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Saving money can be tricky, but you can use the 52 week money challenge to baby step your way to a year’s worth of savings.
There can be many obstacles to saving money, and if you’re like me, you may wish to save, but frequently fail to follow through. In addition, you may be one of the 78% of Americans that live paycheck to paycheck.
Using the 52 week money challenge, saving makes saving money motivating and a game.
You’ll learn how to use the 52 week challenge to save $1,378 in one year in five easy steps, and exercise your savings muscles for continued savings after the challenge.
This post is about how to save with the 52 week money challenge.
What is the 52 week money challenge?
The challenge is a way to save small amounts of money each week, and by the end of a year, you will have saved $1,378.
In this challenge you’ll start by saving $1. Each week, the amount saved increases by only one dollar, until eventually you’ve saved enough for a starter emergency fund.
Benefits of completing the challenge
There are several benefits to completing this challenge:
- 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: Save More Money with These 5 Unconventional Tips]
4 steps to completing the challenge
1. Use a visual tracker
One great way to stay motivated while completing the 52 Week Money Challenge is to use a printable 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 Option
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 $202 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 $52. 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.
Get paid bi-weekly?
If you get paid bi-weekly, you might be interested in the 26 week money challenge instead. This challenge has you save the same amount of money, but only save every other week.
You can read more about the 26 week money challenge here.
I hope you have great success in saving with the 52 week money challenge.
Have you done the 52 week money challenge before or another savings challenge? I’d love to hear about your successes in a comment below. Let me be your newest cheerleader!