Many of us are stuck at homes, away from families. Some of us have lost loved ones, some of us are struggling to get better.
But all of us are learning that health is our biggest asset. No amount of income or financial success helps when our health takes a hit. Let us make a plague to be conscious of our time, energy, health, and finances.
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Why do you need a saving challenge?
When the challenging times come, having a basic emergency fund always helps. This year, we do not know where we will be by the time Christmas rolls around. But we all need to bring back the cheer in whatever we can.
We are 12 weeks away from Thanksgiving on 26th November 2020. This year we all need to take an extra effort to remind ourselves and our loved ones about every small blessing.
If you start looking up for the future, you get a reason to smile and plan to bring joy in life. This small saving challenge gives a reason to celebrate.
How did this challenge help us?
I remember when we first got married, I got introduced to homeownership. I had never had the responsibility to run my household before. I never really had to plan for home purchases or any responsibilities associated with being a homeowner.
The first year of our marriage was really hard. It felt like we were shopping all the time to fill our first home with stuff. And we didn’t even like shopping. But we were starting our life together from nothing. Well not nothing, we had a home and an old office table, a couple of essential kitchen items and a bed. But that was not what a typical family lives right? The least, we needed a sofa and a dining table for the company. And we had a lot of company in the first year of our marriage.
So naturally, I was out shopping almost every weekend. Sometimes, it was dinner sets, other times it was fresh linen and guest towels. Soon it was getting tiring and pretty expensive. So we decided to call it quits and just wait for the biggest sale of the year- Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday.
But we had about 5 months until that biggest sale of the year. And I had to be creative to save enough money for our household essentials. It is generally easy for me to save money for a goal for myself. But this time, I had to work extra hard to save for a household goal.
That’s when we decided to save every single week up until thanksgiving. Some weeks, we would save more and other weeks, it was barely any saving. The hardest part was to pass by small sales during those 5 months. We needed to see the reward and balance grow every single week.
That’s when the idea of a 12-week challenge came.
We used a rough tracker during that time to keep us motivated.
Now, 12 weeks saving challenge has become an annual ritual for us
Over the years, we got better at this challenge. We created a cool printable that looks nice on display. Download it for your personal use.
We also came up with fun things to do every year that helped us save for our weekly goals. Like we started decluttering our homes and possessions, selling them on Craigslist, Let go, eBay, Mercari, and Poshmark. Every time we would sell something, the money would go towards our 12-week challenge.
Another year, we tried no spend weekends, where we would cook from the ingredients in the pantry and freezer.
This year, among all the chaos outside, we thought of cheering us up with yet another challenge.
Thanksgiving 2020 Savings Challenge
We are all hurting. The world needs more reasons to find blessings than ever.
So, we are committing to Thanksgiving 2020 Savings Challenge
What will you need to participate?
You can start this challenge now with just a willingness to put aside weekly saving in your bank or in a physical piggy bank. But, I recommend opening a separate savings account for this challenge. Checking account is a little harder to keep away from temptation of using up this saving for any other expense that might come up in next 12 weeks. In the past, this challenge worked for me when-
- I created a separate savings account in my existing bank. It’s very easy to open an account online. Check with your bank.
- I just set the automatic transfers from my checking account to the savings account. There are 12 automatic transfers set on the dates I had kept for this challenge.
|September 13, 2020||$80||$145|
|September 20, 2020||$85||$230|
|September 27, 2020||$90||$320|
|October 4, 2020||$95||$415|
|October 11, 2020||$65||$480|
|October 18, 2020||$85||$565|
|November 8, 2020||$65||$815|
|November 15, 2020||$90||$905|
|November 22, 2020||$95||$1000|
Tips to enjoy and complete the savings challenge
There are many creative ways to save money and still enjoy this challenge. Some fun tips are:
- Join me in this challenge and receive money saving tips, tricks and motivations for 12 weeks.
- Save every $5 bill you get in a physical piggy bank or a glass mason jar. Put a fun sticker on the jar like ” our thanksgiving fund”. Something that will bring a smile on your face and spark your desire to save every week
- If you are doing this challenge by transferring your weekly saving into an online savings account, even this can be fun. Name that saving account with your goal. Make it sound creative and fun. Just make it extra hard to access this account before 12 weeks are over
- Every-time you feel like buying something for yourself or someone, just note it down in a handy wish-list page. I usually use this gift planner during this saving challenge.
Use any of the above cool tips above. You do not even have to stick with any of these tips. Just start finding fun in day-today activities that do not cost you much. The goal of this challenge is to build your saving muscle. It has nothing to with the dollar amount saved (although that’s a big motivation), it has more to do with building a healthy saving habit.
Why Does this challenge work?
This challenge is easier because it’s a shorter time commitment than a 52 weeks challenge or a no-spend challenge. Most people are anyway saving for gifts and family time during Christmas holidays. So this challenge can easily fit into your lifestyle.
Saving every week is easier during fall and winter months as compared to summer months. We have very few avenues to go out and spend money shopping at the stores or out with friends/ family. Winter months bring out more avenues to be at home, sipping your cup of coffee or tea and cook hearty warm soups.
Every week when you see your savings go up, you feel a little more comfortable about upcoming holidays. The reward is higher and faster. The amount we are expected to save is manageable with most of us, with little work and planning.
Let’s work together and bring more joy
In this challenge, your goal is not to just save money. Your goals is to enjoy the holidays and relax after a year-long hard-work, without having to worry about finances for gifts and family celebration. Let’s work together.