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Have you had trouble saving money? The 26 week money challenge can help you save lots of money in small bi-weekly steps.
What is the 26 week money challenge?
This challenge happens over the course of either 26 weeks, which is 6 months, or over the course of one year or 52 weeks. Most people complete this challenge over 52 weeks, and put the money into savings every two weeks. This challenge is perfect for those who are paid bi-weekly or every two weeks.
The challenge starts small with only saving $3 the first week and works its way up to saving $101 at the most in one week.
By the end of the challenge, you will have saved $1,378 at the end of the 26 weeks.
What are the benefits of completing the challenge?
There are many benefits to completing this savings challenge, such as
- Builds up your saving muscles– It makes saving money a habit that you can continue through the rest of your life.
- Starter Emergency Fund– When you finish, you will have a starter emergency fund to put margin between you life’s emergencies.
- You can start any time– Many people think they need to start a big challenge at the beginning of a new year, but it is not necessary. You can start it any month and any day of the year.
- First step to financial freedom– If you wish to pursue financial freedom, you will have completed baby step 1 of Dave Ramsey’s baby step plan for financial peace, which I highly recommend.
- Influence– If you have children, showing them your dedication to saving and taking control of your money can have a positive influence on their future.
[RELATED POST: 11 Simple Ways to Save Money Today]
4 simple steps for competing the 26 week money challenge
1. Use a visual tracker
Many people have success with staying motivated for the 26 week money challenge by printing out a tracker and placing it in a prominent place. Check out this 26 week challenge tracker.
If you don’t want to use a pre-made tracker, you can always create your own to put on your refrigerator or in a planner. In my own experience, if you keep the tracker in a prominent place where you and others in your family can see it daily, you will be more likely to follow through each week.
So, step one will be to print out a visual tracker or create your own and place it in a place that is easy to see on a daily basis.
2. Designate an envelope or a bank account for your savings
You can choose to save two different ways, electronically or with cash.
If you want to save with cash, then I recommend you get an envelope to put your savings in each week. Any envelope will work for this, but there are many options of reusable cash envelopes available. Here are many choices available on Amazon.
If you want to save in a bank account, then each week, you will transfer the amount into that account.
The important part to this step is that for the entire year, you must not remove money from where you have deposited it.
3. Color your tracker
Each week when you save the correct amount, color in the icon on your tracker that corresponds with that week’s savings.
By coloring in your tracker, you will stay motivated as you see the more and more icons being colored in.
4. Celebrate your dedication to success
Celebrate each week as you meet that week’s savings goal. There is no need to wait until you’ve saved the total amount, since you’re building savings muscles, each week is a celebration.
As you color in each week’s icon, find a fun way to celebrate. You’re changing your life and taking control of your money, and that is worth celebrating!
A Modified Challenge
I’d like to mention a slightly modified option that may work better for you than the traditional way of completing the challenge.
If you happen to be starting the challenge at the beginning of the new year, you might notice that you’re saving only $10 in the month of January; however, you’re saving $204 in the month of December. This could prove challenging with the holidays.
One way that you could modify the challenge is to choose any dollar amount that you want to save each week. For instance, if you happened to get a bonus at work one week, that might be a good week to save the $103. If you’re having a tight week, because it’s close to the end of the month, you might want to save a lower amount.
As long as your icons are all colored in by the end of the year, and you have saved each amount, then you will still save the full amount.
This is just another option, and you can decide which way works the best for you.
If you would rather do a weekly savings challenge, you might be interested in the 52 Week Money Challenge instead.
I hope you have great success in completing the 26 week money challenge, and it helps you to reach new goals!
If you complete the 26 week challenge or have completed another money challenge, please let us know in a comment below. I’d love to be your new cheerleader!