How an empty Coke bottle can help you save hundreds
Saving money doesn't have to be hard work - it can even be fun.
Here are six pain-free and fun challenges to kickstart your savings.
1. 52-week challenge
This is a popular one to start at the beginning of the year but why wait until 2019 - you can start right now.
The idea is you save $1 in week one and increase by $1 each week - so $5 in week five, $20 in week 20 and so on. At the end of week 52 you'll have stashed away $1378.
There are some great free printable charts you can download, like the one at The It Mom, to help.
You can also put a spin on this and do it in reverse - that is, put away $52 in week one and reduce your savings by $1 as the weeks go by.
2. Coke bottle challenge
You've probably seen this one doing the rounds on social media.
The idea is that each time you get a $2 coin you pop it in a soft drink bottle.
Apparently a 600ml bottle will hold about $880 when full. You can do this with smaller or larger bottles. A 250ml bottle is meant to hold about $350 while you'll get about $1500 in a 1-litre bottle.
3. Loose change
This is a variation on the soft drink bottle challenge but you don't have to stick to $2. At the end of each day empty out any loose change from your wallet into a money box.
The metal tins from discount stores are ideal because you can't just dip in as you like.
You'll need a can opener to unlock your savings.
You'd probably be amazed how much you'll have amassed at the end of six months or a year.
4. $5 note challenge
Instead of loose change you stash away each $5 that you get your hands on.
If you get $5 in change, that needs to go straight into savings. If you get $15 in change as three $5 notes they all need to be put into your savings. The potential savings are huge unless, of course, you don't use cash often.
5. Money saving chart
The bingo-style chart from Medium Sized Family will help you save $1000 in a year.
Choose a day of the week and each week, on that day, pick the dollar amount from the chart that you can afford to save.
As you use a number, cross it off or colour in that square so you don't repeat it, explains the site.
6. Rounding accounts
Each week you check your account balance and round down an amount and put it into your savings. You can round to the nearest dollar, $5 or even $10.
Let's say you have $123.75; you would then transfer 75c, $3.75 or even $13.75 into your savings. You may even opt to do this daily.
ING and P&N Bank both have accounts that do this for you with every transaction by rounding up rather than down.
So let's say you spend $2.25 and have opted to round up to nearest dollar, then 75c will go into your savings account.
Let us know if you've tried any of these tips and how much you saved!