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Reusable Products That Save Time and Money

Reusable products that save time and money. That’s music to my ears. If COVID-19 taught me anything it was this: we ain’t ready. It is scary how a world wide pandemic can cause immediate loss of jobs, income and freedoms. I am using this time in quarantine to do some budget trimming. My goal is to spend the least amount of money on necessities. I have been looking for any way to trim my expenses and save a little bit more time and money. By doing so, I am ensuring that my family is financially prepared for any future emergencies.

One way I am able to trim my expenses is by looking at frequently used items in my home. I found a lot of disposable items that my family and I use. Surprisingly, quite a few of these could be substituted with money-saving alternatives. I am so excited to share these things with you. I hope that you might find a couple of these items helpful in your life.

Storage Bags

My family and I can easily go through a couple boxes of Ziploc bags every year. We use these disposable bags for things like packing snacks and for storing food in the freezer. I knew that finding a reusable product that could take place of my disposable bags was not only better for my wallet but also the environment. These storage bags have replaced my disposable Ziploc sandwich bags. I bought these off Amazon. They came in a 10 pack.

I love that they come in a variety of sizes. They are also pretty easy to clean. However, I would recommend hand-washing them only. If you must put them in the dishwasher, top rack only and do not use heated-dry. I have found that they can warp a bit otherwise.

Another bonus about using these bags is with freezer meals. I can store food in these reusable bags and toss them in the freezer. When it comes time for me to use the food, I can cook it right in the bag! Frozen green beans? No problem! I toss them in a pot of hot water and they cook perfectly. You can also put these in the microwave. They are BPA-free, leak-proof and freezer safe. What a great Eco-friendly reusable product!

Wool Dryer Balls

At first, I was a little skeptical about using wool dryer balls. The reviews online said they are a reusable product that can be a substitute for dryer sheets and could also reduce energy usage by cutting down drying time. But, do they really work? Could this really be one of the reusable products that delivers what it claims to do?

I figured it was worth the try. I bought 3 dryer balls from Grove when I placed my monthly shipment. I was really excited once they arrived. I popped them into the dryer with a load of laundry, cranked the dial to start and waited for the magic to happen. Only, it didn’t.

My load of laundry did not dry any faster than usual (at least not that I could notice) and my clothes had static cling. This was very irritating. Why were so many people raving about these when they clearly did not work? Well, my good friends, here’s why.

Dryer balls work best if you use at least 6 balls in a load of laundry. Naturally, I ended up buying a pack of six dryer balls. This will provide enough movement within the load to circulate the heat between the clothes. This is how it saves you money on energy. Also, static cling is significantly reduced because the dryer balls are bouncing around in there absorbing moisture from the clothes. I couldn’t believe the difference adding 3 more dryer balls made.

These 6 little fluffy puffs of magical wool cut my drying time down by 10 minutes per load. Since I am a nerd at heart, I calculated out how much money in energy this saves me every year if I were to dry one load of laundry a day. It comes out to roughly $17. Every little bit adds up.

Another perk of using dryer balls is being able to add essential oils to your laundry. I like using a couple drops of lavender oil on the dryer balls. It makes my laundry smell ah-mazing. You can use any scent you like. There are literally hundreds of essentials oils out there and are pretty affordable. I bought this variety pack off Amazon months ago and I’ve barely made a dent in my supply. This will probably last me all year.

Coffee Pods

Okay, this is my language. There are a handful of things I love in this world and my Keurig is definitely one of them. However, the one thing I don’t like is how expensive those delicious coffee pods are! The brand and flavor I use is almost $14 for a box of 24 pods. I knew this was an area of my life that desperately needed a reusable product substitution.

I found the perfect solution! They are reusable refillable coffee pods. You just buy your favorite ground coffee which costs a fraction of the box of pods. Then you fill up the little pod and pop it into your Keurig. When you’re done, you just rinse it out and it’s ready for the next brew. It’s an absolute genius product and I would like to personally shake the hand of the angel that created it.

Now, I buy a 12 ounce bag of my favorite ground coffee for $8 and use my reusable refillable coffee pod. This means instead of paying $14 for 24 cups of coffee, I am now paying $8 for 62 cups of coffee. That is an insane savings comparison.

What I Have Learned

Even the smallest changes can make a huge difference when it comes to saving money. Simple substitutions with reusable products like the ones I mentioned above have allowed more freedom with my finances. What are some ways you cut costs in your budget? I love hearing your great ideas and suggestions. Leave me a comment below.

You might be interested in learning how to start an easy to use budget. You can get everything you need right here along with free printable budget sheets too!

Maybe you’re wanting to pay off debt but don’t have the money to do it. I can show you how to do it here.

Some of you may be focusing more on saving money. Here are some tips on how you can become a savvy saver in just 5 simple steps.

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Pay Off Debt When You’re Flat Broke!

So, it happened. You lost your job, you have a medical emergency or a major unexpected expense, whatever it is, it has left you broke. When I say broke, I mean we are having Ramen for dinner kind of broke. I hate to admit it, but I’ve been this broke before. I remember having my last $3 in my pocket and having to figure out how I was going to feed my (at the time) family of three. It’s not a good feeling. I am sure others have had to endure tough times much worse than mine. I had to figure out a way to pay off debt even while I was flat broke!

Thinking back to that experience, I can recall never thinking about how to pay off debt. My mind was focused more on survival and how I was going to take care of my family. Plus, I grew up in a family where debt was sort of an expected component of adult hood. I grew up without a solid foundation in finances but I knew how to dodge a bill collector. That was one thing I picked up real quick as a kid.

It can be really discouraging to think about debt when you’re not even sure how to make it through from day to day. It is really easy to adopt the mindset of “my electricity bill is due now so that old hospital bill can wait.” I am here to tell you that you can do both. You can pay your electricity bill and that old hospital bill without working more hours or making more money. However, the only way it will work is if you are truly dedicated and focused to sticking to a plan. This post is going to be a bit lengthy but I will lay out exactly what you need to do to pay off debt even while being flat broke. Ready to get this thing started? Let’s get it.

Being Broke Stops Here!

You know what I am going to say. First things first, without a doubt you need to create a budget. Just this topic alone deserves its own post. Here’s some great information on how to start a super simple budget. It won’t take you hours to do and it doesn’t involve any fancy, hard-to-use spreadsheets or software. I know creating a budget may not be the most appealing task to complete to most people, but honestly the only way to know what you have to spend is to see where you are spending your hard-earned money. You can use this free, easy expense tracker to figure out your current monthly expenses.

When you’re setting up your budget, you want to list your necessary living expenses first. These are things like mortgage/rent, utilities, food, gas, insurance, etc. I call these my “Needs” items. Next, you want to list expenses that you don’t necessarily need but like to have. These are things like Netflix, gym membership, monthly subscription boxes, etc. I call these my “Wants” items. These are the items you will sort through first to determine whether you truly need to continue paying monthly for it or if you can let it go and use that money towards your debt instead.

An easy “Wants” item that I was able to remove from my budget was the $17.32 a month I paid for Netflix. I asked a friend of mine who also has Netflix if she would let me use her account if I paid half of the monthly fee. That would have allowed me to save $8.66 a month and throw that all at my debt. However, she is such a great friend that she said she would add me for free. So, now I have an extra $17.32 a month to pay towards my debt and I can still Netflix and chill.

You will see that just by eliminating unnecessary “Wants” you have the potential to reallocate a nice chunk of money to throw at your debt. I know it can be hard to go without some of the luxuries we like to have in our lives, but you can always find an alternative. For example, instead of paying $25 a month for a gym membership, check out your local YMCA or local college for the cost to use their gym facilities. Better yet, workout at home or follow an online workout video on YouTube. Think outside of the box and great things can happen!

Narrowing Down Your Debt

Now, let’s get back to our “Needs” items. Each item on this list is an essential item needed every day. Meaning, you are not able to live without it. This is where you will want to see if you can negotiate with your electricity company or your landlord for a better price. Doing this really freaked me out to begin with. I don’t know if it was my pride or if I felt ashamed for asking for a bill reduction. Then I realized, why the heck am I feeling like this? I work hard for my money and just because I have debt does not mean I am not entitled to live a comfortable, happy life. Plus, what’s the worst that could happen other than being told “no”? So I gave it a try.

First, I called my cell phone provider. I know some people may consider a cell phone a “Wants” item but I feel like it is a “Needs” item. I use it to keep in contact with family and friends. I use it to pay my bills online and I am able to use it to call for help during an emergency. Anyways, I called my cell phone provider and explained that I am going through a financial hardship right now and trying to pay my debt down. I asked if there was any way I could switch to a cheaper calling plan. The rep on the phone was so helpful. She told me that there is actually a courtesy option that the company can offer to customers that will provide them with a significant bill reduction for up to twelve months. The only catch is, the customer has to ask for it. Can you believe that? All I had to do was ask for it and my monthly bill of $108.63 was reduced to $64 a month. That saved me a little over $44 ($528 for the year) that I could use to pay off my debt.

Next, call your electricity company, water company, mortgage or landlord and see if there are any options they can offer you. When I initially started this, I wasn’t able to get my mortgage company to assist me in any way. However, my electricity company and my water company were able to help me with some discounts. All in all, I was able to cut down my monthly expenses by an additional $93 using this method alone.

So Now What?

So now what? Well, now that you have cut out an unnecessary “Wants” and have gone through your “Needs” items and received bill reductions or discounts from the various companies, you need to add up all the money you saved. Using my info, I was able to cut $107.32 from my “Wants” items which were $17.32 for Netflix, $25 for my gym membership and $65 for my massage membership. Then, I was able to save $93 a month from my “Needs” items by asking companies for a bill reduction. This gave me a total of $200.32 a month to pay off debt. That means I will be able to pay off an additional $2400 worth of debt in the next 12 months. #winning!

Now, you need to list out all of the debt you are wanting to pay. Since I am a visual person, I like to use my debt tracker sheet to keep everything organized. It allows me to have an over view look of every single debt I owe, the total amount I owe and any payments I have already made or are planning to make. Download a free copy to use here.

There are a couple different ways you can approach this. You can either throw all of the money you have to use toward your debt at your largest debt, pay off the debts with the highest interest rates first, or pay off the smaller debts first which will result in a lower total number of debts you owe. Whew! Does that make any sense? I hope so. Here is what I did. I had 6 debt items I needed to pay that varied from $49 to $1500. I prioritized them from smallest amount to largest amount. The three lowest debts I had were for $49, $102 and $107. I paid the $49 and the $102 amounts in full. This left me with $49.32 which I paid towards my $107 debt making my balance owed now $57.68.

The following month I repeated the process. I took the $200.32 I had for the month to pay towards debts and paid the remaining balance I owed of $57.68 which left me with $142.62. This knocked off one more debt item and left me with three remaining debts that I still needed to pay. The next smallest debt that I owed was for $212. I used the remaining $142.62 and paid it towards this $212 debt. This left me with a balance owed of $69.36 which would ultimately get paid off the following month. I continued to use this process for the next 15 months, which is how long it took me to pay off my debt.

Living Debt Free

I know debt can seem daunting and I know seeing a small amount like an extra $200 a month doesn’t seem like much. It can make you feel like it will take you forever to pay off a debt. Don’t stop now! You can do this! You have to stay positive and stay focused. Chipping away at your debt, little by little, takes patience and perseverance. However, if you’re willing to trust the process and don’t give up, you will make it to the finish line with less debt than when you started this journey.

Living a life debt free and on my own terms is something I am striving towards. Next up on my list, kicking my six-figure student loan debt out of my life forever. I am using my debt payoff methods as well as multiple passive streams of income to help me chip away at my student loan debt. Leave me a comment below if this is something you would like me to share on my blog. Thanks for stopping by!

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Virtual Birthday Parties While in Quarantine

Hosting a virtual birthday party while in quarantine is a real thing. In today’s day and age, social distancing is causing a lot of uncertainty in pretty much every aspect of our lives. Never in my life did I think I would ever blog about this topic, you know? However, it was recently my nephews birthday and it got me thinking about how we would be able to celebrate together…but apart. Consider this it’s your birthday, so naturally you planned on spending the day with friends and family celebrating the day you came into this world, right? Only now, you are suppose to stay in your home and avoid large gatherings of people. How do we get around this? Social distancing has caused a lot of us to rethink where we spend our time and who we spend our time with.

Although this is in the forefront of most peoples’ minds, it does not need to hinder our ability to still enjoy birthday parties and celebrating with friends and family. It will just take a bit of thinking outside the box (as if a virtual birthday party while in quarantine is not cool enough!) Surprisingly, there are actually numerous ways you can do this and still keep it fun and exciting for everyone.

The Quarantine Plan

Just as you would with an in-person birthday party, there are certain factors you need for virtual birthday parties while in quarantine. One of those factors is a a guest list. However, you need to consider each guests technological strengths and weaknesses. Your great-aunt Millie may have difficulty navigating the web to join your party without help. You could arrange to have a member currently in her home to help or maybe you could walk her through it over the phone. This is just something to keep in mind when making your guest list.

After you have your guest list, it’s time to send out the invites. This can be accomplished with a group email or group text. Another way you can do this is through the social gathering app you select to use. Most of these apps have a feature that will allow you to send invites to the people you want to allow access to your group. Now, it’s time to pick a platform for your party.

Pick a Birthday Platform

It’s important to pick a platform that is easy to use and readily accessible to all of your guests on your list (and not to mention free). There are numerous group-calling apps available. Simply doing a Google search will bring up a ton for you to explore. Here are a few that are pretty user friendly and, in most cases, are free to use.

  • Facebook Group Video Chat – start a Facebook group video chat and invite up to six guests. This is done through Messenger. Then you can “go live” with your guests and as long as you’ve accepted the setting to allow group members to “go live” as well, you can all see and talk to each other. Now this doesn’t mean you can only have six guests. You can invite up to 50 people who can join to listen, via voice or be on camera however you will only be able to see the first six guests.
  • Zoom – With Zoom you can host a virtual meeting. There are numerous price plans to choose from. However, there is a free plan. The free plan allows you to host up to 100 participants for up to 40 minutes at a time absolutely free.
  • Skype Group Video Calling – Skype video chat app allows for group calls up to 50 people for free on just about any mobile device, tablet or computer. Just download the app and get started for free.

Time to Leave the House – Virtual Trips

Now, it’s up to you how you want to spend your birthday. It’s your party after all. With video chat you can still enjoy the moment when your guests sing happy birthday to you and watch you blow out your candles. You can merely group video chat with your guests and celebrate that way, or you can all leave your houses virtually. There are a number of free and pretty cool places you can all travel to together. Here are some ideas:

It’s Your Birthday Party

Don’t let social distancing be a cause for lack of celebration on your big day. Using alternative methods and technology to bring people together can still create long, lasting memories and make you feel special on your birthday. Honestly, having a virtual birthday party while in quarantine will probably be one of the most unique events you remember most. Take advantage of the time you have and the technology available to have a fun and exciting birthday.

Interested in learning what essentials you need while quarantined? Better yet, want to learn DIY hacks you can use to drastically cut your cost for these essential items? Check out my list of quarantine essentials here and start saving some big bucks!

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Top 3 Apps to Save Money

How it Usually Starts

You’ve seen posts like this all over social media. “Use this app and save money!” Then, when you click on the link to download the app, you realize it will take months to save a mere 5 bucks. I want apps that will save me money immediately! I usually get discouraged and end up deleting the app all together. Honestly, does this sound like you too? Don’t leave me standing out here all alone.

Honestly…

I am not going to sugar coat anything in this post. I am not going to try and persuade you to sign up for apps. If you find value in this post and want to give the apps a try, feel free to click on the download links. Also, I am not going to share only the apps that I am affiliated with. I am only going to share with you the three top apps that I personally use routinely that help me save money. Plain and simple. Ready? Let’s go!

Gasoline

First, I use the GetUpside app every time I put gas in my car. Here’s how I use the app. When I open the app, it automatically brings up a map of the area I am currently in. There are 3 options you can select: gas, restaurants & groceries. I have yet to try this app for anything other than gas. Next, I select the gas station I will be filling up at and hit the “claim” button. This claims the cash back offer that I will receive for getting gas at that particular station.

Now, since I have my debit card linked to the app, I do not need to submit any physical receipts. The app simple matches my purchase with the card that was used and within 24 hours (it’s usually only a couple of hours) I will receive my cash back. Finally, I transfer my cash back into my account.

I can’t believe it took me so long to find this app. I honestly only get gas now if there is a cash back offer I can claim on the GetUpside app. If you would like to try it out, you can use invite code WC9CMW when you sign up and you will get an extra 15 cents per gallon cash back AND an extra 15 cents per gallon cash back on your first use! Cha-ching! You can click here to download the GetUpside app.

My Frequent Purchases

Now, let’s talk about how I save money on stuff I frequently purchase online. For online purchases, I like to use the Drop app. I have talked about the Drop app on my blog before. If you’re interested you can check it out here.

Whenever I order groceries from Walmart Pickup & Delivery, I use Drop. When I take an Uber anywhere, I use Drop. When I buy Starbucks gift cards, I use Drop. All I do is open up the Drop app and select what I am going to buy. For example, when I order an Uber I will first open up the Drop app. I find the Uber logo on the app and click on it. It will then open my Uber app for me. Then, I just order my Uber as I normally would. By the next day, I will have accrued points in the Drop app for my Uber ride.

Finally, I will cash my points in for gift cards. Last month I cashed my points in for gift cards to Starbucks, Harkins theaters, Groupon, Whole Foods and Sephora. I am literally obsessed with this app. If you would like to try it out, click here. You can also Use my code x4e2b to get $5 – no strings attached. It’s a pretty sweet deal.

For Everything Else

This app, by far, is my favorite. I know you’re not suppose to have favorites, but I can’t help it. Or is that with your kids? Anywho-the Dosh app is where it’s at! The Dosh app in a nutshell is an app that tracks your purchases made with your linked debit or credit cards, matches them with cash back offers on Dosh and then gives you money back. I don’t have to waste time searching through the app for offers or submitting receipts, I just go about my merry way and let the app do all the work for me. It doesn’t get any better than that! Oh wait! Yes, is does get better.

Dosh isn’t like most cash back apps. Dosh doesn’t make you wait 3 months to get your cash back. Dosh gives you your cash back fast! I am talking between a few hours and a couple of days. None of this first quarter, second quarter bologna. I like to think of this app as a “set-it-and-forget-it” kind of app. It’s honestly the easiest money you’ve ever made. If you want to check out Dosh, you can click here. You will get an instant free $5 if you sign up through that link.

Is That All?

No, these aren’t the only apps I use to save money. However, these are the top 3 apps that I use almost on a daily basis. Between these 3 apps, I can confidently say that I save between $100-$300 per month. Every bit counts, right? Let me know if you try out any of these apps and what you think of them.

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Stop Being a Broke College Student

If you’re a college student reading this, I don’t need to tell you that being a full-time college student is rough. I remember being in college full-time, working a part-time job all while raising a child and trying to find time for myself, let alone my family. I never had money for anything it seemed. Learn how to stop being a broke college student.

Just Ask

Now, with my children grown up and heading off to college I was inspired to research all the different resources that would be available to them. If there was a way that they could save money while in college, mama bear is going to find it.

I feel like most college students aren’t aware that there are numerous discounts, reward programs and resources available to them. Because of this, they aren’t able to take advantage of them.

First, the easiest way to get discounts on purchases or services is to simply ask “Do you offer discounts to college students?” Here are a list of places that offer discounts to college students. Generally, all you need to do is show your valid college ID to get the discount.

  • Chipotle – free drink with purchase
  • Burger King – 10% off
  • Dairy Queen – 10% off
  • Dunkin Donuts – 10% off
  • Chik-Fil-A – free drink with meal purchase
  • McDonald’s – 10% off
  • Subway – 10% off
  • Papa John’s – 10%-20% off
  • Pizza Hut – 10%-20% off
  • Domino’s – 10%-20% off
  • Arby’s – 10% off
  • Buffalo Wild Wings – 10% off
  • Firehouse Subs – 10% off
  • Qdoba – free drink with purchase OR $5 Burrito meal
  • Taco Bell – 10% off
  • Waffle House – 10% off
  • Buca Di Beppo – 10% off

So, next time you’re friends want to meet up for a bite to eat, suggest one of these places and save money on your bill while socializing with friends. Double win.

Cars, Clothes & Tickets, Oh My!

Discounts on restaurants are not the only category college students can save. College students can save in other categories such as automotive, entertainment and clothing. Here are a few places that offer discounts to college students showing a valid ID.

  • Car Dealerships – there are so many different offers out there. Just to name a few, Hyundai offers $400 off a purchase or lease OR $900 towards student loans! What a great incentive. BMW also offers $1000 off a new or certified-used purchase. Any college students out there wanna flex a Beamer?
  • Movie Theaters – most theaters offer matinee pricing to college students with a valid ID. This usually saves $3-$4 off per ticket…just enough to have money left over to buy concessions.
  • Clothing stores such as Charlotte Russe, Forever 21, PacSun, Steve Madden and Top Shop all offer discounts to college students who present a valid student ID.

Save Time AND Money

Another great area to save money as a college student is with subscription services. A major benefit of signing up for subscriptions with online services such as “>Amazon Prime Student and “>Audible is that not only will you save money but you will save time. Saving time is priceless especially when you’re trying to study for finals, make it to your part-time job on time and still find time to eat and sleep. The struggle is real out here people!

Aside from the fact that having you’re own “>Amazon Prime account is now considered a right of passage, there are some awesome perks when you sign up for a student account. First of all, you get to try Amazon Prime 100% completely free for 6 months! You read that right, 6 months, half a year for free. It will cost you absolutely nothing. This means you get to enjoy “>UNLIMITED free 2-day shipping with no minimum order plus exclusive deals and promotions only for you fabulous college students. The best part, after your 6-month trial you decide you want to pay for an membership, it will only cost you $6.49/month (or $59/year if you pay annually). This alone saves you almost half the cost of a traditional Amazon Prime account.

Books, Books, Books!

However, if you love to read then you may be interested in “>Audible. I know it can be hard to find time to sit down and read a book (other than a textbook) when you’re a student. This is where “>Audible can come in handy. As an Amazon Prime Student member, you get access to thousands of books, audio-books, magazine and comics for free just by being a member. Not every book you may be looking for will be available for free on“> Audible through your “>Amazon Prime Student account. Don’t let that hinder you. You can “>sign up for an Audible account and get 1 audio-book and 2 Audible Originals free every single month. This is a great way to build a digital library that you can access anywhere at any time. This saves money on the cost of buying physical books and saves time on having to go to the book store or library for books. Yet again, another double win!

One Last Parting Tip

Also, if you don’t have a side hustle going you could be missing out on some super easy income. Check out my post on Passive Streams of Income you can be using right now to put more money in your pocket! When I say passive, I mean passsssssive. The majority of these streams require little to no effort from you. Can you say show me the money??? Check it out here.

So, there you have it. Easy ways to save money as a college student. You work hard enough between studying and employment. You deserve to enjoy your life and your money as much as you can.

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10 Savings Challenges to Build Your Savings

So, you want to save some money do ya? Maybe you need to know how to start or maybe you’re already saving money but want to see a little boost in your balance. Well, you’ve come to the right place. Here are 10 savings challenges you can use to build your savings.

If you’re a Pinterest junkie like me, you have probably seen thousands of different saving challenges. Heck, I even wrote a blog post about how to save $10,000 in just one year. Interested? Check it out here. This is a great challenge, but I wanted to find ways to save more money. Also, I wanted it to be as simple and painless as possible. Now here we are! I have designed 10 super easy mini savings challenges.

These savings challenges are great for beginners who want to start their savings. They are also perfect for the experienced saver who wants to periodically increase their savings balance. Also, these savings challenges could even be used by kids and teens who want to get into the habit of saving money. There’s something here for everyone.

Are you ready for the meat and potatoes? Let’s go!

1. The Ten Cent Challenge

Do you have a bunch of loose change laying around? Maybe in your car? Your couch cushions? If you do, then this challenge is perfect for you.

Here’s what you will need:

  • 2 liter bottle (empty)
  • Dimes

Start by rinsing out a used 2-liter bottle. Make sure it is completely dry before using. Next, place all of your dimes into the bottle. Continue doing this every time a dime crosses your fingers.

Once the 2-liter bottle is full, you can cash it in at your bank or a coin-to-cash machine inside most local grocery stores. However, be careful. These coin-to-cash machine usually charge a steep percentage to use their machine. (some are upwards of 11%!) I prefer to take mine to my bank because they do not charge a fee.

If you’re 2-liter bottle is filled up to the brim, you should have close to $500 saved! Not too shabby, right?

2. The $5 Bill Challenge

For this challenge, you will need to do a couple things first:

  • Determine the amount of time you want the challenge to last

and…

  • Find a container or jar you want to fill up

Now, for the easy part. Every time you come across a $5 bill, place this in your savings container/jar/envelope/etc. For example, say your paying for a $3 smoothie with a $10 bill, you would get $7 back in change. In a perfect world, you would get one $5 bill and two $1 bills. You would take the $5 bill and place it in your savings container. Once this container is full or the amount of time you have designated for the challenge has ended, tally up your savings.

The last time I did the $5 bill challenge I managed to save $685! I used an old holiday cookie tin as my container and I saved for three months. I just started this challenge again at the beginning of January. Hopefully, I will be able to save even more this time around.

3. $20 Weekly Challenge

This one is pretty simple. Every week you put aside $20. This process continues for 52 weeks. After 52 weeks have passed, you will have saved $1,040! I use this challenge every year. I designed this cash envelope to use specifically for this challenge. Every week I place $20 into this envelope, I cross off the corresponding week printed on the envelope. Having a visual can be a real motivator. If you would like a free printable envelope to use for this challenge, you can get one here.

If you would like to use this

4. A Dollar A Day

Yep, you guessed it! This challenge is pretty simple. All you do is save $1 a day, every day. Don’t worry if on some days you don’t have a paper dollar to save. You can even use coins.

After thirty days, you should have $30. After sixty days, you should have $60 and so on and so forth. If you continue this for an entire year, you will have saved $365…$366 if it’s Leap year.

5. $2 Tuesday

That’s right folks! Tuesday’s are not just for tacos anymore! Every Tuesday, I save $2. I know, I know, it’s not much but it definitely adds up. Just by saving $2 every Tuesday for an entire year will save me almost $100! I even found a super cute taco themed piggy bank on Amazon that I use for this challenge. Get yours here.

6. Paycheck Pinching

Pinching your paycheck is really not a new concept. In fact, it is probably one of the oldest savings techniques in existence. Here’s how it’s done.

When you receive a paycheck, you save a percentage of it right off the top. This is done before you pay any bills. I like to think of it as “paying myself” for working so hard.

How much of your paycheck do you save? I would recommend between 10-15% if possible. For example, if your paycheck is $1000 then you would take $100 from that for your savings challenge. If you are paid bi-weekly and use this savings technique for an entire year, you will save about $2600. That’s a nice little chunk of change for your savings account.

7. The Loose Change Challenge

Ok, so maybe this is the oldest savings technique in existence. There are many of us that have a jar or tray where we toss all of our loose change in. Amiright?

When I was a kid, my dad would empty out his pockets whenever he got home from work. He had an old metal bucket on his nightstand that he would throw all of his loose change into. After a few weeks, his bucket would be completely full. He would bring home coin wrappers from the bank and my brothers and I would help roll his coins up. He always took us out for ice cream afterwards. Hard work pays off!

I have implemented something similar. I just use a regular old piggy bank. Any time I have loose change in my pockets or in the bottom of my purse, I fish them out and toss them in Peggy the Pig. (except for the dimes! I put those in my 2-liter bottle!)

I have filled Peggy up multiple times. Each time I was able to save between $40-$65 just by saving my loose change. Give it a try and see how much you are able to save.

8. Three Dollar Hump Days

There are two types of camels. Camels that have one hump are called dromedary camels. Camels with two humps are called Bactrian camels. Pretty interesting, right? I know.

Well, the only thing this challenge has in common with camels is that it occurs on Wednesday’s which is also known as “Hump” day. Here’s how it works.

On Wednesday’s, you save $3 dollars. You can use a cash envelope, a jar, a shoe box or basically anything else you would like to use.

Ready to try this challenge? If you save $3 on every Wednesday for a year, you will have saved over $600!

9. A Quarter A Day Challenge

This challenge works great with an empty jar…actually any jar or bottle would work. Every day, you simply drop a quarter into your savings jar. If you do this for an entire year without missing a day, you will save approximately $90 in cold hard cash.

This challenge always amazes me. Saving as little as twenty-five cents every day can add up to a pretty penny. 90,000 pretty pennies to be exact.

10. Weekend Clean-Up Challenge

This challenge gives you a bit more freedom. This challenge isn’t the best one to use if you have a specific dollar amount you are wanting to save. However, if you just want a casual savings challenge that has the potential of creating an extra $48-$1200 every year, then this one is for you.

On the weekend, open your wallet. Pull out all of the paper bills you have in your wallet. If you have more than one bill in your wallet, pick one of the bills you want to save. Let me give you an example. So it’s Saturday and I open up my wallet. I have three $1 bills, two $20 bills and three $10 bills which total $73. I select one of the $10 bills and put this into my Weekend Clean-Up savings challenge. Rinse and repeat…every weekend.

Depending on the denomination of the bill you select for your savings challenge, the savings pot will begin to grow. Even if every weekend you always select a $1 bill to save, you will still end up with $48 in savings.

Whoop! There it is!

There’s all of the 10 savings challenges that I like to use to help build my savings. You don’t have to use all of these, you don’t even have to use any of these. My goal is to show you that there are many ways to save and that saving can be fun. Do you have a savings technique that works best for you? What savings challenges are you currently using? I would love to hear about it! Leave it down in the comments!

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Save $10,000 in 52 Weeks!

Savings! It seems like it’s all the rage now, right? Right, that’s because saving is important. Being financially prepared for the expected as well as the unexpected can really be a stress reliever. Think back to when you had a large unexpected expense. Maybe it was a major car repair or the loss of a job. This can be a huge financial burden for someone who is unprepared and has little to no savings. Whatever life may throw at you, having a little savings cushion is always helpful. Here is how you can save $10,000 in 52 weeks!

How Much Should I Save?

This isn’t one of those one-size-fits-all type of questions. The amount of money you should save depends on your goals. However, financial experts recommend saving at least three to six months worth of income. Although, $10,000 may or may not be three to six months worth of your particular income, I find it is a decent size wad of cash to stash away for a rainy day. Here’s how to do it and save $10,000 in 52 weeks.

How Does This Work?

It’s quite simple. For each week listed, you need to save the corresponding dollar amount shown. For example, the first week (Week 1) you would save $50. The following week (Week 2) you would save $150 which would bring your total amount saved to $200. Finally, continue moving forward with each week that passes. I find that it is helpful for me to print out the chart and either highlight or cross-out each week as I save. It not only gives me something physical to refer to but also serves as a visual. This technique makes it fun for me to save and keeps me motivated.

Hard Work Pays Off

Ultimately, as long as you stick to this schedule, you will have saved $10,000 in 52 weeks. This chart can help you save for multiple goals. This would be helpful if you are buying a new car or maybe planning on purchasing a home and need to save for a down payment. Using the chart above as a guideline will easily help you get on the right track towards ten G’s. Want to try more savings challenges? Here are a ton more you can incorporate into your life to save even more money!

Happy saving!