For people who feel that they have saved as much money as they can on their current expenses, but still would like to build a cushion or emergency fund, the 52 Week Make Money Challenge is an excellent way to increase income by nearly $1,400 ($1,378) during the course of the year. It accomplishes this by having the participant in the challenge find ways to increasingly make a little more money each week above and beyond their normal income. In many ways it’s like the 52 week save money challenge with the emphasis on making money instead of saving money. There are two variations of the challenge which can be attempted.
The Standard Challenge (Click on Image to Print)
The standard challenge is fairly simple and straight forward. The first week you figure out a way to earn $1. The next week (week two) you figure out a way to earn $2. The week after that (week three) you must earn $3. You continue to do this so that whatever week it is during the challenge, that’s the amount of money you need to make. When you finally reach week fifty-two, you should make $52 that week. After all the weeks’ earnings are added together, you will have made an extra $1,378 during the year.
The Alternative Challenge (Click on Image to Print)
The alternative challenge will still make the same amount of money ($1,378) at the end of the year, but it gives you a bit more flexibility when it comes to how much you make each week. Instead of going in order from $1 to $52 each week of the year, you choose the amount each week. For example, if during the first week you were able to make $35, you would cross out the $35 box at the bottom of the sheet, then place $35 in the first week’s line for the amount you earned. However much you earn each week between $1 and $52, you cross off that amount and add it to your growing earnings.
Due to the flexibility with the alternative method, it gives most people a better chance of completing the challenge. It’s difficult to know how much you’ll be able to make from week to week, and the alternative method takes that into account. The goal should always be to try and earn the highest amount possible each week, but if life throws some challenges your way in the later months, and you’re only able to earn a little bit for a few weeks, you can cross off the smaller amounts without failing at the challenge.
There are three basic ways that you can approach this challenge, depending on what you feel gives you the greatest chance of reaching the goal, and what you’re most comfortable doing.
Single Money Earner
The single money earner method is where you decide on a single way to make money throughout the year, and do that every week as part of the challenge. For example, maybe you have a lot of extra stuff lying around the house, and you decide that you’ll begin selling it as the way to earn money. Each week you sell one or more items and whatever profit you make, you put toward the challenge. You end up focusing on this one way to make money throughout the year to try and achieve the goal.
Varied Money Earners
In this version, you try to do a lot of different little things that when all added together, help you reach the challenge goal. For example, maybe in addition to selling some of the things you have around the house for profit, you also begin to do online surveys, babysit on weekend evenings and begin knitting baby hats to sell at fairs. Instead of focusing on a single method to make money, you explore a variety of different methods as part of the challenge.
Another option is to a combination of the above two. In this scenario, you would choose something as the main way you plan on making the extra money, but also add in other opportunities when they become available. For example, maybe selling stuff around the house that is no longer needed will be your main focus, but you’ll also do a survey now and then as an additional source to add to the challenge.
Whichever way you decide to approach this challenge, it’s a good alternative way to create an emergency fund that doesn’t involve looking for ways to cut back on expenses. It’s also a great way to get your entrepreneurial spirit going, and an excellent way to begin creating a variety of income streams so that you aren’t so reliant on a single income source.
Automate Your Savings Account
If you find it difficult to manage money challenges, or you want an easy way to supplement your savings, you might want to try out a savings app like digit.co. Once you sign up for the app, it analyzes your account, and puts away small amounts (that you likely won’t notice). After a while, you might be surprised how much you’ve actually saved. You can sign up for digit.co here.
(Photo courtesy of Nick Ares)