12-Day Money Challenge

2021 is right around the corner, and it seems like we are all eagerly counting down to the end of the year of COVID. The holidays are a welcome sight, but at the same time, we might go a little overboard with holiday spending. Don’t get me wrong. Spending is a good thing, after all, that’s what money is for. It’s uncontrolled spending that leads to problems later on.

Here’s a solution. Try this 12-Day Money Challenge. Although the temptation is to “spend, spend, spend,” we need to remind ourselves to “share, save, spend.” Now is the ultimate time to maintain those good money habits you have built all year long. Don’t derail all your savings on short-lived distractions. Consider it your holiday gift to yourself: More money for you.

How does the 12-Day Money Challenge work? Each day focuses on a theme:

  • Day 1, Share.
  • Day 2, Save.
  • Day 3, Spend.
  • Day 4, Share.
  • Day 5, Save.
  • Day 6, Spend.
  • Day 7, Share.
  • Day 8, Save.
  • Day 9, Spend.
  • Day 10, Share.
  • Day 11, Save.
  • Day 12, Spend.

On each day of the challenge, pick a dare that goes with the theme. You can use the ideas below or come up with your own. Everyone’s circumstances are different, so make the challenge your own. And no matter where you stand financially, everyone has the ability to do this challenge. If funds are low, share the gift of time instead by running an errand for someone or by volunteering at a local food drive. There are many ways that you can embrace this challenge, and the benefits go beyond building good money habits.

Are you up for the challenge?? Here are some ideas to help you along!


  • Donate to your favorite charity.
  • Treat a co-worker to lunch.
  • Double the tip on your food delivery or restaurant order.
  • Pay it forward — buy coffee for the next person in line.


  • For one day, match every purchase you make by saving the same amount in the bank.
  • Skip buying coffee or lunch that day and put that money towards savings.
  • Keep the change — round up every purchase to the next whole dollar amount, and put the difference in savings (some banks and apps will do this for you automatically).
  • Review your long-term savings accounts to make sure that 1) you’re invested, and 2) your investments still align with your goals.


  • Spend no more than $5 today.
  • Set a budget for buying holiday gifts.
  • Buy one thing for yourself today, only if it costs 5% or less of what you earned today.
  • Everything you buy today must be on sale or with a discount/coupon.

If you are able to stick with the challenge for all 12 days, congratulations! Maybe extend the challenge into the new year, and rotate the themes each month rather than each day? Sounds like a great new year’s resolution!

Homework: Take the challenge! How did you do? What ideas would you like to share with others?

To our readers: Ace Academy has changed from weekly to monthly lessons, so starting 2021, each month will focus on a new topic (college savings, retirement, etc.). If you have topics you would like to see, please let me know. And thanks for subscribing! Wishing everyone a happy holiday season!

If you like this lesson and want to see more, please consider a donation on GoFundMe.

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