Let's say you are a self taught artist or a newly graduated art student, and you haven't quite built up an impressive CV or sold many pieces. You have bills to pay every month, and there is only a little spending money to spare. You could earmark $25 - $50 per month to use for competition fees. These competitions are often quite easy to enter, and some even have no entry fee. I was able to find several that interested me on this site.
For instance, the current competition here is $25-35 to enter up to five images. This is one that I would actually consider, as it involves abstract art. And because it is well within our monthly budget, there might be enough left over for one more. You might find others that suit your style or favorite medium and enter one or two that meet your criteria. In addition, when I browsed through the call to artist list given previously, I found that there were quite a few that were either free to enter or had a very miminal entry fee.
Considering the fact that you can enter one competition at $35, and that there others that have little to no entry fee at all, we now have found our "candidates" for the month. Using this strategy, you could possibly enter at least one, if not two or three competitions a month. Meanwhile, there are seasoned artists, critics, and collectors all over the country (and possibly worldwide) who are seeing your art, getting you and your works more recognition.
So, push any doubts you might have aside when you think of the world of art competition. It will take time and numerous entries before the "one" comes along that lands you a showing at a major gallery or a high-dollar sale to a collector, but at least the task is not so hard on your pocketbook as you might think!