The addition problems and calendar that has helped us reach the halfway point of the 365 day penny challenge this year.

I remember the first year we completed the 365 day penny challenge and hit the grand total. My son looked at me and asked, “How did we save so much?” I said,“Remember, we started with a penny.” Then, we both smiled.

When it comes to money, I am definitely more of a spender than a saver. And that’s not very helpful when it comes to preparing financially for a weekend getaway or a big trip. Saving for a vacation can be as simple as putting aside a set amount per month, or as challenging as setting a goal to earn a certain amount each week from sources other than your paycheck. I prefer the latter. Challenges allow me to stay loyal to my savings goal and they keep me engaged during the savings process!


My favorite challenge that helps my family and I save for vacations is the 365 day penny challenge. The money to save comes from our earned income but we accumulate the savings in a creative manner which keeps me engaged and interested throughout the savings journey. With the penny challenge, you add a penny to your savings on January 1st,the first day of the year, then add two pennies on January 2nd, the second day of the year, and the pattern continues until you reach the last day of the year, December 31st, and add $3.65 to your savings account! Once you make it through the year, you will have a grand total of $667.95! This is my third year doing the 365 day penny challenge and I love this challenge for many reasons!


The primary reason I enjoy the challenge is that it starts out incredibly small. I mean, who can’t come up with a penny?! This is definitely a plus after just getting through the holidays as well. Then, it gradually increases, steadily building the dollar amount in the account and expanding the tolerance to save. Secondly, by saving daily, a habit is created. I also do this challenge with my son for additional accountability. We always start our savings in a jar or can so we can visually see the accumulation.Once we acquire $100 or so, then we’ll move the money into a savings account. The 365 day penny challenge has also become a key component of our homeschool studies . By including my son in the challenge, I can have him finetune his math and write out the amount we’re adding to the savings that day as an addition problem. It’s a great way to teach and remember the months of the year as well as learn how to use a calendar to figure out how many days each month has. We use the daily addition problem as a way to practice carrying and regrouping also. Lastly, I feel a great sense of pride and accomplishment once I have made it through the year and so does my son! I remember the first year we completed the 365 day penny challenge and hit the grand total. My son looked at me and asked, “How did we save so much?” I said, “Remember, we started with a penny.” Then, we both smiled. I would like to think that the yearly achievements of completing the 365 day penny challenge will instill a habit of savings that will serve him through life.


Due to the gradual pace, the daily practice of saving, and the accountability aspect, the 365 day penny challenge works for my family and is our favorite way to save. I’m curious to hear about your most effective ways to save and why they work for you? Please share in the comments because we are always up for a new, stimulating challenge! In the meanwhile, grab that spare change from under the sofa cushions and start saving for your next getaway!