Money can be a huge source of stress, and learning to save up and spend smarter can feel overwhelming. When it comes to feeling more secure and less stressed with our finances, starting small is important. These Thrive Challenge Winners have found small tips and tricks that have helped them spend smarter and create new money habits. Here are some strategies that have helped them save every month:

  1. Take inventory of what you have at home

“I go through everything in my refrigerator and freezer before buying new groceries. I make an inventory of everything I have. I like to know how much I need and when I need it, which prevents me from overspending. Drinking more water also helps because I’m no longer spending so much money on other drinks. In fact, I’m saving anywhere from $75-$100 each week.”

— Katrina Smith, Sam’s Club #4989; Auburn, AL; $5K Winner

  1. Buy groceries in bulk –– and cut down on trips to the store

“I take my lunch to work now and only eat what I’ve cooked for the week. I also got rid of many of the snacks in my house. Now that I cook all my meals, I’m able to buy in bulk, which greatly reduces our food cost. We don’t go to the grocery store as often as we did in the past, and we don’t waste money on junk food. We have been able to grow our savings account, due to what we would have spent on food in the past.”

— DeRocke Croom, Walmart Customer; Hampton, VA, $5K Winner

  1. Put a portion of your paycheck into an envelope 

“Each week, I aim to save a different amount; I’ll take $20 or $30 out of each paycheck and put it in an envelope. Once I fill each envelope, I write down the amount inside it and stash it away in a folder. When I see each envelope sealed at the end of the month, I’m reminded that I can do this! I don’t need to spend that $5 on a coffee or eat that candy bar.”

Pam Jordan, Supercenter #0556; Waycross, GA; $5K Winner


  • Rebecca Muller Feintuch

    Senior Editor and Community Manager


    Rebecca Muller Feintuch is the Senior Editor and Community Manager at Thrive. Her previous work experience includes roles in editorial and digital journalism. Rebecca is passionate about storytelling, creating meaningful connections, and prioritizing mental health and self-care. She is a graduate of New York University, where she studied Media, Culture and Communications with a minor in Creative Writing. For her undergraduate thesis, she researched the relationship between women and fitness media consumerism.