365-Day Nickel Savings Challenge (with free printable)

This year our family is doing something I never thought we’d get to do.  Our crazy, chaotic, single-income, family of five is going on a cruise!!  This is not a drill, people!

365-Day-Nickel- Savings- ChallengeWhen I tell you this opportunity was considered out of reach for us, I’m in no way exaggerating.  Most any vacation is expensive, let alone an all-inclusive cruise ship vacation for five.  Luckily, we were blessed with an opportunity to cruise with other homeschool families through a travel agent offering incredible deals we can pay towards over several months. Still, we will need spending cash for our trip, plus funds for the various other expenses related to traveling, like boarding the family pup.

Setting aside extra money each month can be hard, especially if you’re already stretching your budget.  The trick I’ve found to get around this is two-fold:  1) save in small, buildable increments, and 2) turn the process into a game or challenge, like the one below.

365-Day Nickel Savings Challenge

The idea of this challenge is simple.  You start by saving just one nickel and increase your savings contribution by one more nickel each day for a year.  By the end of the 365 days, you’ll have saved $3,358.05!  Imagine what you could do with that kind of extra cash.

What I love about this savings plan is that it’s fully customizable.  Rather not sock away large amounts of money during the Christmas gift-buying months?  Flip the order!  Start with the larger amounts in January (or whenever you start) and work your way backward.  Or, if you’re saving for a particular purpose at a certain point in the year, start and end wherever you need to in order to reach your goal.

You can also add to your savings in various ways.  If you prefer cash, you can go simple and add your coins and bills to a good old-fashioned jar.  Or, if you go electronic, transfer right from your main bank account to a savings account on a weekly or even monthly basis.

I love this challenge because I feel like I’m headed toward a big goal even though I’m taking small steps. Before this plan, I felt like unless I could put away at least fifty dollars at a time I wasn’t getting anywhere.  And, since I could rarely afford to do that, I ended up not saving anything at all.  Now I’m making smaller, frequent contributions and making progress!

Print your own plan and start saving today!  I’d love to hear what you’re saving for.



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