Money Jar Challenges for the New Year

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Money Jar Challenges

Most of us set at least one New Year’s resolution that involves finances. No matter what your goals are this coming year, these money-saving ideas are a good way to save a little extra throughout the year!


Penny Jar Challenge

Penny Jar Challenge

This Penny Jar Challenge is so simple and easy, you could easily get the kids involved and make it a fun counting game.


$20/Week Challenge

$20/Week Challenge

This simple $20/Week Challenge has a little bit bigger goal, but a consistent weekly amount, which I personally prefer.


52-Week Money-Saving Challenge

52 Week Money Saving Challenge

My favorite part of this challenge is that there are different charts available for whatever fits your pay schedule or preferences. For example, I would prefer to do this 52-Week Money-Saving Challenge in reverse! That way, as you get closer to Christmas, you’re putting in fewer dollars, instead of more.


$2 Bill Savings Trick

Two Dollar Bill Savings Trick

This fun $2 Bill Savings Trick could easily be turned into a jar challenge. Basically, you just “buy” all of the $2 bills from the bank teller every time you are at the bank. Why $2 bills? Because you’re not as likely to spend them! They’re more of a fun novelty, and the bank teller usually only has a couple, so it’s a fun way to save up a little cash. Bonus: some people believe they bring good luck! 😉

Join The Discussion

Comments 59

  1. Kerryiu

    I love doing the 52 Week Challenge in reverse! 2017 will be my fourth year doing it. This year I doubled the amount & around Christmas a few days ago I donated the other half to a local organization that works with kids. It’s sometimes fun to use a pack of standard playing cards, assign each card a specific amount, shuffle, & each week to pick a new card.

    • Becky

      What a wonderful donation for your local group. ☺️ I love the card idea that adds an extra element of fun.

    • Danielle (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      LOVE this idea! Thanks for sharing! πŸ™‚

  2. .

    I did the 52 week challenge this yr and I save 1621. My grandma borrowed some money a few times and when she paid me back I threw all the money in the weekly challenge jar. Going to do it again in 2017.

  3. Katie

    I’ve heard of one called the five dollar challenge as well. Anytime you get a $5 bill from your cash transactions, you put it away in a jar.

    • Amanda

      I do that one!

  4. Katie

    Am I the only person who would never be able to pull this off because of an impatient husband. Lol! This would not fly in my house.

    • Krystal Davey

      I tried to do a change jar one year, only change but all my change went into the jar. About half way through the year I figured out the silvers were going missing. My husband was using it as a “take a coin/leave a coin” jar and taking the silver all the time for his work vending machine! Oh well, it saved us on gas station runs during breaks but gave up on the idea after that.

  5. Jen N

    Hubby and I did with $10 out of every check and any extra change we would get. It paid for our hotels, gas, food, and concert tickets to a band we have wanted to see for a while. We didn’t have to use any other cash during that whole weekend.

    • Debra B.

      Nice! 🎢

  6. Amy

    I just set up my banking account to deposit $20/week to my savings account…. no jar needed. Hopefully next year at this time we can go on a nice vacation!!

  7. Kristin

    I was thinking of getting a photo album and putting $20 each paycheck. Then I’ll be able to pull out my book of 20’s at the end of the year for Christmas shopping. My husband will be shocked. Ha!

    • Jen N

      Love it!

    • Danielle (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Fun idea!

    • ResseCup

      I’ve seen this done as a graduation gift as well.

  8. Jennifer

    I opened an additional savings account at the bank and have 10.00 from each pay automatically put in it. I don’t have the account attached to my card so I actually forget about it. What a surprise this past Christmas time when I looked at the balance! Sweet!

    • Danielle (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Great idea!

    • ResseCup

      Yes, I do this as well for vacation and Christmas. About $15 or $20 each paycheck, adds up for road trips and Christmas shopping.

  9. Pj

    Lots of great ideas! I’ve been putting my change into a jar every evening for the past 4 to 5 months… I’m up to about $50 so far! Easy way to save for something special 🌞

  10. Jen

    I had no idea that there are $2 bills!

    • Kristin

      My kids tooth fairy brings them $2 bills. 😊

      • Stephanie

        I LOVE THAT!! My two girls each lost their first tooth over the last few weeks… maybe it’s not too late!!

  11. Kasey

    I tried to do one of these cash jar savings ideas a few years back but the problem I had with it is that we literally don’t do much dealings with cash. Our paychecks are direct deposit, we pay all bills online, we use debit/credit at stores. If we go to an event or something we will pull money of the local ATM (which only does increments of $20 and is not conveniently located in a drive up setting.) So basically as silly as it sounds it was actually a big inconvenience to try to put the right amount in each week. BUT I’m not just typing al this to be negative… the point I’m getting to is that I did find something that works better for my family… I put ALL money that I get from rebates (checks or via rebate apps/ ebates) as well as all gift cards I get from target “free go when you buy…” transactions into a jar. I also put gift cards in there if I have one from Walmart from a return I made throughout the year or something. I don’t recommend putting just any gift card in as some have certain exp dates or conditions where you are charged if you don’t use them… but Walmart, target and Amazon are always fine. I use the money/gift cards for Christmas shopping. I usually save all year and then pull the jar out and count it about a week before Black Friday. For 2016 I had over $600 in there!

    • t.cooper

      Im right there with you!

    • HM

      Great idea! I never carry cash either! I’ll keep your idea in mind!! Thank you!

    • Michelle

      Same here, I never have cash! And for me the rebate apps are usually direct deposit as well into my PayPal! The gift card thing might work though that’s a good idea!
      It is hard for me though because I’m a teacher and already get $250 deferred from each check for my summer pay (my county does not pay over 12 months, you have to voluntarily defer your money)

    • AP

      I never carry cash either, but made a conscious effort to get cash at the ATM in 2016. In fact, today is payday and I just took out $100 today for my day today spending, for the sole purpose of saving the change. I got the kids McDonald’s for dinner tonight, another 50-some cents in change for the jar!

  12. margaret

    I did a version of this for this year with my online accounts- we automatically transferred $20 a week to a separate savings account. I also deposited all my Mobisave, Savingstar, Ibotta and Checkout 51 cash to the account- we had nearly $1700 by Christmas! First time in forever I didn’t stress about the holidays!!!
    Doing the same this year, but upping it to $25 a week.
    Great way to save and when you set up the auto transfer you don’t even notice! I agree with Kasey who commented above, we rarely have any actual cash! Highly recommend weekly savings tho!!!

  13. SJ

    One of my favorite things my dad ever taught me, always keep a couple $2 bills tucked away in my wallet so I’ll “never be truly broke.” He’s been gone 2 years now, but the $2 bills he carried in his wallet joined mine.

    • Stephanie

      That’s sweet! Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚ I will think of that every time I see one now.

    • Jenn

      How nice! What a sweet little memento. = )

    • Dawn

      That’s truly special, SJ. I’m sorry for your loss and I’m glad you have s special reminder of your dad when you see those $2 bills in your wallet. πŸ’—

  14. Kristen

    The penny challenge is actually more difficult then it sounds. It sounds simple but I couldn’t find 200-300 pennies every day (or whatever the day required), so I kept using bills and quarters to add up to the same amount. It became confusing and more trouble than it’s worth. I just save up my spare change in mason jars and have them separated by coin. So much easier

    • Vanessa

      Great idea! I have empty enfamil containers that I can reuse for this. A little paint & label will do. And it will keep the coins separate for when we need to find exact change for something.

  15. Kristy Lemons

    I am so doing the $20/week challenge. I already pull out 20$ every two weeks and put it up so it will be easy to add an additional 40/month. I also have a rainy day account set up with my bank- it transfers less then a dollar a few times a week into this account. I can only pull from it 2 X a quarter AND I have to call the bank to do it so I am less likely to withdraw from it. I haven’t touched it yet but I have to this week to cover a repair bill.

  16. Judy

    We did the penny jars but without the actual change…. at the beginning of each month we put however much would have been saved that month into a savings account. That way I didn’t have to count the change or roll the coins later. I was going to start it again this month so that we will have all our savings a month earlier to use for gifts. I have to admit that I spent freely on my kids Christmas gifts and barely touched 1/3 of what they had in “their jars”. We just aren’t extravagant gift people I guess. I actually used the money to already purchase and set aside their Easter basket items, and birthday presents for next year. Feels good to be prepared and have lots left over if we want to go out to a movie or lunch

    • Danielle (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Way to go!

  17. RZ

    I’m surprised that so many people still use cash…we don’t lol. So this year we decided to have a certain %age of every paycheck be automatically deposited into a separate account…it’s a savings/rainy day/kids’ college $ account basically.

  18. Wendi

    Check out your credit union some offer a Christmas club account ….. I have a little deposited each paycheck and then in late September they send me a check to start my Christmas shopping πŸŒ²πŸŽ…πŸ»and then it starts all over again

    • Danielle (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Good to know!

  19. Catie

    I did the 52 week challenge last year and even drew from the account periodically to pay for things like birthday gifts. I still had plenty of money for Christmas and even a bit left to roll over into next year. I plan to do it again this year too!

  20. Becky G

    We did the found money jar this year that was posted the beginning of this year/ end of last year. Our family of 4 found over $66 in bills and coins. Now the kids are having fun plotting how we can spend it. πŸ™‚

    • Danielle (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Oh, that’s a fun idea, too!

  21. Lyn

    Those are great ideas! Thanks guys! But a friend told me that every week you go out and get some groceries try to take out a $10 cash out from our debit card. It actually works because I do my grocery shopping every week and hubby owes me money lol(I let her borrow my finances those were the money I got from sweepstakes cash wins, rebates, cash backs and all those good stuff!) so I already told him that starting next week it’s payback time! lol I get to go do groceries and take out $10 bucks and I’ll put it aside on a photo album too! Coz I don’t carry cash either!

  22. Anne

    We have $$$ transferred once a month for Christmas, vacation, etc to a separate savings account. We do $60 for Christmas but started at $10 several years ago. Even a little bit adds up.

  23. ana

    My mother in law gave my 3 kids Disney themed tin money banks last year on christmas. So I decided to use super glue to keep me from going in there and let me tell you I can’t get in them. All 3 are almost filled. Starting on the next 3 tin banks very soon. Saving up for a Disney Vacation for 2019 when my youngest daughter is old enough to enjoy the rides. So exciting to see them get filled.

  24. Alicia Marshal

    I did a challenge like this for 4 years to save up for my
    Anniversary party in January i saved 22,000 unfortunately my son in law broke into our house and took it. He took my daughter to Sweden, and said he payed for it. They are still on vacation…while the police did not do a darn thing since he isn’t here….

    • Christine

      Wow, so sorry to hear that, all your hard work and it makes it even worse when you know it was family that committed the crime:(
      As I read all the comments I did not see anyone that mentioned all you need to do is open a Christmas Club account at your bank or Credit union, this money is deposited into your account and you cannot touch it until they open the accounts up around November for you to either take the money out or transfer it to your regular savings/checking account or if you choose to leave it in the Christmas account they then close the account back up but you still have money going in but remember it is only opened up once a yr for you to do what you want with it, that way its not at your home and in a safe place and if you are saving for something special down the road i think this would be a great way to save because it is not accessible but once a yr and when you are ready for it there it is.

    • Carrie

      You kept $22,000 cash in the house????

    • Jaime

      If you are keeping saving in the house it should be in a safe or hidden well and you should not tell people about. The “DARN POLICE” probably told you a large burglary like this clearly was not his first felony. There probably is a very lengthy statute of limitations, possibly 5-15 years depending on the state you live in!
      Shame on your daughter for dating him and for going to Sweden with him! When you allow scuzzy people in your life one of three things happen; you become a victim, a witness, or a suspect. Good luck with the investigation.

  25. Lisa

    I am doing the penny challange this year. This will my first time doing this so I wanted to start slow. I also figured I could throw a little extra in when I have it. This will be next years Christmas fund.

  26. Elizabeth.M

    My credit union has a xmax club, i plan to deposit $50 a pay check

  27. Deb Cope

    My grandparents sent us $2 bills every Christmas when we were kids, and continue to do so for all of our kids-their great grandchildren. It’s so fun to watch cashier’s faces when my kids try to use them. πŸ™‚ It’s true they are more fun to have around, because they aren’t highly circulated.

  28. Amanda r

    I prefer Acorns https://acorns.com/invite/H8PPSQ

    If you use cards and not cash like I do, this helps I’m the same way. It links to your debit card and takes the spare change from every purchase and invests it. I saved over 1000 last year with this and never really noticed. You can withdraw at any time or add additional money to it. Plus, if you use that link, you get $10 for signing up.

  29. Ann

    I did the penny challenge last year, using the money we had left over from our vacation the previous year. Instead of putting the money in each day, I wrote the amount needed on the calendar at the end of each month and paid the kitty then. Much easier for me to pay once a month than remembering each day.

  30. Kim

    When our first grandchild was born we started saving $1 bills with the letter H on them ( his last name begins with H) when the second was born we started saving $1 bills with The letter D ( first name begins with D)
    By the time they graduate high school, we should have a nice chunk of cash for them!! The oldest is 8 now and I counted $650 $1 bills the other day. This only works if you deal with cash!!

    • Danielle (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Such a clever idea! Thanks for sharing! πŸ™‚

  31. Mrs on a Mission

    I absolutely love the penny challenge! Didn’t realize it would add up to over 600 bucks! I’m definitely going to have my children do this challenge. Thanks!

  32. SANDRA

    This are all great ideas πŸ’‘

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