I've always heard of people doing 30, 60, or even 90-day challenges to improve some area of their life. In theory they seem like good numbers, especially since 30-90 days is typically a long enough period of time to develop a habit.

The problem for me was that committing to something new for 30 days seemed a little overwhelming. Especially since I didn't know if the new habit I was trying to develop would benefit me all that much. But sticking to something for ten days? Easy.

I was introduced to ten day challenges about a month ago and I think they're perfect to test the waters. Plus, since you're only committing for ten days you'll be likely to stick to the challenge and not feel a sense of failure for not completing your challenge. And we all know that success begets success and failure begets failure.

So why not test drive a new habit with a ten day challenge to see if you can improve an area of your life? Here are five ten-day challenges you can use to improve your finances.

Track Your Spending for Ten Days

Some might believe that tracking spending for ten days isn't long enough to make a difference. I, however, would completely disagree.

When I begin tracking my spending it becomes a bit of an addiction after only a few days. At first, sifting through all the details of my spending starts to annoy me. But after I start getting some expenses inputted, I love to look at the big picture and begin searching for ways to optimize my expenses.

Tracking your spending for just ten days can be an eye-opening experience and become a lifelong habit.

Cook All of Your Own Meals for Ten Days

If you eat a lot of take-out then this challenge could literally save you more than a hundred dollars. That's a pretty decent amount of money to save in only ten days.

If you want to go the extra mile on this one then don't go grocery shopping either. Strictly eat out of your pantry if possible.

Don't Spend ANY Money for Ten Days

Pretty self-explanatory - don't spend any money for ten days. Not on food, not on clothes, not on convenience!

Other than paying your normal monthly bills don't treat yourself to anything else.

Save All Your Ten Dollar Bills for Ten Days

I always like reading stories of people who save all of the five dollars bills they come into contact with for a year or two. You would not believe the amount of money that can add up to!

If you use cash often then opt to save all of your five, ten or even twenty dollar bills for ten days. It'll be fun to see how much extra money you save at the end of the challenge!

Sell One Item a Day for Ten Days

This challenge is definitely on my to-do list. Over the past month I've slowly began to de-clutter one room (or one cabinet) at a time. I am completely amazed at all the junk I've accumulated.

Instead of tossing the stuff I don't use in the trash I currently have a couple of large bins and a couple of trash bags full of stuff stored in the basement. If I listed only one item a day for ten days on a Facebook Yard Sale, I'd be putting a good amount of extra cash in my pocket!

Another thought is to sell your items on eBay or Amazon. I relied on this strategy for several years and was able to earn over $2,000 per year doing this.

Are You Up for the Challenge?

Whether you're wanting to develop a new habit, or just put a little money back in your pocket, I'd like to encourage you to start a ten day challenge.

Ten days is easy to stick with and will allow you to test the waters before trying to commit to a larger period of time.

Editor's note: This article was originally published on The College Investor. It has been republished here with permission.

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