dollar-a-day 365-day challenge can help you save $365, which is definitely better than nothing!

The Penny-Saving Challenge

Think you don’t have enough spare money to start saving? What if you only had to start with a penny?

The penny-saving challenge is one of our personal favorites because it’s doable for pretty much everybody. It involves saving a single penny on day one, two pennies on day two, and so on for a full year.

Even on the last day of the challenge, the most you’ll ever have to come up with is $3.65. While it may not sound like much, if you stay on point, you’ll have $667.95 at the end of the year.

The Receipt Savings Challenge

You know how some retail receipts show you how much money you saved by using coupons or the store’s loyalty card? This challenge involves putting those savings to work.

Each time you receive such a receipt, the goal is to transfer the amount of money you saved to your savings account. This can be a nice way to go, since such savings are often a pleasant surprise and involve saving money you were prepared to spend anyway.

The only downside is that how much you’re able to save will obviously depend on how savvy you are about seeking out sales or how many loyalty cards you happen to own. But if you’re already a savings seeker, then this could be a great challenge for you.

You can choose to make your transfers on the spot each time you get a receipt or set aside a special folder to keep your receipts in until the end of each week. Just make sure to set aside a dedicated time to add up all your savings and make your transfers.

The Spare Change Challenge

The spare change money-saving challenge is exactly what it sounds like - every time you break a bill, you put aside the spare change in a savings jar. We hear you if you’re thinking something along the lines of, “But I don’t usually carry cash.”

The spare change challenge works the same way even when you use a debit card, the difference being that you transfer the spare change to your savings account instead of using a physical jar. But who has the time to make a bank transfer every time they make a purchase?

That’s where Spave can help. When you connect your bank accounts to the free Spave app, it will automatically deduct the spare change from each of your purchases and transfer it to your savings account each week.

Spave even gives you the option to round up your purchases toward charitable causes. The app also allows you to donate a certain percentage of your purchases to your favorite charities. If you’re feeling feisty, you can also make one-time savings contributions or schedule larger savings deductions in advance.

No matter what your budget or goals are, money-saving challenges can be a great way to hold yourself accountable for setting aside money for the future. Ready to get started today?

Download Spave for free from the Apple Store or Google Play to start watching your savings add up!

Get more from Spave

Subscribe to our newsletter

  • Start spaving today

  • Google_Play_Store
  • App Store
Spave_Final Logo_Icon_RGB-1

Get in touch