3 Simple Ways to Take the 52-Week Money Challenge

After writing about my own experience with the 52-week money challenge in a recent blog post, I received a lot of positive feedback. People were very interested in trying this method of saving, so I thought I would share three simple ways to begin.

OK, so first off, I did not invent this challenge. Nor did I create the variations listed below. This is good news for you.  That’s because I heard testimonies first-hand from people who tried these methods and were successful. I have tried only the first one (and so far so good).

***Update as of 12-29-15***  We just finished this challenge and loved it! I will say we missed a few weeks here and there, but those were easy enough to catch up. Now we’re wrapping up 2015 with an additional $1378 saved toward our first home, and we never made a deposit greater than $52 to make it happen.

A Powerful, Real Life Example

If you’d like to meet the woman who created the 52-week money challenge, her name is Kassondra Perry-Moreland and her full story can be read here.

I want to highlight the power of her incredible discovery. Kassondra started this Facebook group devoted to the 52-week money challenge. Her aim was to get a handful of friends and family to help keep her accountable. Three days after the group’s inception, there were over 1,000 members. By the end of the year, nearly $1.5 million was on track to be saved.

As Kassondra put it:

“We have to stop this cycle of not saving in our communities.” – Kassondra Perry-Moreland

On that note, let’s dive into the three challenges:

1. The Original Challenge

What is it: Save $1 this week. Next week, save $2. On week 3, save $3…On week 52, save $52. Click here for a handy chart.

Pros: Starts easy. Builds up gradually to help you develop the routine of weekly saving.

Cons: Higher dollar amounts each week toward the end.

Total savings after 52 weeks = $1,378

2. The Reverse Challenge

What is it: Save $52 this week. Next week, save $51. On week 3, save $50…On week 52, save $1.

Pros: Gradually saving less and less while developing the routine of weekly saving. People have said they didn’t want to be hit all at once with higher amounts right around a holiday or vacation at the end.

Cons: More aggressive savings upfront.

Total savings after 52 weeks = $1,378

3. The Automated Challenge

What is it: Save $26.50 each week via automatic transfer

Pros: Savings amount never varies – easy to budget. You don’t have to worry about forgetting to transfer each week.

Cons: Less habit-building by not saving manually.

Total savings after 52 weeks = $1,378

Click here to download this free infographic of the three money-saving challenges!

52 Week Money Saving Challenge

So each of these challenges has the same ending; you just have to decide how to get there. To do that, I suggest you read the following three W’s.

1.  WHAT are you saving for?

  • I bet you had some idea when you first saw the article. We are putting ours toward our house fund. Think about what you could do with $1,378 for a moment. Do you have debt to pay down? An emergency fund to build up? Do you need to replace some furniture? Replace a car? Save for a trip? Make it something that means a lot to you.

2.  WHICH method will you choose?

  • You have your “What” – and your spouse is on board.  Hopefully? Maybe? If not, you had better go tell him or her, because this challenge is going to take work. You could use the help. Believe me. So which method will you choose?

3.  WHEN will you start?

  • This challenge seems to be popular around the first of the year, for obvious reasons, but you don’t have to wait. In fact, please don’t. Just pick a day of the week and STICK TO THAT DAY. We picked Friday because that’s payday. Do what works for you.

Why only three variations? There are more out there, but I don’t think you need more. The point is for me to convince you to start saving, not to dump buckets of research over your head until you cry “uncle”. It’s simply time to act.

Which will you choose?

Join the Discussion:  What would you do with an extra $1,378?

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34 thoughts on “3 Simple Ways to Take the 52-Week Money Challenge

  1. I am doing this challenge but put numbers 1-52 on a piece of paper and drawing one out of the jar each week. That way the amount saved is mixed up week by week.

  2. Thank you for posting this and the chart to track the progress. 🙂

    I love the idea of this challenge and decided to apply it to my RRSP (the Canadian version of a 401K). Coming up with a contribution is always a challenge and more $$ the better but a $1378 contribution is nothing to sneeze at and makes for a great rounding up challenge. Can I add a bit to make the whole contribution $1500? Yes, I think so, it’s not much more. Well, if I make it to $1500, can I do $2000 by February 28th? Bit harder, but worth a try; I find having a game or challenge to meet makes it it doable, so it will be very interesting to have a “reader feedback” post in a year to see how you and everyone did!

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