A 30 day challenge can be a great way to save money and make progress toward your goals.
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I recently realized that my husband and I are both secretly competitive people. We are using that trait to our family’s advantage by creating 30 day challenges, to save money or pay off debt. We’ve got multiple visual trackers in the office of our home, tracking each and every debt we’re paying down, and there’s currently a 30 challenge tracker on our fridge to motivate us to not eat out. It was startling to realize how much we spent at restaurants when we began tracking our spending, so we’re working hard to reduce that.
There are so many ways you can challenge yourself to better your financial situation. It’s satisfying to cross off each day and motivating to see how long you can keep that streak going. My 30 Challenge Tracker is open-ended, so make it your own. You can:
- not eat out
- spending nothing beyond bills
- spending nothing beyond bills & groceries
- not buy clothes
- spend nothing on hobbies
- spend nothing on your “habit” – the area where you spend without thinking. Lattes, drive-thru meals, snacks from the cafeteria, sodas from the gas station on the way home. Break that habit now.
Tips for Success
What are you tracking?
At the beginning of your challenge, clearly define what you’re doing. If you’re not eating out, does that include drive-thru coffee huts? If you’re not spending anything except on bills, what is your plan if you run out of groceries? Do you have a budgeted amount for any slip-ups?
The nice thing about a 30 day challenge, rather than a month-long challenge, is that you can start when you’re motivated. Don’t wait for the first of the month or the beginning of the week; start now! Write the date at the beginning of each line so you can keep track of which days you’ve check off.
Have a visible reminder
Put your 30 Day Challenge Tracker in a highly trafficked, visible place – the fridge, master bathroom mirror, or the master bedroom closet. Look at it every day to keep yourself motivated. If your 30 day challenge is to not go through the drive-thru, put the tracker in your car or folded up in your wallet so you see it when you’re tempted.
Make the reward worth it
Decide on a reward that is motivating enough that you’ll stick to your challenge. We planned our most recent 30 day no restaurant challenge to end shortly before my birthday, so we could get take-out that night as the reward.
If you’re just trying to save money, a single nice dinner for the month is probably much cheaper than three lattes a week and take-out twice a week. When you’re trying to break a habit, choose a reward that helps meet that goal too.
Ensure your people are on board with the 30 day challenge
If you live with others who can make decisions (toddlers don’t really count), make sure they’re committed to the challenge too, IF you expect them to participate. You can set your challenge up to only affect you, but you need your family’s buy-in if it affects them also. Don’t bully your partner into giving up their daily latte if they’re not committed to the same goals.
Turn this challenge into a conversation starter. Show your partner that saving money can be fun if you approach it with the right mindset. Discuss your goals and dreams. What does saving this money help you do in the bigger picture?
Download your free 30 Day Challenge printables now