Save $1,000 with this 12-week money challenge


How would you like an extra $1,000 or more in your savings account in just 12 weeks? It’s possible with this fun and flexible money challenge!

Let’s be clear: This challenge is a little different than most others that require you to save “X” amount per week.

RELATED: Clark’s Money Challenge: How to save $3,000 this year

Money challenge to save $1,000 in 12 weeks

Instead, this challenge is focused on action items. I’m challenging you to do one thing each week to improve your financial situation — increasing earnings, reducing spending or both — and save $1,000 or more.

Here’s a sample 12-week challenge, followed by some of the strategies that have helped me save money:

Clark's 12-week money challenge

1. Save $1 and $5 bills: Do you have a piggy bank around the house? Rather than just throwing your change in there, add $1 and $5 bills. I saved $200 in just three months by stashing away $5 bills.

2. Shop for auto insurance: You don’t have to wait until your policy is up for renewal to shop for a better rate! I get auto insurance quotes from a handful of companies every 12 months.

RELATED: Best and worst auto insurance companies

3. Switch cell phone provider: Do you really need unlimited data? If not, you may be able to cut your cell phone bill substantially with a low-cost wireless carrier. I lowered mine from $60/month to $12/month.


See Clark’s list of the best cell phone plans and deals!

4. Create a Waste Log: In January 2017, I shared the five lists that I use to save money. Creating a Waste Log of the food items I throw away has been really eye-opening. I now update the list using a note-taking app.

5. Lower or eliminate one bill: Every now and then, I call up my service providers and politely ask for a lower rate. This is most effective when you have an offer from a competitor to reference.

Companies to call:

  • Cable
  • Internet
  • Satellite radio
  • Cell phone
  • Gym membership
  • Security services
  • Pest control

6. No eating out for 7 days: One of the easiest ways to save money is to stop going to restaurants! I’ve really cut down the number of drive-thru visits since I bought an Instant Pot electric pressure cooker.

7. Download a cash-back app: Coupon apps are a great way to save money on groceries. I’ve earned over $2,000 since May 2014 using three of them. I particularly love Ibotta — known for its generous welcome bonus.

8. Earn a sign-up bonus: Looking for a new bank? Need a new credit card? Opening up a new checking, savings or credit card account with some banks can earn you $200 or more! Just make sure you can meet the requirements to avoid fees.

RELATED: Best rewards credit cards

9. Choose a personal challenge: I left a space in the challenge for a personal goal. My plan is to experiment with a new DIY laundry detergent recipe since I’ve already started making my own dishwasher detergent tabs.

10. No-spend workweek: No-spend weekends can be tricky because it’s when families schedule most of their activities. Instead, try a no-spend workweek.


11. Donate or sell something: Old electronics, jewelry, clothing and furniture are only collecting dust in your attic. Take an hour to get organized and turn them into cash. Here are the best places to sell.

12. Earn an extra $50: Already trimmed your budget to the bone? Find a side hustle. If you like pets, consider signing up for As an occasional dog boarder, I’ve charged up to $50 a night.

RELATED: 23 easy ways to make extra money right now

Are you up for the challenge?

The great thing about this 12-week money challenge is that you can customize it to make it work for you! Click here to print out a blank 12-week challenge or click here to print out the one shown above.

If you’re taking the 12-week challenge, share your goals with Team Clark on Facebook and Twitter!

Welcome bonuses can be a great way to boost the value of a credit card. Best Credit Card Welcome Bonuses for 2022 - If you're in the market for a new credit card in 2022, you may be hoping to cash in on the hundreds of dollars in sign-up bonuses offered to new customers. Welcome bonuses and offers are a marketing tool that…
The best cell phone plans include Tello, Mint Mobile, Visible, T-Mobile, Consumer Cellular and more Best Cell Phone Plans in 2022: Deals for Every Budget - Team Clark ranks the best cell phone plans and deals! See our favorites for unlimited data, families and cheap plans starting at $10/month.