When my husband and I were going through an extremely frugal season of our lives (in other words, we were broke), it seemed almost impossible to save much money. We put away whatever we could toward emergencies and were, thankfully, living debt-free, but that was all we could do. That was until we decided to take the 52-Week Money Challenge.
This is the challenge that originated with a 911 dispatcher by the name of Kassondra Perry-Moreland. She wanted to find a new way to save money so that she could have more to show for her hard work all year long. Hence, the 52-Week Money Challenge was born.
What is it?
To take the 52-Week Money Challenge, you need to save $1 on your start date. Typically, people make this a New Year’s resolution in January. In the second week, you save $2. By the third week, it’s $3. And so on.
Check your savings account balance after Christmas and you’ll discover an extra $1,378.
Not to mention a year’s worth of developing a savings habit.
For more details on the benefits of this money-saving challenge, click here.
7 Ways to Take the 52-Week Money Challenge
I’ve done this challenge twice the traditional way, but it turns out there is a myriad of other ways to approach it. I jumped onto Facebook and asked around to see how others use this challenge and want to share the answers with you.
1. Original Challenge: Save $1, $2, $3
This is Kassondra Perry Moreland’s original version of the 52-Week Money Challenge and the most popular, by far. I’ve already described how to begin this version at the beginning of this article, but here are several great charts you can use via Pinterest to help track your progress.
2. Reversed Challenge: Save $52, $51, $50
This challenge is a direct reversal of the original. Some of the participants with whom I spoke on Facebook said they liked depositing the larger cash toward the beginning of the year. That way, they had less to worry about during the holidays.
3. Doubled Challenge: Save $2, $4, $6
If $1,378 really won’t move the needle far enough for your financial goal, try doubling each deposit amount. On week #1, you’ll put $2 into savings, then $4, and so on.
4. 10X Challenge: Save $10, $20, $30
One Facebook participant decided to add a zero to every deposit throughout the 52-Week Money Challenge. I don’t have any clue if he was successful, but if you need a tactical way to save $13,330 in one year, then this 10X challenge is for you.
5. Locked Challenge: Save $26.50, $26.50, $26.50
Many challenge participants told me they simply automated a fixed amount to transfer into savings each week. If you divide $1,378 by 12 months, then each week’s deposit should be $26.50.
That’s one way to do this, but remember, you lose the habit forming work required when you deposit your funds manually.
Scrambled Challenge: Pick week numbers out of a hat, randomly.
If you really want to crank up the creativity of this challenge, try cutting up the each of the 52 weeks on paper and drawing them out of a hat. You could even get your kids in on this part, creating a window for discussion about why you’re saving and why it’s important.
Max Savings Challenge: Save as much as possible, every week.
This really is the best option for you to see the greatest success. Savings challenges like these are great for habit forming, but they don’t always help you save as much as you possibly can.
Instead of saving a set dollar amount, simply commit to saving everything you possibly can each week. Even if it’s a few dollars, it will add up. Try printing off a chart and filling in how much you saved manually. I bet you’ll be surprised how much you put away in a year’s time!
Which of these 7 ways would you take the 52-Week Money Saving Challenge?
Image Credit: Caleb Jones (UnSplash)