2021 Savings Challenge

Free 2021 $1 Savings Tracker

I like a good savings challenge as much as the next. Last year, I took a page out of the Budget Mom’s book, and splashed in a little Dave Ramsey envelope system – Frugal Living Style. Using extra envelopes sent in junk mail, I challenged myself to save every one dollar bill I came across. That’s it. I am a partial-cash spender, partial debit card spender / auto-payments, so the opportunity for these $1 bills to surface was fairly low – especially this year. Still, a very simple challenge and I still spend with cash enough to make it a great exercise in savings.

“Save every $1 dollar bill you come across.”

I did pretty good – better than I thought actually. I set aside one envelope each month. As the month went on and one dollar bills came across my path, they came out of my wallet and went into a envelope I labeled with the month, like “January $1 Challenge”. Now towards December, I need to see what I have – look for a future post coming on the actual total!

Not sure yet what I am doing with the money – need to consult the ever opinionated budget – but thought a simple printable worksheet and tracker would be a great way to keep it together a bit more before I reveal what I did in 2020. I think I’m going to challenge myself to do the same again next year – for which I’m excited to print and use one of the versions below. On the fence as to whether or not to do the $1 Challenge Again, or the $5 Challenge. Any thoughts on if one is better, more manageable and effective over the course of 12 months?

What I really like about the $1 (or $5) Challenge is how flexible it is. Every time you come across a one dollar bill, you squirrel it away. If I see a dollar, I save it. If I don’t, I’m not stressing about not hitting some arbitrary savings goal. Its really very simple.

If you are doing this $1 ($5) challenge, then I encourage you to save those junk mail return envelopes (to make them good for something) and download one of these easy trackers to put in your Budget Binder for the year.

January 2021, here we come!

Here’s how to use the tracker:

  1. Each Week, write down the number of bills you save. You can use tallies, checks, dots or actual numbers.
  2. At the end of a month, multiply the number of bills you have by the denomination – $1, $5, etc.
  3. Store your bills in something fun, like a jar, recycle envelope, cash box, etc. Don’t put this cash in the bank until the end of the year – enjoy the satisfaction of saving cash. From personal experience this past year, I have a very sick level of satisfaction of looking at a few hundred $1 bills stuffed into recycle envelopes. Made my day 🙂
  4. Put those funds towards whatever category in your budget needs the most love. Like a little surprise boost for you and your goals!

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