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How to Create a Better 52 Week Money Saving Challenge

By , January 4th, 2015 | 4 Comments »

How to create a better 52 week money saving challenge
There are a lot of people who consider taking the 52 week money saving challenge as part of their desire to better their finances. It’s a great way to encourage yourself to save money, and it’s a worthwhile endeavor. There are, however, a few simple steps you can take to make the challenge easier to complete, and even more effective for your overall finances. If you decide to take up the challenge this year, be sure to keep the following points in mind.

Understand It’s Not About Saving a Specific Amount of Money

While your goal for the year may be to save a certain amount of money, the true goal of this type of challenge isn’t the money you’re able to save during the 52 weeks. The true goal of this challenge is a lifetime change to help you form the habit of saving money each and every week. Once you understand this, the amount you save each week isn’t nearly as important as you putting aside something each week, no matter how little that amount may be.

Determine Where the Saved Money Is Going

The more specific you can be on where the money you will be saving for the challenge will go, the more effective it will be to bettering your finances. When you are saving toward a specific goal, especially one you strongly want to achieve, you will have more motivation to complete the challenge even when it gets difficult. For example, instead of saying you’re saving the money to pay off debt, get specific about the debt. Do you have a certain debt that bothers you much more than the others? Choose to use the 52 week money saving challenge to attack and get rid of that specific debt. The more specific you can be on where the money you save will be going, the better.

Personalize Your 52 Week Money Saving Challenge

You know yourself better than any premade challenge does, and what little things are most likely to keep you motivated to complete the challenge. For example, if you like a certain type of chocolate, allow yourself a small piece of it when you complete putting aside that week’s money goal. By attaching small rewards for achieving the goal each week, you make the challenge a more positive experience which, in turn, will make it much more likely to become a long-term habit.

Make Your 52 Week Money Saving Challenge Realistic

One of the big issues many people have with the classic 52 week money saving challenge is that even though it appears easy to accomplish due the the beginning being such low amounts, the reality is it isn’t realistic for a lot of people. If you’re currently living paycheck to paycheck, it’s not likely you’ll be able to put away $200 (weeks 48 – 52) at during the holiday shopping season.

Being able to choose the amount you save each week makes it much more realistic to complete the challenge, but be willing to choose a more appropriate challenge, or create your challenge in such a way that it optimizes the chances of success. For example, maybe you know that you can save $5 a week at the minimum so you make this your base. In this scenario, you would try to save the highest amount you could, but not matter what, you would put at least $5 aside each week. You know your current finances better than anyone, so create your challenge to reflect this reality, while at the same time challenging you to save as much as possible.

By taking the time to create your challenge to reflect your current financial situation, and to make it more realistic for you to achieve, you will get a lot more from the challenge rather than simply using the default everyone else is using. By putting in a bit of time upfront, you can create a challenge that’s more likely to have lasting benefits for you and your finances.

(Photo courtesy of Steven Depolo)

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  • Linda Laines says:

    Tried the program last year and it did not work out. We hit a bump early in the year and never recovered. However, we are adding last year’s savings to this year’s program and we are hoping to save a nice cushion account. We are so tired of living paycheck to paycheck. One big bill on top of the monthly bills is all it took to cause us to struggle. My hubby and I are trying it again. So far, we are both motivated to create a savings account for those “emergency bills” that keep coming up and causing us to struggle. New tires, a car repair bill, a home heat or A/C issue and we can never recover. Hopefully, we can complete it and succeed this year.

  • Pramfinancial says:

    Saving money is one of the most important habits a person can have. The key to success is consistency. And taking it as a challenge is something we all must practice. Money management is the only proven way in this matter for leveraging your money and achieving your goals in a quickest way.

  • Joseph Hogue says:

    I liked this article because it give flexibility to the individual.
    Also, attaching small rewards each time you save creates a double incentive to the saver.

  • Shiva says:

    This was a great article and something many people should read if they do not find themselves saving as much as they wanted to. At the end of the day we make our own choices, but being guided in the right way towards making them is something that many of us need in order to achieve our goals.


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