The 12 best family money saving challenges to boost your savings quickly!

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Here are the 12 best money saving challenges to try today – from the ‘no spend’ challenge; to my one month family spending freeze; the pantry challenge; the minimalism challenge; 3 years to £5000; and more! Find what works for you and your family, and get started today!

Saving money every month is by no means easy – everything in the house seems to breakdown whenever there’s any spare cash, or the car suddenly falls apart! But money-saving challenges can be a fun and effective way to boost your savings quickly to make those difficult times a little easy to cope with.

Rather than seeing it as going without, get competitive with yourself and focus on what you’ll do with the savings. Having clear goals for what you want to save and what you’ll use the money for will certainly keep you more motivated. And, you can get the kids involved too!

The 52-Week Challenge:

This is a classic money-saving challenge where you save a specific amount of money each week, starting with £1 and then adding an extra pound each week. But you don’t have to do it in order, you can easily dip in and out of the higher and lower amounts, saving what you can when you can. By the end of 52 weeks, you will have saved a whopping £1,378! Use my free printable PDF to help you to keep on track – crossing off each amount once you’ve saved it.

frugal mum, family saving challenges, the 52 week challenge


The Pantry Challenge:

The pantry challenge is one of my favourites – especially since the cost of the weekly food shop has risen so much lately! I do a lot of cooking from scratch, so it also gives me an excuse to be more creative in the kitchen too. You might even want to challenge yourself for a few days per week if money is tight.

Plan your meals, avoid eating out, and reduce food waste by using up what’s in your pantry, fridge and freezer. You can still buy the extra bits and bobs you need, but first shop from your kitchen and try to be as strict as possible so that you’re only buying the essentials. Whatever you’d have usually spent, pop it into your savings instead.


The No-Spend Challenge:

This challenge is another one of my favourite ways to boost our savings quickly. So, what is the ‘no spend’ challenge? In order to have a little more to spend on having fun, or to put some money away, each month we cut back in one area without drastically changing our lifestyle.

The best thing to do is to have a different ‘no spend’ theme each month, that way it doesn’t get too tedious, nor do you really have time to miss anything too much! It’ll help you to identify and cut out unnecessary expenses from your budget, become a more mindful consumer, and encourage some creativity! It’s the perfect way to re-assess your finances and priorities.

What could I cut out for my ‘no spend’ challenge?

Weekend entertainment:

We like to regularly do a month without spending anything at the weekends, and I actually enjoy the challenge of finding free things to do. It encourages us visit to new places and think outside the box, as well as getting us outdoors. Honestly, this one is much easier in the summer months – when it’s easy to spend weekends with the kids hiking, cycling or playing at the beach.

family saving challenges, frugal mum children running at beach


Eating out / takeaways / the pub:

Cooking from scratch and socialising at home is great money-saver too – according to the average household spends around £135 each month on takeaways and restaurants, which amounts to more than £1600 every year. So, this one could really help your bank balance!

Invite your friends over for a pizza instead of eating out, or ask everyone to bring a plate of food – when the weather warms up perhaps you could share bottle of bubbly in the garden instead of visiting the local pub. I find it makes me more inventive in the kitchen too; I try to recreate some new interesting meals and fake-aways at home so that we don’t feel like we’re missing out!



I’m not really into clothes, but I have lots of friends who buy new bits regularly. If clothes are your weakness, you could start by opting for a ‘no spend’ on new items – reducing your expenditure by shopping second-hand instead. (Preworn and Vinted are brilliant for second-hand clothing.) And, where possible, try to shop from your wardrobe or borrow from friends for special occasions or things you won’t wear often.


Work lunches / coffee:

It’s so easy to spend significant amounts of money on food without even realising it, and with nothing to show for it. A £5 spend each weekday on something trivial like a meal deal or a coffee equates to £100 each month – or £1200 a year! This is a simple ‘no spend’ challenge that could save you enough over the course of the year to fund a holiday!



If you find yourself regularly shopping for toys for the kids, try to focus this only on birthdays and Christmas – limiting this kind of spending the rest of the time is a great place to start. Again, like with clothing, if you need to wean the kids off a regular stream of treats start by shopping second-hand and gradually phase it out.


The house & garden:

Homeware was probably my biggest weakness before I shifted my habits – though I still love browsing even when I’m not buying! These sorts of purchases are usually really unnecessary and bring us such temporary joy, so if you’re a home wear shopaholic a ‘no spend’ challenge for the house is a great way to change old habits.

To get my home wear fix I look for freebies on social media selling sites, things I can upcycle or repurpose, or try to DIY things I need for the house or garden from things like free pallets. Now, I like the challenge of being thrifty!

chest of drawers green upcycled, frugal mum, family saving challenges



This is a tough one if you live rurally, and perhaps don’t have everything you need to hand locally or need to commute. But, it could be fun if you’re up for the challenge, and if you live in a city where everything can be accessed on foot or by riding a bike then you’ve got a good shot at it!


Beauty treatments:

A trip to the salon can be vastly expensive – and often treatments involve regular maintenance too. With this as your ‘no spend’ challenge, see what you can take on at home yourself instead. Think at home waxing strips (my favourites are just 99p!), painting your own nails, DIY tanning and extending the time between haircuts to really see some significant savings. Check out my money saving beauty routine tips to get started.



Exercise is a trivial one – yes it’s extremely important that we keep ourselves fit and healthy, but does it have to cost money? This ‘no spend’ challenge could be easily achieved with free online classes, running or cycling, yoga in the lounge or by purchasing your own gym equipment for the house – which would save money in the long run.



If you’re an avid reader, books are great for a ‘no spend’ challenge too. We get through them really quickly in our house, so it’s not worth the expense of purchasing books when we’ll only read them once. So, we ‘treat ourselves’ by visiting the library every few weeks – you can reserve / order in from other libraries anything you fancy, so you can fuel your reading habit without the big bill.


The Three Years to £5,000 Challenge:

Did you know that you can easily save £5k in just 3 years by adopting a few frugal living habits? When we break that massive amount down it becomes shockingly manageable – it’s actually just £4.63 each day!

This could be as simple as identifying a daily expense and eliminating it from your spending. Perhaps you could pack a lunch for work, take water bottles with you on family days out, make a flask of coffee, cycle instead of taking the bus, or even pop to the library instead of buying a book.

A saving of a fiver a day totals to an amazing £1825 in a year – and more than £5000 in three years! So, really think about those little spends and whether they’re worth it – I know I’d rather make a packed lunch and have a blooming good holiday instead!

lunch box prepping, frugal mum, family saving challenges


The Round-Up Money Saving Challenge:

If you use digital banking, many banks offer round-up features. Every time you make a purchase with your debit card, the transaction is rounded up to the nearest pound, and the change is transferred to your savings account. This can be a great way to save, as you’ll likely not notice a few pennies here and there but it’ll soon add up.


The 30-Day Minimalism Challenge:

I am such a minimalist, and I think learning to see less as more can have a great impact on our well-being and our finances – so I love this minimalism challenge! Each day for 30 days, declutter and sell, donate, or repurpose one item from your home. Any money you make from selling items can go directly into your savings. If you don’t use it, lose it! To help you to get started, check out my article: My simple guide: 30 days to a clean and decluttered home.

30 day decluttering and cleaning guide, free printable, manageable steps, frugal mum, minimalism, minimalist house


The £5 Note Challenge:

Whenever you receive a £5 note as change, put it in a designated savings jar. Over time, this can add up significantly. If £5 seems too much you could do what my Nan does, and save your coins instead – perhaps anything under £1 – it’s amazing how quickly small amounts add up, and this one could be a good way to save some money to entertain the kids over the school summer holidays!


The One-Month Family Money Saving Challenge:

My one month family money saving challenge is a total spending freeze – it’s like the ‘no spend’ challenge, only you commit to not spending any money on anything other than the essentials. It’s about using up what you have in your pantry, avoiding dining out, and going without luxuries for a whole month. This one takes more discipline but it’s a great way of saving money quickly if you need a chunk of cash fast.

frugal mum, family saving challenges, one month family spending freeze


The £1-a-Day Challenge:

If you’re on a low income, or don’t have a lot to spare, start small and challenge yourself to save £1 every day. It’s a manageable daily goal that can add up to £365 over a year which is a brilliant amount of spare cash to put towards a family weekend away or days out with the kids over the school summer holidays!


The No New Clothes Challenge:

This takes Oxfam’s second-hand September to a new level, and I think it’s one of those challenges that can easily be taken on long-term once you realise it’s fun to be thrifty! Commit to not buying any new clothes for a set period, like six months or a year. Instead, explore second-hand shops and websites, like Preworn and Vinted, or focus on making the most of your existing wardrobe.

lady in clothes shop, frugal mum, family saving challenges


The Energy-Saving Challenge:

This one is a little tricky at the moment, but luckily the energy prices are wiggling their way back down a bit. The energy challenge focuses on finding ways to reduce your energy consumption, such as turning off lights when you leave a room, unplugging appliances, batch cooking and using energy-efficient bulbs. Track your energy savings and transfer the money you save on your energy bill into savings.


The Freebie Challenge:

Whenever you need something, before spending out, see if you can get what you need for free. The internet actually makes this surprisingly easy – with apps like Olio for food and other things, social media selling sites and Preloved websites. It’s amazing what people will give away.

Don’t forget to make use of swap sites too, or borrow what you need (from friends / the library / Olio’s borrowing section) if you won’t need it for long. You could even trade your skills! If you manage to find it for free, pop the money you’d budgeted for it into your savings account – you’ll be amazed at how quickly that number will grow!

olio food waste app advert


Remember that the key to success with money-saving challenges is consistency and discipline. Set clear goals and regularly track your progress. Make sure you switch it up too – mix and match the challenges so each one is never too long or too tricky to complete! If you’re trying to overhaul your finances, you might want to check out…

The Ultimate Family Frugal Living Guide: 25 simple tips to save you money!

ultimate family frugal living guide, frugal mum tips, 25 ways to save money, simple lifestyle


How to create a family budget, understand your finances and save money!

couple budget computer, family finances and budgeting tips, frugal mum


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