Sometimes you need cash in a hurry. Whether it’s jump starting your emergency fund, need extra cash to cover unexpected expenses or maybe a little christmas money– the 30 day money saving challenge is an effective way to make a little extra money in a short period of time.
What is the 30 Day Money saving Challenge?
The 30-day money saving challenge is a simple way to create a plan to save alot of money in a short amount of time. It’s called a challenge as you will need to stretch yourself and use creative ways to meet this savings goal, but if you need $500 in a hurry, this is for you.
This might mean curbing spending habits, utilizing a meal plan, skipping online shopping, or even starting a side hustle
One of the reasons this challenge is a great way one to start with is that you only have to commit to the challenge for a month. So if you are working with a tight budget, at the end of the day, you’ll know you only have to persist through the month.
How Can I save $500 in 30 days?
Whatever your reason for wanting to save $500, it will be made easier with a clear plan to follow.
This printable savings chart gives you a clear path towards saving $500. For the majority of the month you’ll be putting away less than $20 a day. Roughly a third of the month falls somewhere between $21-$32. While I love having a plan, you can build in some flexibility based on your budgeting needs if you want to switch your days around based on what’s happening with your money.
If $500 in 30 days seems like a stretch, let’s take a look at some ways you can find extra money or expenses you could cut to reach your goals.
Sell Your Stuff
Clothing, unused appliances, decor, old bicycles. There’s probably stuff sitting around that you never use.
I’ve made a few $100 dollars selling old toys, good condition clothing my kids have outgrown, a toaster oven I got as a gift and then never used.
Take stock of what you have to sell, I think you’d be surprised!
I’ve had great luck on Facebook marketplace as well as a few local mom groups on Facebook. My sister uses Craigslist pretty regularly as well.
If you are looking at selling clothes you can check out local consignment shops or one of my all time favorite websites: ThredUp.
ThredUp is an online consignment shop and accepts your good condition clothes.
They will send you what they call their “Clean Out bag”. It gets processed (they go through everything) and then they’ll send you an email with your earnings. The first 14 days, you can use your credit to purchase items from the thredUP.com. After 14 days, you can cash out using PayPal or a thredUP Visa Prepaid Card.
I’m kind of obsessed with this website. Bonus! If you sign up through my link above you get a $10 credit.
While you will never get rich using cash back apps, but if you are already spending the money, why not grab the reward?
A few of my favorites:
Rakuten (formerly Ebates). Want to earn cash back for shopping online buying things that you would have purchased anyway? Then this is for you. Rakuten is huge. You get a certain percentage (it’s different with each vendor) and once a month you’ll get the cash back on the purchases you made. You can use this for booking hotels, airfare, buying clothes, toiletries, groceries, etc. Who doesn’t love free money!!
You can join for free and with my referral link, you get (at the time of this writing) $40 after your first purchase of $40 or more!
Ibotta. With Ibotta you can get cash back from shopping online and in-stores. You can earn money by paying through the Ibotta app, by linking your loyalty cards, or by submitting receipts. It’s super simple and easy to use. If you decide to join and you sign up through my link, you will receive a $10 welcome bonus.
Dosh. Dosh is probably the most passive cash back of all these options. All you have to do is link your credit/debit card to your account and when you use that card at participating stores it automatically sends cash back to your account. Once your balance reaches a minimum of $25, you can cash out via Direct Deposit or PayPal. Super easy and super simple! If you sign up through my site you’ll get a $5 bonus to start straight away!
Make Money Using the Internet
Swagbucks pays you in gift cards to places like Amazon, Target, etc. for playing games, watching videos, taking surveys and shop and earn.
Inbox Dollars pay you cash for putzing around the internet, watching videos, and reading emails.
DIY for the Win
You will be surprised about just how much you are able to do for yourself. Between Google, Youtube and Pinterest you have a wealth of resources at your finger tips.
A few if my favorite places to save money with DIY:
- Personal care. Coloring your own hair, pedicures, etc.
- Household cleaners. Not only can you save yourself tons of money making your own products you typically are using far less harsh chemicals.
- Do simple repairs yourself.
Look for Free Options First
Whether this is shopping your own pantry, checking out your city’s website for things to do in town (think free festivals, exhibits, etc.), or just getting outside instead of spending money on movies, etc.
There are tons of free options if you are willing to do some research and get creative. The goal here is to find even more places you can save money to put towards your savings goal.
No Spend Challenge
A no spend challenge is similar to a money saving challenge, but instead of putting aside a set of money every month, you are challenging yourself not to spend any money for a pre-determined amount of time.
Some popular no spend challenges are weekend, a week long, or sometimes even for a month.
If you are looking for more information about how to start your own, you can read all about how to get started with a no spend challenge.
How can I save $500 in 3 months?
If you have more time to save $500 and want to spread out the savings over three months instead of 30 days, you have additional options.
Hands down this is the absolute best place to start. Getting your personal finances organized should be your first step. After organizing all your income and expenses, you may find that you have a little more room (or perhaps a little less) than you thought.
Who knows? You might even find places you can cut back to save even more money!
Find a Side Hustle
When you are trying to find money, you have two options: lower expenses or increase your income. Side hustles fall into the last category. There are endless options when it comes to finding a side hustle, some are definitely easier than others.
Some great ideas in terms of places to start are with any specific skills you have or things you enjoy doing.
For example if you love working with animals, Rover, is an option. If you are crafty you can look into selling on Etsy or at craft fairs. There’s a lot of money to be made if you are willing to put in the work. My sister made a full time income selling her vinyl stickers on the side, in addition to her regular full time job.
Cut Back on Food Spending
If there is one area I commonly see families talk about overspending– it’s spending money on food.
Whether it’s spending tons at the grocery store or eating out multiple times a week, this is an easy place to start for most families.
There are a couple of go-to ways I manage food spending.
- Inventory your pantry/freezer/fridge. Making meals around what you already have on hand can save you big money. I have a Google Sheets spreadsheet that I use to keep up with and maintain my inventory. I prefer using Google Sheets so that I can access it anywhere and it’s easy to edit.
- Keep a price book. Knowing where to shop and what stores have the lowest prices is probably the easiest first place to start. You can grab a small notebook to start tracking or create a Google Sheets spreadsheet.
- Meal planning for the win. Plan meals around food that’s on sale or already low cost. Even if you have specific dietary requirements there is still money to be saved with a little careful planning.
Other Money Saving Challenges
100 Envelope Challenge: The 100 Envelope Challenge is another fun way to make a lot of money fast. You label each envelope from 1-100 and then each day you draw an envelope and put the amount of cash that corresponds to the number on the outside of the envelope.
365 Quarter Challenge: There are many variations of this challenge. If you are on a super tight budget, you can deposit a quarter a day. If you’ve got a little bit more money to save you can put the number of quarters as days you are into the challenge.
Biweekly Money Saving Challenge: Create a schedule depositing money every other week.
How to Get Started with the 30 Day Savings Challenge?
Getting started with your money savings challenge isn’t complicated. Just follow these 3 simple steps.
Step 1: Define Your Savings Goal
An important first step is to define why you want to do the money saving challenge. First decide the specific amount of money you want to save. In this case the dollar amount would be $500.
If you are saving $500 with no real plan in mind, it’s easy to become distracted or side lined.
If there is no real purpose, there is no real desire, and no real push to keep going.
Also, be sure to be as detailed as possible. If you are saving $500 for a special occasion or family trip perhaps your savings plans would look something like this:
- $100 for travel expenses
- $250 for lodging
- $150 for food
Step 2: Organize your Savings Challenge with a Tracker
Grab your very own 30 day money saving challenge printable to keep you organized and help keep you on track with your savings plan with this pre-made option or create one of your own.
Step 3: Start saving money
Pick a start date and jump in and be as consistent as possible. Remember this is a “challenge” because it’s not going to be easy to achieve, but with the proper planning– you can absolutely do it.
How to Manage Saving Money for Your Money Savings Challenge?
You have a few different options when it comes to how you will fund and manage your financial goals.
OPTION 1: Automate Your Savings
My favorite option will always be having my money automatically transferred. When you set up automatic payments, you are taking the guesswork out of the why’s and how’s, making it infinitely easier for you to save.
You eliminate allowing excuses and logistics from reaching your goals.
OPTION 2: Money Savings Jar or piggy bank
If you’ve been on Pinterest for more than a minute there are tons of cute DIY money savings jar ideas.
I found a couple of super cute, very reasonable options, if you are a DIYer like myself.
OPTION 3: Daily Transfers to a High Yield Savings Account.
Are you going to make a killing on the interest? Nope, but a little extra never hurt anyone especially if you are putting this away for a longer stretch of time and don’t plan on turning around and using this money immediately.
If you are saving for something super short term, it wouldn’t make a ton of sense to worry about utilizing a high yield savings account as it won’t be in that account long enough to really matter.
OPTION 4: For all my cash budgeters– create a special envelope for this money saving challenge.
For all my cash budgeting Mamas, you can create a special envelope just for this money saving goal. Or if digital is more your jam, check out, Qube Money. Qube is a digital envelope money app that acts like paper cash envelopes but digitally and with a “qube debit card”. It’s not just a tracker. It’s a hybrid of bank & budget together.
Bringing It All Together
Whatever your goals for your personal finances may be, the most important step is to come up with a plan and then follow through.
I’d love to hear from you. Drop your best tips and tricks to rocking a 30 day money saving challenge below!