I have always been bad at saving money…until I learned there are more than one right way to save! Do you have a hard time saving money? Does it seem like every time you start saving money, an unexpected expense appears? #icantotallyrelate The trick is to start off super small and super simple. Here’s any easy savings method that I consistently use to save up to $500! Let me introduce to you, the Dime challenge!
First off, I didn’t come up with this method. I saw this on Instagram and decided to give it a try. The first time I attempted this savings challenge, I was able to save $502 within 7 months. Here’s what you will need:
2 liter bottle (empty)
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. 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 are some other unique ways to save money and boost your bank account.
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 machines 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.
Thus far, I have used my trusty 2 liter bottle four times to help boost my bank account. That’s over $2,000 in dimes alone. Since then, I have upgraded to a 6 liter volumetric flask. It looks pretty cool. Check it out here on my Instagram page. While you’re there, give me a follow!
If you decide to try out this dime challenge, post a pic of your savings bottle and tag me @justmelissajane on Instagram so I can like your post and leave you some words of encouragement. Happy saving!
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.
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.
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)
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
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!
Welcome! I’m so happy you’re here!
Here on JMJ, I am passionate about providing you with useful information on all things related to fun, fitness and finance.