What is this $20 challenge I keep talking about? It's simple. The $20 challenge is a way to get you thinking about how to make and save more money.
You start with $20. It can be money in a jar or in an online savings account, but you have to keep it separate from the rest of your cash. The $20 challenge usually lasts one year. The goal is to see how much than $20 can grow, a little bit at a time, in that one-year period.
You have several options when setting up your challenge. Everyone does this a little differently You have to decide what is right for you, write down the rules, and then stick to them.
I have done this challenge and have been amazed by the results. I started the challenge on Jan 1, 2008. I decided I would dedicate any money I made from selling on Etsy, eBay, or the Amazon Marketplace to the challenge. I also added change I found on the street,the contents of my loose change jar, money I made from selling at craft fairs, and anything I earned from small Web writing projects. None of this money was to come from my primary freelance journalism business. I opened an EmigrantDirect online savings account to house the money. I just transferred a dollar here and there, as the money came in.
By the end of my first year, I had turned my $20 into $1,836. I never in a million years thought it would amount to that much. It's a testament to the fact that small amounts of money slip through our fingers every day, wasted, when they could really be saved and put to better use.
Now that you are probably convinced that it works. How can you set up your own? Here are some examples:
A crafter could use that $20 to buy supplies that will help them make more money. They could then sell those crafts at a craft fair or on Etsy.com, and put any profit back into the $20 challenge jar.
A gardener could take than $20 and use it to buy tomato plants. You could then put the money you saved by not buying tomatoes all summer into the $20 challenge jar.
Others leave the $20 in the fund and simply add any money they earn that comes from a new source. Your regular paycheck doesn't count.
For instance, if you find a dime in the grocery store parking lot, or recycle aluminum cans for money, that could go to the challenge. If you sell something on eBay or through the Amazon Marketplace, the profit could be added to the challenge. If you have a yard sale, that could also beef up the fund.
Others use savings: They add money to the jar every time they use a coupon at the grocery store. Others add rebate checks or any other surprise money to the challenge jar.
This idea is a great one and it works. It came from SavingAdvice.com.
If you have more ideas for the $20 challenge, please post here or send me an email. For more money challenges, visit the money challenge page.