creative ways to save money


Woman drawing at a desk, surrounded by creative pictures and art supplies.

We can all agree; it's responsible and necessary to save money. Yet often, instead of being excited about a growing savings account, we focus on everything we'll have to give up to make it happen. Fortunately, there are ways you can save money or stay within your budget and still have fun doing it! Change your perspective on what it means to save by checking out the following money-saving activities:

take a staycation

Just because you can’t afford to take a trip away doesn’t mean you have to deprive yourself of a break. Take a day or two off and relax with a Staycation! It’s like a vacation, except it's less time off, requires a little less planning, and the best part? It’s less expensive!

Staycations are quickly becoming one of the most popular travel trends! Essentially, you become a “tourist” in your own city. Perhaps there’s a new restaurant that just opened. Or maybe you’ll decide to visit the local hiking trails. From museums, to record shops or even art festivals - every city has unique businesses and events that can be checked out!

You may feel like you’ve already experienced everything your hometown has to offer. That’s understandable - Some towns are quieter than others! Staycations don’t require you to stay in one area. If the next city over has something you’d like to try, hop in your car, and head over there!

pro tip: Take your staycation during the week. Typically, businesses will be less crowded during regular work hours.


Are you looking to cut down on your grocery bill? Try planting a garden! Want a new bookshelf, but it's not in the budget? Build one yourself for half the cost! In need of new throw blankets? Learn how to knit! 

Put your creativity to the test with a few of these DIY (Do It Yourself) projects. The idea is instead of spending money hiring a professional for a service or buying goods from a store, and you choose to accomplish the task or create the product yourself.

DIY projects are beneficial when you have an expensive home repair. In a recent study, 30% of homeowners claimed they could not afford labor costs. Luckily, home projects like painting, floor tiling, and plumbing are easier than you think, especially with endless internet resources. Keep in mind most DIY projects you're interested in will likely have a tutorial video, blog post, or step-by-step guide available to help you!

reduce. reuse. recycle.  

One great aspect of DIY is recycling products that would otherwise be thrown away. It might seem strange to create something out of trash, but you'd be surprised how far a little bit of cleaner, paint, and fabric can go! Check out these creative DIY projects that were made with recycled materials:


Blue plant holder with yellow flowers in it

Plant holder using recycled shipping crates 

A wood light fixture hanging from a ceiling

A light fixture using strainers 

Playroom that has a tire swing, bookshelf and a couch with pillows

Swing for a playroom using an old tire 

Grey and white couch next to a white end table with plants on it

New couch - old plywood 


pro tip: They say, "one man's trash is another man's treasure." So, the next time you're ready to revamp your wardrobe, check out your local thrift store. You can find unique pieces for less cost and support your community while you do it!

try a money-saving challenge

Sometimes simply changing your approach to saving money can help motivate you. Money-saving challenges are perfect if you're looking for that change because they turn the tedious process of saving money into a game!

Check out these popular challenges:

  • 52 Week Challenge – There’s a reason this has become one of the most common savings challenges because it’s straightforward forward, and it works! Start by saving $1 on week one, $2 on week two, and so on until the final week, when you’ll save $52. Try it out and watch your savings account grow! Total Savings = $1,378
  • Roll The Dice Challenge – This challenge is both simple and effective! You roll six-sided dice every day for a year and save the amount rolled. Total Savings = $365 - $2,190
  • 365 Nickel Saving Challenge – Similar to the 52 Week Challenge, except you're saving daily, starting with a nickel. That means you'll save .05 on the first day, .10 on the second day, and so on until the final day, where you'll save $18.40. It seems manageable, right? You might be surprised by how much this challenge can save you! Total Savings = $3,300
  • The 100 Envelope Challenge – The great part about this challenge is that it only lasts a few months. Start by numbering one hundred envelopes from 1 to 100. Once that is completed, put them in a shoebox or container and shuffle them around until they are in random order. Every day, pull out one envelope and save the amount equal to the number. Keep in mind that this challenge will be harder to accomplish than the others. It's worth a try, though, especially when you add up how much you can save! Total Savings = $5,050

Are you feeling up to the challenge? That's great! Just keep in mind that money-saving challenges require consistency, and at times, you might have to put away a large sum of cash. Saving money is always a plus, but don't skip out on necessary bills to complete the challenge. It's recommended that people evaluate their finances before they dive headfirst into a challenge!

create a savings vision board

Get out your scissors, glue gun, and old magazines because it’s time to make a vision board!

For those unfamiliar with vision boards, start by getting a poster or corkboard. Then fill the board with a collage of pictures and phrases that visually represent your future goals. For example, if you're hoping to purchase a new car in a year, you might decide to use an image of your dream car. Or maybe you’ll choose to write out a word representing the new car. There isn’t a “right” way to make a vision board. You can use whatever art supplies, images, and techniques you want. That’s the best part – it's unique to the person making it!

It might seem like a silly concept. How will gluing pictures to a board motivate someone to save money? That’s a valid question, although it’s more effective than you might think! Statistically, someone is 1.4 times more likely to accomplish a goal if they can visualize it. It’s also much easier to stay focused on your goals if you're reminded of them often. That’s why it’s a good idea to keep your board in a space that you frequently visit – like your office or bedroom.

what’s next?

Do any of these money-saving activities seem interesting to you? If so, give them a try! Just remember to deposit your savings into an account that offers benefits - like BlueOx Credit Union’s Savings Accounts, which offer competitive dividend rates and daily accruing interest. Click the button to learn more:

Savings Accounts 

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