What is the 52-Week Money Challenge?
The run down on how to start this challenge is as follows:
- Step #1: Designate a starting week (many people start during the first week in January).
- Step #2: Deposit $1 on week #1. A week later, deposit $2. On Week #3, deposit $3.
- Step #3: Continue making deposits every week for $1 more than the week before. By Week #52, you’ll make your last deposit of $52. Your grand total in savings will be $1,378.
Where did this challenge originate?
A 911 dispatcher by the name of Kassondra Perry-Moreland first thought up this challenge as a way of breaking her old and destructive habits. Like so many (myself included), she was sick of working so hard with nothing to show for it. When Kassondra started a Facebook group for the challenge, as a way to keep herself and a few friends accountable, she had no idea what was to come.
Her idea went viral. By the end of the year, her Facebook group had grown to over 1.5 million members.
Even if only half the members completed the challenge, that was over a billion dollars saved that year.
For Kassondra’s full origin story about the 52-Week Money Challenge, click here.
Does the 52-Week Money Challenge really work?
I’ve done the challenge a number of times with positive results each time. It really is the type of thing that produces results directly based on your willingness to make it happen.
One great way to make the challenge work is to tell someone else for greater accountability. Also, designating an end goal helps with motivation (a year is a long time!). Our end goal for the 52-week money challenge was to save up for our first house. Yours might be to pay off debt, to go on a special trip, or to save for your child’s college fund.
The options are endless.
What are the pros and cons to the challenge?
This challenge has a built-in discipline program. When you save $1, $2, and $9, during the first few months, it’s an easy commitment. That helps you build up a healthy habit so that by the time you’re facing weekly deposits of $42, $47, or $52, you’re used to it.
Another pro is how simple and cost-effective this challenge is. It takes very little data, no cost or even an app to download, and anyone can do it, anytime. The biggest challenge is to set your own boundaries and keep yourself accountable.
One difficult part of this challenge is to actually remember to make the deposits each week. Technically, you could set up a fixed amount to transfer on its own (i.e. $25 per week = $1,300 in one year). But, then you’d miss the habit growing experience.
Six in one; half a dozen in the other.
If you have the desire to do any of the following, then this savings challenge is for you:
- Establish a diligent habit of saving money every week
- Work toward a long-term financial goal
- Spice up your money habits
What would you save up for if you did the 52-Week Money Challenge this year?
Image Credit: Seth Doyle (UnSplash)