I know, I know...a lot of challenges all at once but that's just the mood I've been in. ;-) Our 30-Day Full Body Fitness Challenge starts on the first (or you can start now, if you want!). We haven't had a finance challenge in awhile so why not now?!
I promise I am going to post more soon about our lifestyle, how we live below our means, and share more about how we save (you can read about some of it here and here). There's just a lot of different angles for me to go into and I get overwhelmed so that's why I haven't published it yet. ;-) BUT I did want to go ahead and publish this 12-Week Saving Challenge so that you have time to get started before the holidays. Read on though, there's more.
My family wasn't that crazy about birthdays, and by crazy, I mean we weren't over the top. Growing up, Christmas was always our big holiday. Just a side note, my family has been selling Christmas trees for over 30 years at our family farm. Christmas was when our entire family got together and it was truly a special day and time. We did also get a lot of presents for Christmas but nothing extreme, especially compared to some stuff I've seen lately. When Scott and I got married we did continue on with the what some would consider "over the top" Christmas. We didn't really spend a lot of money but still felt the need to exchange gifts even if it was something that we already knew about (which it always was).
Fast forward, now Scott and I don't give each other gifts. Instead we save our money for trips and other experiences. People always ask how we travel so much and it's because we don't give anniversary, birthday, Christmas gifts, or gifts for any other holiday or made up holiday in between. I'm not saying that this is the answer for everyone but it allows us to spend money on what truly matters to us, instead of spending money on things.
RELATED: Read about our travels.
Not only do we save the money we don't spend on traditional gifts to travel but we also try to donate our time and money to charities throughout the year and during the holidays. The way that we look at it is there are so many people in this world who have so much less than we do. Instead of buying each other something that's just going to sit around we would rather help other people. That's why I wanted to create this challenge. You can use this challenge to save money to buy gifts for your friends and/or family or you could use the challenge to save money to use for "random acts of kindness" throughout the holiday season - and even continue it into the new year! No judgement here - it's your challenge and you use the saved money as you see fit.
If you follow this money saving challenge you will end up saving $300 in 12 weeks. This amount of money can easily be saved each week if you cut back on your dining out, drinks out, and unnecessary and small purchases that you probably overlook right now. Things like buying coffee, soft drinks, appetizers, and desserts add up quickly! Skip those!
If you do plan on using this money for "random acts of kindness" some ideas are paying for a strangers gas, food, or even put together bags for the homeless or a local hospital! The possibilities are endless! You don't have to spend money to be kind to others though, you can volunteer with local organizations or visit nursing homes or hospitals. Hopefully what you receive in return will encourage you to continue this after the holidays.