How would you like to save an extra $5,000 by the end of the year? I’ve come up with three money challenges that will get you there!

If you participate in all three of the challenges, you’ll save $5,000 or more in just 52 weeks.

How to save $5,000 in one year 

1. Save $2,019 in 2019

Transfer $168.25 every month from your checking account to an online savings account and you’ll have $2,019 in 12 months — plus interest.

My suggestion: Make the savings automatic by setting up a recurring transfer.

I’ve opened a new savings account with CIT Bank for this challenge. Its Savings Builder product offers 2.30% APY when you make a single deposit of $100 or more every month.

Learn more: How I’m using 5 bank accounts to save more money in 2019

2. Save Your Savings Challenge

I saved more than $2,000 with the Save Your Savings Challenge in 2018, so I’m not planning to stop for the upcoming year.

Here’s how it works: 

  1. Always ask for a receipt at the checkout
  2. Use Ibotta and Fetch Rewards to get cash back (mostly grocery receipts)
  3. Stash your receipts in a box until the end of the month
  4. Add up the total “You Saved” amounts
  5. Transfer the money to an online bank like CIT Bank that pays interest
  6. Set a goal for the money that you really saved

The last step is an important one. What are you saving for? I decided early on in the challenge last year that I would use the money to fund my Roth IRA.

Learn more: Receipt trick: How I saved an extra $2,000 in 52 weeks

3. Credit Card Rewards Match

Finally, I’ll be matching all of my credit card rewards this year. I started this challenge last year and think it’s a great way to focus on using my rewards to save for the future.

When I redeem credit card rewards, I simply match the dollar amount and transfer it to savings.

For example, I got a $100 sign-up bonus for the new Uber Visa Card. I allowed myself to spend that money on whatever I wanted, but I then put another $100 into savings.

Learn more: Best credit cards: My strategy to earn the most cash back

Action items

Ready to get started? To help reach your $5,000 savings goal, here are five things you can do to earn more and spend less:


Savings Builder