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Have you suddenly come to the realization that you have no money saved for a rainy day? It could come back to bite you if you have to use your credit card or take out an expensive loan to cover an emergency.
While many say you should have three to six months’ worth of expenses saved in your emergency fund, that may seem like too daunting of a task.
To get you on the slow and steady path towards saving, try these methods that are easy to do and don’t require a ton of money.
The No-Spend Challenge
You don’t need extra money to start saving with the no-spend challenge. You just need to – as its name suggests – stop spending for a while.
Will you still have to spend on necessities like your monthly bills? Of course, but you’ll freeze spending on things like eating out, buying new clothes, going to the movies, and other luxuries.
If you want to take this challenge to the extreme, try to avoid spending during the holidays. As difficult as it sounds, you can do it by exchanging time and companionship with your friends and family instead of gifts.
Do the No-Spend Challenge during the holidays, and you’ll give yourself the gift of no new debt once the new year begins.
The Pantry Challenge
Do you feel as if you spend too much of your monthly budget on groceries? Are you always throwing out food that has spoiled? If so, the Pantry Challenge could be just what the doctor ordered.
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Chances are, you have enough food in your pantry to last you for a while. The Pantry Challenge uses this to help you save on buying new groceries.
For one week, try to survive on whatever is in your pantry or fridge. This will help you save weekly grocery money, plus avoid waste.
The 52-Week Money Challenge
Could you sock away one dollar this week and put it towards your savings? How about two dollars next week? And three dollars the week after that?
You probably could achieve those less than lofty goals. And if you follow that pattern for 52 weeks, you can add $1,378 to your savings at the end of one year.
The 52-Week Money Challenge works because it doesn’t take copious cash to start. Since it has you save a bit more per week, it also gets you in the habit of saving so you can make it a regular occurrence well into the future.
The Five-Dollar Challenge
If the thought of having to save every week has you feeling squeamish, try the $5 Challenge instead.
It will have you saving on occasion, but the challenge can still leave you with a decent amount of dough once the year is finished.
To complete the $5 Challenge, save any five-dollar bill you get as change from a cashier. Even if you manage to keep just a couple of $5 bills per week, you can end up with $520 at the end of 52 weeks.