This is the time of year where I really start thinking about saving money and not losing my mind during the holidays. In the past I’ve done a No-Spend November, a Handmade Holiday Challenge and a $100 Holiday Challenge. This year I’ve been busier than ever and I really need an easy challenge to kick my butt into high gear. Enter the easy, no-budget 30 days of saving challenge to the rescue! Each day, I’ll tackle one thing off the list. If you want to play along too, know that you don’t have to do the list in order, but you do have to do #1 first. I’ve also included a printable at the end of this post to print out and stick to your fridge, so you can cross stuff out as you go. Here’s the deets:
- Write your down your goals and intentions for this challenge.
Your goals and intentions will set the tone of this challenge. Make your goals measurable!
- Prepare yourself for a raise.
Get your resume together, prepare a list of projects that you’ve worked on and research comparable salaries.
- Start a money journal.
Keep track of everything you buy by writing it down. No, online banking doesn’t count!
- Shift your thinking.
Start thinking of yourself as wealthy. It may not be wealthy in money, you might be wealthy in health, happiness and love. That’s wealth too!
- Tell someone your goals and intentions.
Even better, convince them to do the challenge with you.
- Call your bank, cable company, cell phone and ask for discount.
This article from Lifehacker gives great advice for reducing your bills.
- Ask for a lower interest rate on your credit cards.
Here’s some tips from Take Charge America on how to do it.
- Cancel subscriptions you don’t use.
Subscriptions are sneaky, so make sure to check your bank account and cancel anything you haven’t used lately.
- Find the lowest-cost place to purchase prescription drugs.
Make sure to check out not only your local pharmacist but also local supermarkets, area discount centers, and mail-order pharmacies.
- Return things you don’t use or if you can’t return it, give it away.
It’s shown that clutter can actually cost more money than it saves!
- Be honest with yourself.
What can you cut back on? Be honest! Manicures, lunches, wine? Cut back on it!
- Automate your savings.
Set up your bank account to pull out money automatically after you get paid. Treat your savings like a bill. It’s the easiest way to save.
- Sell something that is just lying around.
Look around. What can you sell? Books, clothes, cars?! There’s a market for almost anything. Sell it and you’ll not only have less clutter, you’ll have some pocket change too!
- Unsubscribe to catalogs.
Take away temptation from catalogs by opting out with Catalog Choice.
- Clean out your inbox to take away temptation.
Splashy, sales emails are tempting too. Cut them out with Unroll.Me.
- Unsubscribe to blogs, Pinterest, Facebook, etc.
Again, take away the temptation to buy!
- Remove all saved credit card info in your browsers and on shopping websites.
Make it harder to online shop and you’ll do less of it.
- Operate on cash only today.
- Do something out of your comfort zone.
Examples include bringing your lunch to work, shopping at a thrift store or budget grocery store.
- Try a free activity you’ve never done before.
Hiking at a local park, visit the library, check out a free museum. There’s more free activities out there than you think!
- Challenge yourself to spend less than $20 today.
- Challenge yourself to spend less than $10 today.
- Challenge yourself to spend less than $5 today.
- Don’t spend any money at all today.
- Try a free activity with a friend.
Recruit a money-conscious friend to try a new (free!) activity with you.
- Don’t spend money on food today.
No recipe ideas? With websites like MyFridgeFood you can enter fridge or cupboard items that you have on hand and it’ll find recipes for you using those items.
- Learn to cook something that you usually eat out at home.
- Explore free or money-making hobbies.
- Save the amount of money that you spent today.
- Ask for that raise you deserve.
You deserve a raise. I guarantee it.
If you are serious about saving money, you could also consider radically changing your life, like I did, by living in an Airstream.
Are you going to try the challenge? Did you try it and it was a success? Let me know in the comments!