Saving money for most families is a lot harder than it sounds. With an estimated 78% of U.S workers living paycheck to paycheck – finding the extra money to sock away may not be all that feasible.
There are resources out there of course that can help you save – like the Walmart Savings Catcher which we actually love, but may only result in a few dollars a month in extra savings. While that may not seem worthwhile – remember it may save you enough to keep on track with this savings challenge.
Think about how awesome it would be to have an extra $1,378 in your bank account or piggy bank at the end of the year!
The 52 week challenge will help you do just that.
How the 52-week Savings Challenge Works
The concept is pretty simple – week 1 you put a way $1 dollar, week 2 you put away $2, week 3 you put away $3 and so on. If you increase the amount every week by $1 then at the end of 52 weeks you will get almost $1,400 that you would not have had otherwise.
This is a great way to easily save money for bills, Christmas gifts or more.
The Hard Part of the Challenge
Remembering to put the money away is definitely one of the hardest parts. With life being so busy – putting the money away will be the last thing on your mind which is why we provided a printable below that you can use to put somewhere prominent so you remember. I know it sounds silly, but I have mine hanging in my bathroom!
It also gets challenging as the dollar amounts get higher – like putting away $50 right before the holidays is tough. This is why I use the reverse 52 week challenge method as noted below.
Reversing The 52 Week Challenge
I usually do the 52 Week Money Challenge backwards! Why? Well, because when it comes time for Christmas and gifts and parties and everything else, there always seems to be a shortage of money so for me it makes sense to put the highest dollar amount away in January when my expenses are so much lower.
I figured if I did it backwards, then the big money deposits are out of the way and it’s only going to get easier.
So, who else does the money challenge – but does it backwards?
Of course you don’t have to do it backwards, you can do it the normal way – no matter how you do it, we just encourage you to do it!
We found a great form you can use to keep track of your savings to make sure you do not miss a week! Just print it and hang it somewhere prominent in your home so you do not miss a day of savings.
Why this Challenge Is Awesome
The thought of setting aside these small amounts make people feel they can do it! That alone is priceless. There is less sacrifice overall to your financial situation – meaning you do not have to give up too much to make the savings program work. As the monthly amounts get higher, it may prove a little more challenging – but it may help you find things you can cut from your life.
Like if you get coffee at the local shop a few times a week – do you really need it? That can easily add up to $50 a month if you go enough!
Saving the $1,378 equates to almost $115 a month. Saving a few dollars a week seems less intrusive than trying to come up with $115 a month doesn’t it?
Other Creative Ways To Do The 52 Week Money Challenge
While the above is a start there are other ways you can use this to be more effective with your money saving efforts.
- Double the amounts you put away each week! If you earn a little more and can do it – why not!
- Set a flat amount each week – say if you are comfortable putting $25 a month away, then do that instead. You can still use the chart to track your progress!
- Do the savings monthly instead of weekly if it makes your life easier – so for month one you would put away $10 (the totals for week 1 through week 4).
Be creative! If you have a set goal you are trying to save, then calculate it by 52 weeks and see what you need each week to achieve it!
How Can You Find A Few Extra Dollars?
So, what if some of these weekly amounts seem a little scary? Later in the year when the amounts get higher we know for some it may be a bit of struggle. This is the time you need to be creative!
- Have a garage sale – everyone has stuff in their home that is not being used, why not have that as part of your savings plan. Or you can use websites like the Amazon Trade In Program to get rid of some items if they are in great shape!
- Use tools like Giving Assistant to get cash back on purchases.
- If you use credit cards a lot, make sure you are using one that has rewards – many do cash back and you can use that cash to add to your savings challenge. (If you are trying to save money, we of course do not recommend using credit cards – but if you do you may as well as get cash back!)
- Stop the coffee and lunch runs!
- Cook more at home – eating out a lot is a budget breaker
Keeping the Savings Safe
Another thing I highly recommend is putting your money into the bank or a safe at home that is hard to get into. If you just put the money in a jar or standard piggy bank you may be “tempted” to take some out for some reason. Like a cup of Starbuck’s or for lunch for your kid – but this defeats the purpose of the savings!
Putting it in the bank is our recommendation to ensure the money is not removed for something silly that you will probably regret later.
This savings program can really help you get a better visual on how you are spending money – so we hope you really use this program as an opportunity to revamp your spending habits!
Tell us about your success or failures with the 52 Week Challenge!