5-Step Easy Savings Challenge With Free Printables

Shireen Fitzgerald
by Shireen Fitzgerald

I love a money savings challenge. The best way to do a money savings challenge is to figure out where you’re starting from and where you want to go. I have a free saving challenge printable so you can follow along. You can sign up to my mailing list in order to get the printables.

To begin, ask yourself the following questions to see where you are right now.

What assets do you have?

1. What assets do you have?

When you list at your assets, look at the following:

  • Do you outright own your car?
  • What do you have as equity in your house if you have one?
  • What is in your bank account?
  • What’s in your retirement fund? 
What liabilities do you have?

2. What liabilities do you have?

List all of the things that have debt attached to them, such as:

  • Any personal loans from a bank
  • Personal debts to a friend, even if it’s $20
  • Loans against your house
  • Car repayments
  • Credit card debt

Don’t be scared of the total. Even though you might not want to know what it is because you’d rather just pay stuff and then do the calculation, it really helps to know specifically what you owe. Then you can measure how much you’re progressing every time you get paid and pay something down.

If you’re feeling a bit uncomfortable about what’s on paper, now at least you realize that you’re not where you want to be financially. It’s not about ignoring the problem and hoping it’ll go away. It’s about putting a plan in place so you can make a change for the better.

What are you trying to achieve?

3. Visualize: What are you trying to achieve?

Do you want to get rid of student debt? Buy a house one day? Do you want to go on holiday? Do you want to take six months off from work while still being able to pay your bills and expenses?

My printable will help you determine your goals. Without a goal, you don’t have any real momentum to do any of this. You don’t have something that you can think about in order to change any bad habits.

4. Other important questions to ask yourself

Ask yourself some other important questions, such as:

  • Why do you want to save this money?
  • What are you doing in your spare time that you want to do more of if you had enough money?
  • Are you doing things in your spare time that don’t amount to anything that could earn you more money and what could you do in your spare time to make more money?
  • What is the method you use to save money now–do you put something away from each paycheck or you put money away if there’s anything left over?
  • Do you spend any money you have left in your paycheck and what can you do with it instead?

The answers will help you see that you may not be happy with what you have at the moment and where there’s room for a few tweaks. You’ll get a better idea and a good vision of what you want your life to look like in the future.

Too many people get trapped in the thinking that they’ll never be able to achieve a goal. Just take small steps and tell yourself, “This is what a person who can buy a house does with their time and money.”

For example, a person who can buy a house always puts money aside, they don’t blow all their money, and they think about the best places to put their money so it’s not wasted.

How to declutter your expenses

5. Declutter your expenses

The next part in the printables focuses on decluttering your expenses so you can find more money to save. I provide a list with some ideas of where to look to cut, such as subscriptions, your energy provider, and eating out. Then I suggest that you look at your bank statement for questionable expenses.

You can also do a hard month of a no-buy challenge which will help save you money faster, as well.

All of this will help you get in the habit and feel what it’s like to save more money than spend more money.

What are some of the things I’ve done?

I’ll share with you what I have done in my life to reach my goals. For example:

  • I put savings away in a high interest savings account that’s at a little over 4 percent instead of having it sit in a bank account that gives me 0 percent. 
  • I maximize my retirement fund.
  • I look for tax advantages, especially in my retirement fund, so I am not going to be charged on the money when it’s withdrawn. But I will get taxed on the money I make from the high interest savings account. It’s great to get taxed because it means you’re making more money.
  • I look at how to save money on the water and electricity–basic things like turning off lights, washing clothes in cold water, and taking shorter showers. Do this for a month and measure bill to bill to see the savings. 
  • I will only buy food from the supermarket if I’m in a no-buy challenge month, and I won’t eat out at all.
  • I declutter and sell things on Facebook Marketplace. I’ve saved over $1,000 during a savings challenge by doing this. It’s freeing surrounded by less stuff. Think about what you don’t use and what might be worth some money. Putting away even the smallest amounts of money you make from selling items can make the biggest difference.
  • I also don’t drive my car all over the place or I try to productively combine trips and errands.

5-Step savings challenge

Doing a no-buy challenge or a $1000 savings challenge for a month can build strong habits. Some of us enjoy frugality, some of us do it out of necessity, and some of us do it for the challenge of saving for a goal.

I’d love to hear what your goal is in the comments. How do you think you’ll achieve your goal? 

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