If you’ve spent any time on Pinterest searching around for money-saving tips or money-saving challenges, I’m 99.9 percent certain you’ve come across the 52-Week Money-Saving Challenge. It’s fun, fairly easy to implement and helps you save $1,378 in one year.
For most people, $1,378 is a lot of money. If you are just starting your financial life out, that basically becomes your starter Oh Shit Fund or your emergency fund. If you are past your Oh Shit Fund, you can use that savings to help you pay down debt.
Or if you’ve got both of those things covered, this can be used as an extra savings to help you travel the world.
Whatever your goals are, almost $1,400 can go a really long way. So if you’re looking for an easy activity to stash some extra cash, let’s get started.
How it works.
The whole goal of the 52-week money-saving challenge is to keep it so simple that anyone can save money.
We start small at week one. During the first week, you transfer $1 to your savings account.
Then, as the weeks progress, you’ll transfer the same amount in dollars as the numbered week you are on. For example, during week two, you’ll transfer $2; likewise during week five, you’ll transfer $5 to your savings account.
Told you this is easy! The cool thing is that by the end of the challenge, you will have saved $1,378! That’s a nice chunk of change just by moving a few dollars here and there on a weekly basis, right?
So you’re skeptical, huh?
A lot of people criticize this savings challenge. Isn’t it better to take equal amounts of money every month and put that automatically into savings?
Yes and no.
If you are the kind of person who would much rather see the same, consistent amount of money put into your savings account each month, and you will never worry about it again, the 52-week challenge may not be the right challenge for you.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t save this same amount (or more) over time with your own method. Just schedule an automatic savings transfer of $114.83 to your savings account once a month, and voila! You’ve made your own 12-months savings challenge.
But if you are the kind of person who loves to gamify your finances and find a lot of joy in the challenge aspect, then this is a ton of fun and gets really exciting towards the end. Keep in mind that if you started this challenge in January, you’re looking at saving quite a bit of money around the holidays at the end of the year, which may not be optimal (so don’t hesitate to give yourself a different start date).
How to automate this challenge.
If you are trying to manually remember to save that money every single week, you might not actually do it or it might get a bit cumbersome. That’s why I like to hack this method through automation.
I haven’t tried to do this with my bank, mostly because it seems like a giant pain in the butt. And, thankfully, you don’t have to.
There are lots of apps that can help you increase your savings, but my personal favorite for this type of challenge is Qapital. Qapital is a free app, that allows you to set up rules for your financial life. For example, one of the pre-set rules you can use is the 52 week challenge. All you do is link your current checking account with Qapital and it will pull the correct amount of money for each week that you are on. It’s so easy to do!
Pro tip (and bonus savings challenge): I’m currently saving for a trip to Machu Picchu. The idea of exploring around this world wonder makes me so anxious and unfortunately, it’s not a cheap trip. I anticipate needing $2,000 for the trip. So I set up the 52 week challenge AND the round up rule where every purchase gets rounded up to the nearest dollar with the round-up amount being saved. Then, I just watch the account grow.
I started this 17 weeks ago and am currently sitting at $249.42. The best part of this is I really don’t miss the money at all. It has not had a negative impact on my life in the least bit and stacking the rules is helping me hit my goal of $2,000 for Machu Picchu even more quickly.
The 52-Week Money Saving Challenge can be a great way to help you save more money, achieve your financial goals, and start to become a master saver. It takes time to build up a really big savings account, but if you use apps or just schedule automatic transfers from your bank account to your savings account, you’ll start to see progress soon.
Take action today and good luck with the money-saving challenge!
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