30 Small Wins Challenge – Make Momentum With Your Money And Life
The definition of momentum, according to Merriam-Webster, is strength or force gained by motion or by a series of events. With that in mind, it’s time to generate some of our own momentum through a series of events. What are those events and the means to do so? A 30 Small Wins Challenge.
What type of challenges are we talking about here?
Some easy and actionable tasks to accomplish that will benefit you and/or those around you.
- 13 Financial Challenges
- 10 Health & Wellness Challenges
- 7 Networking & Knowledge Challenges
Why in a challenge format?
I’ve often found putting things down on paper (physical or digital) is the best way to formalize my thoughts, whatever the focus of those thoughts might be. Taking that even further, putting items down on paper in a checklist or actionable format, increases that effectiveness.
Thus we land again on the 30 Small Wins Challenge Checklist in addition to this blog post for easy tracking and upkeep on your successful challenge completions. Get the Checklist for a quick hitting 1-pager PDF and scratch off the tasks as you accomplish them. You will receive some additional content via email over the next couple weeks.
Why no timeline?
Some of the challenges could be completed in bulk within a single day and others might be longer-term lifestyle changes. Also, some of the below challenges are already connected to specific times (ex. 30 days, two weeks, 1 week, etc.), while others are free and up to you.
The benefit isn’t completing all 30 or some of these within a set time frame, the benefit is actually completing the challenges in a meaningful way that will deliver value for you (or others around you). These are personal challenges and the reward is what you make of it.
I will be making my own way through the list and I hope some of you out there join me and conquer the challenges that you see value in.
1.) Write Down Your Money Goals
No matter how big or small you want to take this, write down your specific money goals. It might be a daily goal, a 1 year goal or holistic lifestyle goal connected to your finances. Take time to think about what you’re looking to accomplish and similar to this 30 Small Wins Challenge, write those goals down to create accountability and transparency for yourself.
For a great post outlining another bloggers personal goals (money, charitable, lifestyle and career), check this 2018 Goals post by Financial Pilgrimage.
2.) Sell One Item On eBay Or Craigslist
Find an item that you can easily list on eBay or Craigslist to sell for a profit. Open your closet, check your storage unit, look under your bed or maybe find something in everyday sight you no longer use. Listing your items takes almost no time and is super intuitive and easy to do. I guarantee after you sell an item, the benefit you feel from that extra money and clearing out some clutter from your house will get you hooked to sell more.
Want some ideas on items to sell for quick cash? Flipping your items or others is a very profitable side hustle and here are 25+ of the easiest things to flip for profit from Vital Dollar.
3.) Double A Debt Repayment Or Investment Contribution
If you have a debt payment at the end of the month (student loans, car payment, mortgage, credit card etc.) use the profits from your eBay sale above or chain of daily savings growth below to double that debt repayment total. If you’d prefer to put those funds into the market or HISA savings account, double your usual monthly contribution. Turn your $200 student loan payment to $400 or your double that retirement savings contribution.
4.) 30 Day Chain Of Daily Savings Growth
What’s a chain of daily savings growth? On day 1 you contribute $1 to a savings account, on day 2 you contribute $2, on day 3 you contribute $3 and so forth until day 30 when you contribute $30. The net savings result over that time frame? $465 total savings.
If that’s too steep, maybe cut this in half and just do every second day! Try to find one item each day, or one larger scale item for the week or month, you can cut back on to generate these savings.
5.) Earn A Minimum Of $200 Through A Side Hustle
This could be in conjunction with the eBay Challenge above or completely separate. Over the next 30 days set the goal of earning an additional $200 outside your 9-5 career. Walk dogs with Rover, drive with Uber, freelance on Upwork, etc. Get some ideas for side hustles with 35+ Side Hustle Ideas (Almost) Anyone Can Do.
If you’re looking to make cash fast check out how to make $1,000 quick highlighting 9+ ways to earn money when you need it.
6.) Perform A 3 Month Spending Audit To Review Your Full Budget (or Start A Budget)
Whether you use Personal Capital, Mint, You Need A Budget, Excel, pen and paper or something else, review your last 3 months of financials. Is everything going as planned? Are there any leaks or problems areas of overspending? Take a full review and status check to ensure you’re still on the path you’d intended.
7.) Contribute A Minimum Of $25 To A Charity Or Foundation
Pick a charity, foundation or cause that holds true to your beliefs and make a contribution of $25 or more. The power of giving is a great tool to put some good vibes into the world and support others in need.
8.) Cancel Or Renegotiate A Paid Subscription Or Service
Do you need both Hulu and Netflix? Or the extra sports package with the additional movie channels too? How about those magazine subscriptions? Does that extra data package on your phone even get used?
If there is a paid service you subscribe to that isn’t delivering the value you intended, cancel it. Or reach out to the provider and negotiate a better rate or reduced offering. Most providers are more than willing to lower a rate as opposed to lose your long-term value as a customer.
FI Me Outta Here shared his mindset and the results from cutting the cable cord in this post Truly Cut The Cord! Wave Goodbye To Netflix And Hulu.
9.) Complete A No Spend Weekend
Pick a weekend where you don’t spend anything (outside of the essential living costs of course – or the grocery shopping you’d normally do on the weekend). We’re talking about no meals out, no paid entertainment, no alcohol or other expenses. Find free activities and fun to fill your open time on the weekend.
Looking for inspiration on what to do? Pretty Minted wrote this great list outlining 100 Things You Can Be Doing Today Instead Of Spending Money.
10.) Investment Accounts Review And Optimization
Analyze the management expense ratios (MER) of your various holdings and your overall asset allocation. Are you optimizing your fees? Are higher fees eating into your potential returns? Is your asset allocation aligning with your planned diversification? Automated saving and investing is an amazing tool to stay committed to the long-term, but a status check is beneficial to ensure the plan is working as intended.
Check my post on How Investment Fees Affect Your Returns to see just how much your MER can impact your long-term returns.
If you’re looking for advice and tips on remaining tax efficient with your investments, this post by Money Smart Guides is a great resource with tons of data.
11.) Start Travel Hacking Or Plan Your Next Rewards Card
If you’re already a travel hacker or cash-back optimizer, great! Maybe you can use this Challenge to plan your next rewards card option. If you’re currently using a credit card that doesn’t really provide you any benefits – travel points, cash back, specific discounts or perks, etc. – switch your card. Check this post featuring over 70+ travel hacking resources. You can also use Ratehub (Canada) or NerdWallet (America) to review potential rewards cards.
Winning Personal Finance shares his strategies, tips and framework for proper credit card usage in the post I Love Credit Cards And So Should You.
12.) Email & Newsletter Subscription Audit
How many emails do you get a week from Nike, Best Buy, Lululemon, Expedia or one of the dozens of other retailers you subscribed to at some point? Remove them. That temptation to spend can be a burden on your finances and those daily inbox reminders of “deals” can crush your money momentum.
13.) Other Financial Challenge Options Pending On Your Current Situation And Financial Journey
- Maximize Your Company Match On Your RPP Or 401k
- Start An Emergency Fund In A HISA (see this post with everything you need to know about emergency funds)
- Open A DIY Investment Account (or Robo-Advisor like Wealthsimple)
- Begin Contributing To Your Child’s Education With An RESP Or 529
- Complete Your Will Or Trust
I cover some of these topics in my post Building Good Money Habits – Make Your Own Money Momentum.
14.) Walk 25,000 Steps In A Day
Pick a day one weekend (or weekday if free) and set the goal of walking 25,000 steps. Whether it’s a hike through the wilderness or extended trek through the different areas of neighbourhood, drive that steps total up!
Want some workout motivation? Checkout MikedUp Blog on why you should start P90X3.
15.) Go A Minimum Of Two Weeks With Zero Alcohol
If you want to extend this to four weeks or longer, good on you! Cut out the booze for two weeks and reap the health and financial rewards. It’s a simple win to accomplish that has multiple benefits.
Zero To Thrifty shared a post Sober Savings: 3 Positives from Zero Alcohol that highlights some of the benefits he felt by removing booze.
16.) Sweets & Treats Removal – No Junk Food
Remove the candy, chips, ice cream, pastries, etc. from the cupboards and hold strong on eating no junk food for a minimum of two weeks. If you’re courageous, extend that to four weeks. Similar to the alcohol challenge, the no junk food challenge will help give your body a break.
17.) Do 3,000 Sit Ups/Crunches Over The Next 30 Days
That’s 100 sit ups or crunches a day for 30 days. Strengthen that core and help your waistline in the morning or after work. Dedicate some time and build the habit into your routine, whether this is all you do or part of a bigger fitness plan.
Looking for motivation to work out consistently? Check out this post by The Rich Miser as he shares the strategies, mindset and benefits he’s seen from 15+ years straight of regular physical activity.
18.) Volunteer At A Charitable Event Or Local Association/Organization
Find an upcoming event or local association that aligns with something you’d look to support. Maybe it’s an upcoming charitable event like a marathon or the local SPCA, spend at least one day volunteering there in whatever means possible. Use your time as a tool to help others.
Michael at Financially Alert wrote on this topic and the benefits of volunteering your time with his great post Giving Back Doesn’t Always Mean Giving Away Money.
19.) Minimalism “Stuff” Audit & Clean Out
Similar to our eBay Challenge, take an inventory of everything you have around your home or apartment. What’s cluttering your space? Are there any items that deliver no value or purpose? We as humans tend to be good at gathering “stuff”, if you can find anything to sell, donate or throw out – do so!
Want to get started with minimalism? Here are 9 beginner minimalism tips to help simplify your life.
20.) Surprise A Loved One With A Meaningful Gift Or Experience
You know what pulls at the heartstrings of a loved one and would really make their day. It doesn’t have to be expensive or even have any monetary value but surprise this special person with a gift or experience that will make them feel great.
21.) Make A Conscious Effort To Limit Waste & Carbon Footprint
Make a more consistent effort to limit the amount of waste you’re creating in your everyday life. Buy fresh produce and foods as opposed to packaged, pre-made. Don’t take the paper or plastic bag, use your reusable tote bags. If you do have paper, plastics, cans or other recyclable materials, sort and put them in the proper disposal bins. Start an organic food waste bin.
Amy at Life Zemplified has written about her efforts to create less waste before and these two posts help showcase the benefits of doing so, Less Stuff, Less Waste, More Money? [A Mindful Spending Experiment] & Imagine More [A Less Stuff Less Waste Challenge Update].
22.) Disconnect From Electronics Entirely For One Day
Put the smartphone, tablet, laptop, PC, TV and any other gizmos or gadgets you have away. Obviously if you have a family or specific commitments, keep your phone on you! And perhaps give anyone a heads-up you may be slow to reply. Just disconnect and enjoy the company of your family, friends or your own thoughts. Get outside and explore, tackle important tasks around the house or business.
The Smart FI wrote a post on his Digital Detox Day and everything he and his family accomplished in that time when disconnected from the usual electronics.
23.) Review Your Company’s Health Benefits Plan & Take Advantage Of The Offers
Does your company offer paramedical services as part of your health benefits plan? Have you been taking advantage of these? If not, schedule some massages and/or physiotherapy sessions for general body upkeep. Don’t let this free money and the health rewards go to waste.
24.) Reconnect With An Old High School Or University Friend
Find an old friend online or through your phone contacts to reconnect with. Reminisce about the old days and rekindle that friendship. We all slowly drift apart at various times but keeping those long-term bonds with the good people from our past can bring you so much value and happiness.
25.) Set Up A Coffee With A Senior Level Coworker Or Someone In Your Industry
Pick a Senior Level member of your organization to have coffee with if you’re interested in progressing up the management or corporate ladder at this company or within that specific industry. If someone at your current organization isn’t your ideal coffee mate, seek out a contact from within your field of work or one you might aspire to work in.
26.) Read 3 Books Over The Next 30 Days
The power of the written word! Buy 3 books, take out 3 books from the library, borrow 3 books from a friend or re-read 3 books you already have. No topic or genre restrictions, fiction or nonfiction, long or short, there are no rules here.
See my post 25 Books On Personal And Professional Development for some ideas.
27.) Take An Online Course, Webinar Or Training Session
Is there a specific skill you want to start to learn? Are there courses that will help further your career or side hustle? There are plenty of free course available through various blogs, websites or YouTube and Udemy has 55,000+ online courses that are often on sale for only $10.95 each. Whether it’s learning a new piece of computer software, creative writing or one of the million other skills you could develop, unlock another portion of your brain and accrue that knowledge.
28.) Attend A Conference Or Local Meet Up
Network face-to-face with fellow professionals within your career field or one of your hobbies and interests. Make connections, learn from others and build relationships that could lead to mutually beneficial opportunities.
29.) Start A New Hobby
Chess, yoga, photography, hiking, biking, running, blogging, etc. Find a new hobby that peaks your interest and dive in. Learning a new skill or hobby can do wonders for stress, creativity and re-inspiring you.
30.) Spend Time To Plan Your Next Career Progression And/Or Next Raise
Fast-track your career success by spending quality time to review what you actually want and how you’re going to do it. If you’re delivering value in your career, don’t be afraid to ask for a raise and get what you’re worth. Increase your salary to maximize all your other financial and life goals.
Want some advice on how to go about getting that raise? The Moneylogue wrote 7 Tips On How To Ask For A Salary Raise: The Do’s And Don’ts Of Getting What You Want.
There we go! It’s the 30 Small Win Challenge featuring ideas, topics and tasks that could help you build your own momentum with your money and life. Whether you’re looking to conquer some easy money, health or lifestyle wins, the power of accomplishment can help keep you going down that path of self-improvement.
These might not all appeal to you or be in the realm of feasibility for you but I hope some of these small wins have you excited and pondering. I will be making my own momentum by conquering as many of the 30 small win challenges that I can.
There is no timeline and the reward available is what you personally make of it!
Good luck! Make sure to download the Checklist to track any wins and receive some additional content via email over the next few weeks.
Are you joining in or planning to conquer any of the 30 Small Win Challenges? Let me know in the comments below.
What other small wins have helped you get momentum in life? I’d love to hear what has worked for you.
Here are some other posts to help you take control of your money and life:
- 89 Personal Finance Tips – Budget, Save, Make, Invest & Better Manage Your Money
- Waking Up At 5AM Changed My Life – Win The Morning, Win The Day
- 15 Smart Money Moves You Can (Easily) Make This Month
- How To Make $1,000 Quick: 9+ Fast Ways To Earn Money When You Need It
- 35+ Rewarding Side Hustles That Almost Anyone Can Do To Earn More Money
- 17+ Of The Best Free Money Apps To Get Cash Back, Make Money, Save Money & Invest