I've done a couple challenges that were fun, but not necessarily walloping successes. There was the Dollar Tree Challenge, back when things were still all $1.00. I did a $3 meal challenge. I got a few prickly comments, but a couple even ruder emails. I don't take the criticism too much to heart. These challenges were for experiment and entertainment. I've got too much going on this month, but come September, my home life does a pretty big turn, and I have head space to be creative, and challenge myself fiscally.
I could try Kim's chart, and see how long it would take to save $1,000 in envelopes based on change and loose bills. Problem though, I rarely deal with cash. I could do a progressive meal challenge. $2, $3, $4 etc. meals. DH already thinks I'm kooky after trying to feed him lentils, so what's another trial for the sake of learning something new?
Here's a few I've seen on blogs and YouTube and Newsweek had an article that captured a bunch of challenges. I could combine a few into say a utility or series of grocery challenges. I could see how little gas I use or how few miles I drive challenge.
- Pantry Challenge: Stretching out shopping as long as possible without shopping in September. Only shop once I've truly exhausted options and am forced to feed DH lentils.
- Extreme grocery budget challenge: Sort of the same, but rather than stretch out, create a super low target, like 50% or less of normal grocery and household budget. I'd need to decide this early and divide by weeks.
- No eating out challenge
- Free entertainment for a month challenge ( not including streaming/cable services already paid for)
- No using my clothes dryer at all ( exception, bath towels perhaps)
- No heat or AC challenge (September is a crap shoot in Minnesota)
- $10 meal challenge- how many meals can I make that are well balanced, protein, carb, two servings fruit and veg, type meals, not just beans and rice type.
- Only shopping loss leaders/ walking to my local store. This would save gas, possibly grocery funds, push me to be creative, and push more walking steps.
I'm open to ideas. This would just be for fun and personal challenge, but I have real goals and ambitions to apply any savings towards as well, that I'll share in future blog posts. I have access to warm clothing, a full kitchen and appliances, and have the luxury of working from home, and stores in walking distance. Those in itself take away any risk. I won't do a challenge that tells anyone else how budgeting is to be done, but if it gives ideas to stretch a budget, that'd be a win. I'd share the good, the bad, and the ugly, failures and waivers. What would you like to read about? Have you thought to do a monthly fiscal challenge? What might you try with me?