How to have your own one week money saving challenge

Need help to cut back on your outings? Here’s how to have your own one week money saving challenge.

When you think about starting a money saving challenge, it is easy to get overwhelmed. However, breaking it down into simple steps that you can tackle one day per week will make it easier.

Consider trying the following one-week challenge that focuses on a different area of your life every day. 

Monday: Save money on groceries

Food can be one of your biggest weekly expenses if you are not careful. To save money, start by evaluating how much you spend and what you buy.

One of the easiest ways to cut costs in this area is to plan your meals ahead of time. This eliminates the chance of you shopping for unnecessary items and reduces the risk of you eating out when hungry. 

If you do not have time to clip and search for coupons, consider using an online source that gathers many printable and digital coupons in one place. Some stores will let you add coupons to a reward card that you can scan at the cash register. 

Tuesday: Save money on your car

From gas to repairs, your car can add many expenses to your budget. Start by looking at your car insurance and  comparing insurance quotes to make sure you are getting the best deal. Then, contact your current insurance company to negotiate.

Make sure you are taking advantage of all discounts, like the ones for being a member of specific organizations or alumni groups. 

Another option that may work is refinancing your car loan, especially if your credit history and score are better now. If you cannot get a better rate, consider making the loan longer to lower monthly payments. 

Wednesday: Save money on entertainment 

Whether you still go out to the movies or have an expensive Broadway play habit, entertainment costs can eat away at your budget.

Instead of spending money, look for free events, such as free street fairs, festivals and concerts. Search for no admission days at local museums and art galleries. 

If you have not used a library card in a while, it is time to dust it off. Libraries offer much more than books today. You can borrow movies, audio books, games, music and other items for free. 

Thursday: Save money on subscription services

Do you really need a subscription to Hulu, Netflix and Amazon Prime at the same time? Carefully examine all of your monthly or weekly subscription plans and look for ways to cut them.

It is easy to overlook small monthly charges on your credit card bill, but they can add up quickly. Consider using an app to unsubscribe from these services to save you time. 

Friday: Save money on credit card bills 

High interest rates, late fees and annoying extra charges can make dealing with credit cards a nightmare. Unfortunately, cutting them all up may not be an option for you.

Instead, look for ways to save money on your cards by starting with how much you owe and the interest rates. Then, call each company and ask to lower your interest rate. This works especially well if you have a long history with the company and a good credit score, or you have improved your score recently. 

When negotiating fails, you have the option of doing a balance transfer to a different credit card with a lower interest rate. You can consolidate the balances and may even have the option of zero introductory interest for a period of time.  

Saturday: Save money on online shopping 

Online shopping can save you gas and time, but it can also drain your money. Before clicking and adding an item to an online cart, make sure you are getting the best deal.

Use sites like WikiBuy, RetailMeNot or Honey to search for ways to save and compare prices. Another quick way to save is to keep items on your wish list in the shopping cart, so the retailer will send you discounts and coupon codes. You can often stack promo codes with existing sales. 

Sunday: Save money on housing costs

Whether you rent or have a mortgage, moving to save money or getting a roommate may not be an option. However, there are other things you can do to reduce your housing costs.

First, look at your energy spending. You can save money on lighting, heating and air conditioning in many ways, such as switching to efficient light bulbs and buying light-blocking drapes.

Other ways to save include sealing drafts in windows or doors, turning the hot water heater down and using ceiling fans more than the air conditioning. 

Add wool balls to your dryer, so clothes dry faster, or air-dry them. Switch to doing some chores, like running the dishwasher, very late at night because it may result in lower energy bills due to it not being a peak usage time. 

Photo by Sam Truong Dan