Have you ever heard of the 52 week money challenge? If not, well, you’ve come to the right place. Basically, the 52 week money challenge is a great and fun way to save money throughout the year. We all know that it can be difficult saving money at times. There are also various ways to save money. One such way is the 52 week money challenge. The idea is simple, but discipline and consistency are key.
52 Week Money Challenge
The basic idea is this. There are 52 weeks in a year. The first week, you save $1. The second week, you save $2. The third week, you save $3. Get it? The 21st week, you’ll save $21. The 49th week, you’ll save $49. The 52nd week, you’ll save $52. That’s it. In other words, start with a $1 and then each week, save what you saved the week prior, plus $1. If you do it correctly, at the end of the year (or 52 weeks), you will have a total of $1378.
Now, there’s no requirement that you have to follow this from smallest to largest. In fact, one of the cons with the 52 week money challenge as I’ve laid out is that the most expensive weeks come during Christmas. So, one approach is to go in reverse order where you save the most expensive weeks up front. However, that’s not the approach I’ll be taking.
For me, I plan to save randomly, but with an emphasis on saving the most expensive weeks earlier. That way, I won’t feel strapped during Christmas when I’m trying to buy gifts for friends and family. That’s even more important because I didn’t buy my family any gifts in December! I’m horrible. So, I can’t go two years without being in the Christmas spirit.
For a more indepth look at the 52 week money challenge, visit the Simple Dollar article on the subject.
This is not going to be part of my emergency fund. This is not to buy drinks on the weekend. The whole idea behind the 52 week money challenge is that I am saving for the entire year, without spending any of it. It’s going to be hard, but it’s important not to touch this money.
If you have a hard time saving money, this is a great way to do it. You’ll establish an important habit. And guess what. If you’re successful, then next year, maybe you can increase the amount. That’s what I’m going to try to do. But first, I have to prove to myself that I can complete the challenge. That’s because I’m horrible at saving money.
Well, as a single person, I don’t have anyone to hold me accountable. So, by making my savings public, through this blog, I hold myself accountable. To that end, I’ve established a 52 week money challenge page where I will post the amount I save every week.
Because I only get paid twice a month, I’ll update the tracker twice a month. It also means that out of every paycheck, I’ll be saving for two weeks instead of just a single week. Finally, because I tend to save on a somewhat random basis, don’t expect the tracker to be filled in from first entry to last. But, you can expect that every two weeks, I will be saving an amount to correspond to two of the amounts in the tracker (ie one for each week). So, the table will fill up, sort of randomly until all the numbers gets placed. Sort of like completing a puzzle and the puzzle won’t be complete until the last remaining piece is placed.
Although I won’t be posting on my progress on a weekly basis, I will, from time to time, post on whether I’ve maintained my savings. In fact, I might include it in my monthly dividend update.
With the start of a new year, I have a new found motivation to save money. Granted, I have my resolutions and I have my financial plan, but this is a fun and easy way to break into a new habit. In case you’re wondering, the money will be used for whatever I want, including gambling, lavish gifts, or just to treat myself to a big screen tv. It will likely not be used for investing, but I have a whole year to decide on that.
What do you think about the 52 week money challenge? Have you ever done it? Do you plan to? What are your thoughts? Let me know by commenting below.