Try one of these challenges to help you save $1,000 or more.
While some Canadians have been able to accumulate savings throughout the pandemic, not everyone has been so fortunate. We can all agree that having money for our day-to-day needs, a rainy day (or global pandemic!) and our future needs can give us a sense of peace, comfort and safety. On the flipside, a lack of savings can create stress, anxiety, fights with your spouse or partner and financial insecurity.
When it comes to savings, experts suggest having three to six months of expenses saved up. While this is something to strive for, let’s admit that this can feel pretty overwhelming, especially in the face of high costs of living, a global pandemic, and all sorts of other economic pressures we can face. It’s easy when we’re overwhelmed to feel like we should take our ball and go home, giving up before we begin. Instead, let’s start with an easier approach and try to save $1,000. How? Give one of the following five savings strategies a try.
1. The 52-Week Money Challenge
There are 52 weeks in a year. For this test, each week you put one dollar into your savings account, plus one more. On week one, deposit $1. On week two, deposit $2, and so on. On the last week of the year, you will deposit $52. By that date, you will have amassed $1,378. You can reverse the order or even treat it like a random bingo card!
2. The 365-Day Nickel Challenge
On a daily basis, you’ll move money into your savings account. You’ll start on day one by moving 5 cents into your savings account. On day two, you’ll increase this by another nickel and move 10 cents. Continue this for a whole year. On the last day of the year, you’ll transfer $18.40 into your account. By then, you will have saved $3,339.75. Wow! You can cut this in half and transfer money into savings every other day and still manage to save more than $1,500.
3. The Weekly Savings Challenge
This challenge allows you to save $1,456 in one year by saving the following every week: Monday—$1; Tuesday—$2; Wednesday—$3; Thursday—$4; Friday—$5; Saturday—$6; and Sunday—$7.
4. The 45-Day Challenge
You can save $1,005 in 45 days by transferring $45 into your savings account on day one. Day two, you will transfer $44 and on day three, you’ll transfer $43, and so on. You’ll save over $1,000 in less than 2 months. The other option is to stretch the challenge into weeks instead of days. It will take you longer but not take such a bite out of your budget.
5. Save the Extras
Save your savings. When you get a discount or purchase something on sale, put the money you saved into your savings account. Save your raise. When you get a pay increase, transfer it automatically into savings because you are used to living on your former income. And save your non-spending. If you chose not to buy something, reward yourself by moving what you would have spent into savings. As a bonus, check to see if your financial institution has a feature that rounds up your purchase. Say if you purchased an item for $11.09 and your round up feature is to the next dollar, $0.89 is moved into your savings account automatically. While these techniques aren’t focused on $1,000 specifically, they can give you easy, frictionless ways to save.
Saving money is not a one-time event or an all-or-nothing situation. Rather, learn to treat saving money as an ongoing behaviour—a good habit to get into, like flossing your teeth. Not only will this alleviate some financial stress in your current situation, it’s also a gift you’re giving to your future self.