A few years back, I saw the 52 week money challenge floating around and I was intrigued. The idea is that you save $1,378 in 52 weeks by setting aside an increasing amount of money every week. On week one you put aside $1. On week two you put aside $2, which would make your savings balance total $3. On week three you would put aside $3, which would make your savings balance total $6 and so on and so forth until week 52 when you’ve accumulated $1,378. Cha-Ching!
52 Week Money Challenge
Take a look at this nifty table, to get a better idea of what I’m talking about:
I’ve tried doing the challenge this way a couple of times and although it works great for many people, I failed at it every time. Why? Because the amount you put aside keeps getting bigger and therefore harder for me as the year progresses.
52 Week Money Challenge in Reverse
Then I read about people doing the challenge in reverse, where you start off the first week by putting aside $52. On the second week you put aside $51 for a two week total of $103 and so on and so forth until you end up with $1,378.
I tried this method last year and it really worked for me because seeing the money add up quickly in the beginning was very encouraging.
Think about it, your willpower is at its best at the beginning of the challenge and it’s gratifying to see your savings grow quickly. As the weeks continue you are putting away less and less money, which for me is perfect because come the holidays I don’t have much extra money to put away.
This year, I’m doing the challenge in reverse again and I invite you to join me, whether you do it the regular or reverse way.
Tips for Succeeding at the 52 Week Money Challenge
- Start now. It is convenient to start the challenge at the beginning of the year, but you can start it whenever you want because 52 weeks is 52 weeks no matter when you start. Don’t let the calendar date get in the way of starting.
- Keep it separate. Put the money that you are saving during the challenge in its own special place. Don’t mix it up with your regular savings. I put mine in a dedicated account. It’s easy to set up bank accounts online, so no excuses. Some people like to set the money aside in cash, but that doesn’t work for me. Cash has a way of getting spent whenever I catch a glimpse of it.
- To thine own self be true. Choose the forward or reverse form of the challenge based on what works for you. If it’s easier for you to start off slow and build up, go for the regular way. If you like to start off strong and peter out toward the end, then the reverse method is for you.
- Pencil it in. Schedule your deposits so that you don’t forget. Since the amount of money you save changes from week to week, it’s hard to set up an automatically scheduled deposit. I write my weekly deposits in my calendar so that I don’t forget to make them.
- Keep your eye on the prize. Think about something wonderful you can use the $1,378 for when you finish. It helps keep you motivated to picture what you would like to use the money for.
- See it to believe it. I made handy dandy printables for the 52 week money challenge and the 52 week reverse money challenge so you can keep track of your money and progress. Print the table out and put it somewhere you regularly.
- Do it with a buddy. It never hurts to be accountable to someone else. Doing it with a friend and sending each other weekly reminders and encouragements is a great way to stay focused.
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Are you in?