For those who find it challenging to put money away into savings each week, stepping up to a savings challenge can often make your financial goals seem more approachable. A challenge can also help develop a money-saving habit that can turn a non-saver into a supersaver by building that bank account. Any amount of money you can save is worth the budgeting and planning it takes to execute a biweekly money-saving challenge.
Participating in the bi-weekly savings challenge means saving a set amount of money every two weeks. The specific amount is determined by your financial goals and capabilities.
What Is a Biweekly Money-Saving Challenge?
Savings challenges are often designed around pay cycles, so a biweekly money-saving challenge requires you to put money away every two weeks — or for your next 26 paychecks. Here are some biweekly challenges for anyone who can’t seem to save or successful savers who want to boost their savings.
8 Great Biweekly Money-Saving Challenges
Completing a savings challenge won’t be accessible if the challenge goal is unrealistic for the saver’s income and budget, so keep in mind that you can adapt each challenge to fit any budget and saving style.
- 26-week biweekly challenge
- 52-week biweekly challenge
- $20 money-saving challenge
- $2,023 in 2023 challenge
- No spend challenge
- Biweekly 100 envelope challenge
- Trim 1% of your salary challenge
- Bowl grab challenge
1. 26-Week Biweekly Challenge
With this challenge, you increase the amount of biweekly savings by a set increment over 26 biweekly pay periods. For the first pay period, say you save $4, then add $4 each pay period — in other words, $8 from the second pay period, $12 from the third pay period and so forth. Challengers work up to $104 from the 26th paycheck for $1,404 saved over one year.
A saver can adapt this challenge to any amount. Starting at $3 and increasing the savings amount by $3 each paycheck would net $1,053 at the end of one year. For a more significant challenge, use $5 increments for a total of $1,755 after one year.
2. 52-Week Biweekly Challenge
Starting a 52-week savings challenge normally means saving $1 on your first week, then increasing the amount of money you save each week by $1 — so the second week, you’ll save $2, then $3 and continue for a full year. In the final week of the year, you’ll add $52 to your savings. You’ll save $1,378 per year when you stick to the 52-week challenge.
To make it a biweekly challenge, simply use the same system, but start with $5 and add $5 biweekly. This would give you $1,985 at the end of your challenge.
3. $20 Money-Saving Challenge
The $20 money-saving challenge is typically a weekly challenge, but both the saving interval and the amount are flexible. Savers can schedule an automatic transfer for a set amount from checking into savings each pay period and complete the challenge without further effort. If you switch to biweekly for this challenge, you can save upwards of $1,040 in 12 months.
Savings Based on 5 Biweekly Installments Over 26 Weeks
|Amount Saved Biweekly||Total Amount Saved Over 26 Biweekly Pay Periods|
4. $2,023 in 2023 Challenge
This challenge is beneficial if you like a little less structure, as the saving amounts can fluctuate — so you can decide what you put away and when, as long as you get to the total. If you have a week that’s hard on your budget, you can save a little less this week and make it up next week without feeling like you’re missing your goal.
For the biweekly version of this challenge, you would have to save at least $77.81 every two weeks. When broken down like that, it seems very doable.
5. No Spend Challenge
A classic no-spend challenge would be where you would go for one month without spending any money on non-essential items. To break up the monotony, you could switch your spending and no-spending weeks on and off. In other words, you would trade off when you don’t spend money biweekly and watch the money pile up.
Just make sure you put the money you don’t spend one week into a savings account, and don’t just spend it the next week instead.
6. Biweekly 100 Envelope Challenge
Here’s the thing: Breaking up a daily challenge into a biweekly challenge, is well, challenging — but strictly speaking, there are several way you can make the popular 100 Envelope Challenge work for you biweekly. Classically, this challenge follows these steps:
- Get 100 empty envelopes.
- Number each envelope from one to 100.
- Store your envelopes in a container.
- Shuffle the envelopes in random order.
- Pick an envelope at random each day — for biweekly it would be every two weeks.
- Insert the indicated number amount in the envelope.
- Put the filled envelope aside.
- Track your savings progress.
- When you finish the challenge, you will have saved $5,000 in 100 days — or more, depending on what time frame you work within.
If don’t want to pick an envelope daily, you could switch it to everyone other day and do it the same way, or if you wanted to do it biweekly, you could do 100 envelopes but spread them out every two weeks. You would still save $5,000 — it would just take you longer.
7. Trim 1% of Your Salary Challenge
As many people get paid biweekly, this challenge could easily be budgeted out. For example, if you make $1,500 per paycheck every two weeks, you would set aside and save $15 every pay period. This can save you hundreds of dollars a year and is a great way to build an emergency fund.
8. Bowl Grab Challenge
Keep a big bowl in a common area of your house. Write down varying amounts of money, such as $5, $20 and $50, on slips of paper and place the slips in the bowl. Grab a slip of paper out of the bowl every other week, and store the amount indicated on the slip into the bowl savings throughout the year. It’s an easy, fun and effective way to save money for the whole family.
Other Popular Money-Saving Challenges
If a biweekly money-saving challenge doesn’t fit your income and budget, there are plenty of other options. Here are some popular money-saving challenges to help you reach your savings goals:
- The Pantry Challenge
- Change Your Grocery Store Challenge
- The 100 Envelope Challenge
- 52-Week Challenge
- No Eating Out For a Month Challenge
- $5 Trick
If necessary, you can open an account specifically for the savings challenge you choose to put that extra money to work and earn a bit of interest. This account can also work as an emergency fund, which can help you when the unexpected occurs. If you open a savings account at a financial institution separate from your regular bank, it can lessen the temptation of dipping into savings for spending money whenever you access your regular bank account.
Making a game out of intentionally saving money challenges non-savers to build money-saving habits that can last a lifetime. A savings challenge should be difficult, but not so demanding that challengers can’t do it. You can pick a biweekly money-saving challenge that works for your budget and saving style.
FAQHere are quick answers to popular questions about savings challenges.
- How can I save money every two weeks?
- The simplest way to ensure money is saved every two weeks is to set a biweekly automatic transfer from checking into savings. Pick an amount that won't cause any overdrafts. To save more, you can gradually increase the transfer amount, especially after pay increases or as debts are paid off.
- What is the saving challenge for biweekly pay?
- The 26-week savings challenge is a great option if you get paid every other week. With this challenge, you increase the amount you add to your savings by a set increment – like $4, for example – from each paycheck. If you add $4 each pay period, you save $8 from the second paycheck, $12 from the third and so on. With $4 increments, you would save $1,404 over one year.
- What is the 52-week $1 money-saving challenge?
- Starting a 52-week savings challenge begins with saving $1 on your first week. Each week for a year – 52 weeks in total – you'll increase the amount of money you save each week by $1. The second week, you'll save $2, then $3 the third week and so on, until you save $52 in the final week. Your total savings with this challenge amounts to $1,378 if you're dedicated.
- What is the $20 savings challenge?
- The $20 savings challenge is a 52-week challenge during which a challenger saves $20 per week for 52 weeks. At the challenge's completion, challengers have $1,040 saved.
- If $20 every week doesn't work for you, you can adjust this challenge to save $20 biweekly or pick a different amount.
- What is the biweekly money challenge for 2023?
- One biweekly money challenge specific for 2023 is the $2,023 in 2023 challenge. This is where you would have to save at least $77.81 every two weeks. You can switch the amount biweekly as long as you get to the total of $2,023.
Andrea Norris contributed to the reporting for this article.