I have received several requests from readers asking if there is a better way to do the 52 week money challenge if you are paid on a bi-weekly basis. They mentioned that it tends to be easier to save the money for the week when they get paid, but more difficult to do it the second week when no income is coming in. Those who are paid bi-weekly may want to follow this bi-weekly chart.
26 Bi-Weekly Money Challenge (click on image to print)
The concept is the same as the 52-week money challenge, where you’re adding a single dollar for each week of the year. The only difference is that instead of making the payment each week, you combine two weekly payments into one, and make it every other week. There is no difference in the amount of money you save.
At the end of the year, you’ll still have saved $1378. The only difference is, you’ll be making 26 payments during the year, corresponding to your paychecks, which should make the challenge easier to accomplish.
With the standard 26 week version, you would make a payment of $3 ($1 for week one and $2 for week two) for the first bi-weekly payment, $7 ($3 for week three and $4 for week four) for the second bi-weekly payment, and $11 ($5 for week five and $6 for week six) for the third bi-weekly payment, until you reach the 26th payment which would be $103 ($51 for week fifty-one and $52 for week fifty-two). While straightforward and simple, there is a major drawback. As with the standard 52-week version, this can make it difficult to save money toward the end of the year with the high payments during the holiday season. This is why we created an alternate version of the money challenge.
Alternate Version (click on image to print)
The alternative version gives you more flexibility while still sticking with the 26 bi-weekly option. With this version, you still make the same payments throughout the year, but you get to choose which one you make for each bi-weekly payment. The goal is to pay the highest amount from the options at the bottom of the chart, then cross out that number. That allows you to pay off the higher amounts when it makes the most sense as the year progresses, rather than at the end of the year when money might be the tightest. This version takes into account that a steady increase in payments over the year doesn’t always correspond with the reality of life. For that reason, it’s nice to have some flexibility in the amount when making the payment.
As with most things that pertain to finances, it’s important to find the best savings method for you. The 26 week bi-weekly money challenge is simply another variation that might make it a little easier to save than the standard 52 week money challenge. It’s certainly an option worth considering if you are paid on a bi-weekly basis, and you know you’ll find yourself short on funds when it’s time for the next paycheck to arrive. As with all savings plans, they tend to be much more effective if you pay yourself first rather than at the end when there often isn’t any money left to save.
Go With Passive Savings Apps
If all this seems like too much effort, consider a passive way to save money. The last couple of years have seen rapid growth in apps that help people passively build their savings. One great piece of software is digit.co. Digit is clever. It analyzes your checking account balances and then automatically makes small deductions which are swept into a savings account for you. It’s super easy to install. Once you have it configured you pretty much need to make no effort to save – Digit does all the heavy lifting for you. Check it out at digit.co here.
Finally, if you’re still looking for the right money challenge to fit your personality, here are other variations of money challenges that might be worth taking a look at:
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