The 12 money challenges are planned to transform your financial life in 1 year. One challenge a month. Some challenges will be easy breezy, some will require more commitment, but all of them together will expand your knowledge and awareness about money in a way that will completely change your attitude towards money.
Challenges are great tools to try out new habits, test your skills, expand knowledge and get first-hand experience without making a big commitment or having to change a whole lot in your life. What makes them really motivational is the end date. Because you can see the finish line you have no problem sticking to it. Challenges are, well, challenging, but that’s what makes them fun and exciting. And a 30-day limit gives you a sense of control and safety. For some, there is nothing more terrifying than the words “for the rest of my life”. Many, many good habits were dropped just on account of those 6 words. Challenges take away that fear. After you finish the challenge you continue life as usual but you’ll always carry with you the knowledge and experience you gained through the challenge.
On the last day of each challenge take a few moments to reflect. Write down what you learned from this experience, which difficulties you faced and how you overcame them, and which parts of the challenge will you continue practicing in the future.
30-Day Budget Challenge
Budget is the backbone of personal finances. That’s why this is the ideal challenge for January. Budget Challenge will teach you how to plan (or tighten) a budget and it will challenge you to stick to your plan and find creative solutions to succeed.
How to do a Budget Challenge
First, create a budget plan for the month. To create a budget you can use whichever budgeting method you find acceptable for your lifestyle.
Or you can use the most common method. Write down all your housing costs and bills, then subtract that amount from your total income, and divide the remainder among other expenses. Create categories and set an amount for each category.
Now the challenge is to stay within the budget, meaning once you spend the set amount for the category you shouldn’t spend any more money on expenses from that category.
This will make all your purchases more mindful. Because you will have to plan and calculate your purchases so that you have enough for all the essentials.
What if you already keep a budget?
If you already do plan your budget, to make this a challenge, you can do a modification. You can choose a different budgeting method from the one you’re currently using. Or you can tighten your non-essential budget in favor of the savings. Money will be tight so you might have to find new solutions to stretch your budget until the end of the month, making it all really challenging.
30-Day Financial Education Challenge
One of the big gaps in the educational system is the lack of financial education. For 30 days you commit to educating yourself on the basics of personal finances. This challenge will help you to better understand how different aspects of finances work. That knowledge will empower you to make better financial decisions.
How to do a Financial Education Challenge
Every day you pick one financial topic and read about it until you understand it well.
When you pick a topic type in the search box “everything you need to know about …” or “how … works” or “… basics”, and go from there. Take a notebook or open a document where you’ll keep a record of everything you learned. Once you cover the basics of the topic try to go deeper and wider into the topic.
Basic financial concepts you should know:
- Budgeting methods
- Calculate percentage
- Credit card
- Emergency fund
- Interest rate
- Life insurance
- Retirement accounts
- Savings accounts
- Sinking fund
30-Day No-Spend Challenge
The no-spend challenge is one of the most popular money challenges. And with a good reason. It brings to your awareness how much money you really spend on “wants”. This challenge helps you see exactly how much you need for essentials and how much you have left-over after all those basic needs are met.
How to do a No-Spend Challenge
During the 30 days of a no-spend challenge, you’re allowed to spend only on bare essentials. In other words that would be all the needs you must meet to maintain life and work.
Needs you can spend money on during the no-spend challenge:
- Housing costs
- Bills (utilities, insurance, phone, internet, savings…)
- Groceries (but only basics, junk food, sodas, treats, snacks, chocolates, and similar items are not considered basics)
- Transport (public transport or gas)
During the no-spend challenge you shouldn’t spend money on:
- Take out or any other ready-made food services, including drinks and coffee
- Services (hair, nails, massage, taxi, cleaning…)
- Shopping of any kind that is not a need
Think hard before you decide something is a need. Basically, needs are the minimum of what you need to stay healthy, safe, and productive.
During the challenge keep a log of your wants and the price you would have to pay. In the end, you’ll review it and see which of all those wants you still want and which were just impulse wishes.
30-Day Money Books Challenge
April is the month when you’ll further expand your financial education. That’s why this month is dedicated to reading money books. Books that are written by people who dedicated their lives to acquiring wealth and succeeded.
How to do a Money Books Challenge
Challenge yourself to read at least 4 books, and more if possible, until the end of the month. While reading books, keep a reading journal where you’ll write down all important lessons you learned and pieces of information you found useful.
Find books you want to read depending on what you want to learn. That may be investing, budgeting, history of money, biographies of successful people, or maybe money psychology.
If you don’t know where to start, then we suggest starting with these 4 books. They are financial classics and full of valuable knowledge that will provide you with a quality foundation.
4 must-read money books:
The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason
“As a young man, I came across George Samuel Clason’s classic book The Richest Man in Babylon, which offered commonsense financial advice told through ancient parables. I recommend it to everyone.”
Money by Jacob Goldstein
“Jacob Goldstein makes the complexities of economics and monetary policy not just comprehensible, but also genuinely fascinating. Charting the history of money becomes a lens through which to understand human history, and how we arrived at now.”
The Simple Path to Wealth by J L Collins
“In the dark, bewildering, trap-infested jungle of misinformation and opaque riddles that is the world of investment, JL Collins is the fatherly wizard on the side of the path, offering a simple map, warm words of encouragement and the tools to forge your way through with confidence. You’ll never find a wiser advisor with a bigger heart.”
The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham
“By far the best book on investing ever written.”
30-Day $500 Savings Challenge
Saving challenges are excellent for curbing impulse spending. They motivate you to think about where you can cut your expenses to be able to save the set amount. It also teaches you discipline and shows you where, in your spending, you can make cuts so you can have more for what’s truly important to you.
How to do a $500 Savings Challenge
Every day put on a side in an envelope, a jar, or write in your budget planner a certain amount of money. Amounts range from $5 to $25. You can see the 30-day plan in the table below. Once you set the money aside, that day you should spend that much money less on other things. Maybe you’ll sacrifice your coffee and choose to make coffee at home. It’s important to not just save amount on a side bit actually make a cut in your daily spending to really feel you’re saving.
30-Day Investment Challenge
Keeping your savings in a bank account or worse, in an envelope or a jar is the worst thing you can do with your money. Because over time money loses it’s value. On the other hand, investing your money brings growth. But before you start investing you should know what you’re doing.
How to do an Investment Challenge
Investment challenge will introduce you to the world of investing through a safe and risk-free platform. Most online trading platforms offer you to practice on a trading simulator with fake money. For the next 30 days immerse yourself in the world of stocks and bonds. Get the feel of how the market works. This will give you the knowledge and first-hand experience with trading and investing. All of these platforms also have a lot of free learning materials you can go through to learn how and where to invest.
Best stock simulators you can use or free:
30-Day Wealth Affirmations Challenge
Having a positive attitude towards money is a big part of smart financial behavior. Being stuck in a poverty mindset will inadvertently sabotage all your attempts to achieve financial wealth. While maintaining positive thoughts will allow you to notice opportunities and make good financial decisions.
How to do a Wealth Affirmations Challenge
Every day, in the morning immediately after waking up, and in the evening before falling asleep, repeat affirmations with confidence and conviction. Those are the times when your brain is in its most relaxed state, more receptive to new ideas, and less likely to respond with negative thoughts. Start by choosing one or more affirmations to repeat every day for the next 30 days. Choose those that evoke positive feelings in you when you say them and then memorize them. You can make your own affirmations that are specific to you and your situation or you can choose one of these powerful affirmations. Read them out loud and see which ones resonate the most with you.
Powerful wealth affirmations:
- I am earning enough money to support an existence that fulfills me.
- I accept and receive money into my life.
- Money flows to me in expected and unexpected ways.
- Money is unlimited, and my prosperity is unlimited.
- Everything I need to build wealth is available to me right now.
- My income is always higher than my expenses.
- My actions create a life of prosperity.
- I constantly attract opportunities that create more money.
- I constantly discover new sources of income.
- My accounts are always full of money.
- My income has unlimited potential.
- I receive money from multiple sources.
- I always have enough money for everything I need.
- Money comes to me in fun, easy and surprising ways.
- I deserve to be wealthy.
- I am grateful for all the money I have.
30-Day Ways To Make Money Challenge
If past years thought us something it’s that life is unpredictable. Your life can take a U-turn at any moment and it’s wise to have some strategies and options worked out in advance. So the month of August will be dedicated to coming up with all the ways you could realistically make money.
How to do a Ways To Make Money Challenge
Every day come up with one idea to make money. Think about the skills you have and the skills you could learn. Try to think outside of conventional job roles, but don’t exclude them either. Come up with products you could create or services you could provide. Exercise that entrepreneurial muscle. Think with a mindset open to possibilities. Without restraints and without fear of failure. When an idea comes to you write it down. Then make a rough draft of the skills you would need and steps you would hypothetically take to bring that idea to life. The more you do this the better ideas you’ll come up with and the greater the chance you’ll hit a gold mine.
30-Day Extra $500 Challenge
This month is the time to test one of those ideas you came up with the previous month. It’s time to earn an extra $500 outside of your regular salary.
How to do an Extra $500 Challenge
Find a way to earn a total of $500 until the end of the month. There are so many ways you can earn extra income if only you decide to give it a shot. The knowledge that you created an opportunity to earn extra money will give you a nice confidence boost.
30-Day Change Challenge
The change challenge is a fun and effortless money challenge. This is something a lot of people actually do to force themselves to save some money on the side. It’s an easy way to boost your savings for couple hundreds.
How to do a Change Challenge
Every time you make a cash purchase, set aside the change you receive back. Keep it in a box or a jar or something. When you’re paying with cards, write down the change you “would receive” so that you can also add those amounts at the end of the month. You’ll likely not really miss these small amounts of change, but until the end of the month it will add up to a nice sum.
30-Day $1,000 Savings Challenge
Christmas is approaching so saving up $1,000 now will give you more breathing space next month. December is a difficult month, money-wise. So instead of recovering from the blow during January, you can prepare yourself during November.
How to do a $1,000 Savings Challenge
Rules are the same as for the $500 challenge in May. Only this time stakes are higher.
30-Day Financial Wellness Challenge
Finish the year strong with the financial wellness challenge that will round up all those valuable skills you learned during the year.
How to do a Financial Wellness Challenge
To get all the details for this challenge go over to the original post 30-Day Financial Wellness Challenge.
If you are stuck with all the challenges you are now equipped with the financial knowledge you need to grow your finances and achieve financial freedom to live the wonderful life you deserve.