What Is a Money Challenge?
Before learning about the 26 Week Money Challenge, let’s talk about how money challenges work. They tie a timeline to your goals, usually with specific increments related to other goals. Many people strive towards annual goals, so you’ll find information on money challenges that last 365 days or 52 weeks. These each last one year, but the goals you try to meet are daily, in the first instance, or weekly, in the second example, for the course of the year. You might save one dollar every single day for one year, for example, as a 365 day savings challenge.
What Is The 26 Week Money Challenge?
The 26 Week Money Challenge is a financial goal program designed to assist you insuring one quarter of your income over the course of six months. You can start this program at any time. Of course, a lot of people begin at the start of a new year. At this time we’re thinking about our goals and planning our finances, so it’s a natural time to start. However, since it isn’t tied to a monthly or annual timeline, it’s something that you can start at any time.
There are three things that you should know about this challenge:
- It’s a weekly challenge.
- Your goal is savings.
- This is a progressive challenge. You’ll save incrementally more each week for 26 weeks.
How to Save One Quarter of Your Income In 6 Months
In this challenge, you’re going to deposit a specific amount of money into your account each week. You might want to set up a specific savings account just for this challenge. That way you can see your progress. Moreover, you make it easier for yourself to avoid touching that money when you separate it out from other savings.
How much you save is tied to your income, because the goal is to save one quarter of your entire income across the six months of the challenge. You will begin slowly, by depositing 1% of your income into the account in week one. Then, you will deposit 2% of your income into the account in week two. And so on and so forth until you’ve reached week 26 when you’ll deposit 26% of your income.
Here’s what that looks like if you earn a $1000 weekly salary:
Tips for Completing the 26 Week Money Challenge
Money challenges are so-named because they challenge us. They aren’t always easy to complete. In fact, sometimes they can be very hard. However, the rewards are worth it. If you stick to this plan, you’ll have saved one quarter of your annual income in six months. Imagine how good that’s going to feel. In order to assist you in sticking with the plan, here are some tips for the 26 Week Money Challenge:
- As aforementioned, open a separate savings account just for this challenge. Connect this to your checking account so that you can easily deposit money into this account.
- Set a day of the week when you will make your weekly deposits. Some people like Mondays whereas others prefer Fridays. Put it on your calendar every week for the next 26 weeks. Take this seriously.
- Incorporate this financial plan into your budget. It’s easy enough to set aside 1% in the first week. However, you need to remember that you’re going to spend more than half of this challenge setting aside more than 10% per week. Therefore, you want to budget accordingly. Rework your financials so that you’ve accommodated for this.
- Make a back-up plan. What will you do if you don’t have enough money to make your deposit? After all, things do come up. You might deposit as much as possible then extend the savings plan another week. Alternatively, you might work to earn extra income so that you can make the deposit. Know what Plan B is just in case it arises.
- Get an accountability buddy. Some people do challenges well on their own. Other people need accountability. Find a friend to do this challenge with you. Check in with each other weekly – a quick text or call to confirm that you’ve made your deposit should suffice.
- Keep your goal in mind. Remember the reason that you’ve decided to do this for yourself.
Other Money Challenges
The 26 Week Money Challenge is a great option for many people. However, you might want to create a different challenge. You might want to work with a challenge that grows income instead of focusing on savings. You might prefer a shorter challenge, such as a 30 day challenge. Alternatively, you might want to try a year-long challenge. Here are a few examples of other money challenges to consider
- Money Challenge 2022. This is a year-long $1/day savings challenge. The post explains how to adapt it to your situation, combine it with a 52-week challenge, and use it to pay down debt. If you’re looking for a basic year-long savings plan, this is a great place to start.
- Monthly Money Challenge. In this challenge, you save a specific amount each month. That amount grows every. month for one year. If you get paid monthly then this can be a good option for an annual savings plan.
- The $5 Bill Money Challenge. In this challenge, every single time that you get a $5 bill back as change for a cash payment, you put it into savings. That’s it. Some people love this because it’s not tied to a specific timeline. You don’t have to meet a certain goal every week, for example. It also rewards the brain with a bit of dopamine every time you pay for something with cash as you wait to see if you get that $5 bill. If more traditional money challenges have failed you then consider this one.
Will you try a money challenge this year? Tell us about your goals!
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