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We all know we should save more money, but sometimes a night out or well-deserved vacation can tempt us into spending instead of saving.
Some saving challenges can turn what might seem like a chore into a game – one where you’re guaranteed success at the end.
You can save more than $1,000 in a year with these three fun and easy challenges.
There are several versions of the 52-week money saving challenge. One is that you start small and build the amount of money you save over time. So in week one, you would save $1, in week 2, you would save $2. By the end of the year, you’ll have racked up $1,378 in savings.
If you think it might be hard to save $202 in December, you can flip it around and start off by saving $52 in week one, and work your way down. If you have more variable income, increase your challenge goals. Starting with $2 and adding $2 every week will give you $2,756 in a year.
Between gas, groceries and other odds and ends, it’s easy to make 50 purchases a month.
If you sign up for Bell’s ChangeSaver program, you can save every time you spend. With ChangeSaver, Bell automatically rounds up your purchases and deposits the difference into your savings account. Round up to the next dollar or add a dollar or two. Plus Bell matches 5 percent of your roundups, up to $250 a year. At $2 roundups, if you make 50 purchases a month, that adds up to $100 in savings every month or $1,260 for the whole year.
If you often pay with cash, you can save a lot of money by putting away every $5 bill you receive. One blogger saved more than $3,000 in one year by saving her fives. Even saving four $5 bills a week would generate $1,040 in savings in a year.
It’s a good idea to keep three to six months’ salary or at least an emergency fund of $1,000 in an easily accessible savings account. When your regular savings account reaches $500 and you know you can maintain that balance, Lynn Johnson, Bell’s director of retail banking, recommends converting your savings account to a money market savings account, which rewards higher balances with higher interest rates.
If you have enough money readily available in your savings account and you want a safe investment, Lynn says to consider purchasing a certificate of deposit to get a better return on your money. Opening an individual retirement account (IRA) is another good option.
“If you participate in a retirement plan, you may want to consider contributing more to that,” she said. “We recommend that you visit with your financial advisor or accountant for guidance on which product is best for your situation.”