Challenge Yourself to Save Big This Year with These 3 Fun Ways to Save

It’s a new year and an opportunity to get reenergized about saving money and reaching your savings goals.

The easiest way to save money is to set up an automatic system to save. But you have to cut back in order to free up that money each month. You may want to find even more money to save during January and February to build up an emergency fund for the rest of the year or pay down any holiday debt.

Here are three challenges to get you saving big in 2015:

21-Day Financial Fast
Created by Washington Post personal finance columnist Michelle Singletary, this fast will get you to maximize the amount you DO NOT spend by only spending money on essential items for 21 days. No going to the movies, buying clothes, picking up a coffee or donut, and no eating out at lunch. Michelle recommends not even using a debit card as it may encourage you to spend unnecessarily. By the end of the 21 days, you should have some extra money to save and a whole new outlook on the items you need verse want.

52-Week Money Challenge
The idea behind this savings challenge is simple: make a commitment to save $1 the first week of January, and save one more dollar each week. In week 26 you will save $26 and in week 52 you will save $52. In the end you will have $1,378 in your savings account. You can do this challenge the traditional way, or you can do it in reverse where you save $52 in week one and only $1 in week 52. No matter which way you choose to save, this fun money challenge might be the thing that gets you saving in 2015.

Save $1000 in 30 Days Challenge
This challenge is not quite as easy as it might seem to promise at first. It’s for those who are committed and willing to cut back on a lot of their current spending habits. If you scroll to the bottom of this Ramit Sethi challenge you will see there is one challenge each day. It includes challenges like pack lunches for the rest of the week, save money on interest payments by paying a little extra, and turn your thermostat down 3 degrees. You may not be able to take advantage of all of his tips, but a few can get you saving big.

Bonus Challenge
No matter what challenge you do in 2015, make sure to take the America Saves Pledge. Pick a savings goal and an amount to save each month. America Saves will provide you with the motivation and advice you need to reach your savings goal.

Happy 2015!