Most people know from personal experience and failure that saving money can be tough. The 52-week money challenge is a money-saving challenge designed to help you track and achieve your savings goal by saving bit by bit throughout the year. It gets its name from the 52 weeks of a year and there are different ways of doing it with the most common being saving $1 in week 1, $2 in week 2, and 52$ in week 52 of the year. Here are some tips to help you save successfully through the 52-week savings challenge.
5 Different ways of doing the 52-week savings challenge
Classic 52-week money challenge
In the classic version, you save $1 in the first week, $2 the second week, and so on until the last week of the year when you save $52.
Reverse 52-week money challenge
In this one, you start out saving $52 the first week of the year, $51 the second week of the year, and so on until the last week of the year when you save $1. This version makes the holidays less stressful.
Random 52-week money challenge
In this one, you print out the chart with the amount that should be saved each week then randomly pick a week and save the amount then mark it off so that you don’t do that amount again.
Selective 52-week money challenge
In this one, you hit the milestones in whatever order works for you. If you get some extra money, you could choose to save the $52 and on a really bad week, you could strike off the $1 and so on.
Monthly 52-week money challenge
This option allows you to save four-five weeks at a time. You just calculate how much you need to save that month then save the money at once without having to keep track of each individual week at a time. This works out well for people who are paid monthly.
Benefits of the 52-week savings challenge
Breaking your goals down into smaller bits shared over the entire year makes it feel more manageable. Small achievable goals also help you build momentum as you work through the 52-week money challenge.
The fact that there are different ways of working through the 52-week challenge introduces flexibility that allows you to find a method that works for you and even create a game out of it. It is also flexible enough to work for just about everyone.
Tips for successfully doing the 52-week money challenge
Create a plan
Planning is key when it comes to the realization of any goals. Determine what you’re saving for and how much you intend to save through the 52-week money challenge. Having a tangible savings goal will keep you focused and motivated throughout the year. If possible, print out the goal to help you visualize it throughout the year.
Print out the 52-week savings challenge in advance and decide which way you’ll go about it. Do you want to do it monthly or in reverse? Decide where you will save the money and make whatever plans you need to get the account ready. Don’t save the money in an account you regularly access. This will help you track the progress and also decrease the likelihood of you accessing and using the money.
Because it’s called the 52-week money challenge and presumed to begin during the first week of the year, there is a sense that if you don’t begin then you have to wait till the next year. That’s not correct. The 52-week savings challenge is flexible enough to allow you to begin at any time and you can tweak it to fit your personal needs.
Automate your savings
If possible, minimize the temptation to postpone saving by automating things. Set yourself up for success by automating the monthly or weekly transfer of money from your ordinary account to your 52-week money challenge savings account.
Budget and decrease expenses
One of the key reasons people save money is to achieve a measure of financial independence and financial security. In order to do this, it’s useful to track expenses aside from just saving. Begin by including the amount you need to save in your monthly or weekly budget. Examine your budget and expenses and find ways of reducing your expenses. This will make it easier to be successful with the 52-week money challenge especially for people whose budgets are already tight.
Gamify the challenge
Making the 52-week savings challenge into a game increases your likelihood of success. Have a friendly competition with a friend. Reward yourself along the way at pre-determined milestones, such as when you hit $500 or every month. Chart out a visual graph as your savings grow every week.
Consider getting an accountability partner to help keep you on track. If you are on social media, consider using the hashtags #52WeekMoneyChallenge or #52WeekSavingsChallenge if you think you’d benefit from the sense of community that comes from being part of a virtual community.
You may have tried saving before and maybe it didn’t go how you’d hoped or planned. Here’s an opportunity to try saving again with the 52-week money challenge.