December 20, 2020 6 min read

Are you hoping to save more money in 2021? Do you always approach your budget with the best intentions but find you never *quite* get around to putting your hard-earned dollars away for a rainy day? 

There are many ways you can approach a savings plan, but a particularly popular method at the moment is the “52 Weeks Money Challenge.”

What is this money savings challenge and how can you get involved? 

We’ve put together a guide to everything you need to know about the 52 Weeks Money Challenge so you can get started in 2021 and start seeing those dollars stacking up in your bank account.

Here’s what it’s all about!

 

What is the 52 Weeks Money Challenge?

Money challenges are the new planking, and for good reason. All you get with planking is a great photo for Facebook and possibly some washboard abs. With a money challenge, you get a better appreciation for and understanding of your money. You also get some seriously good savings - which means better protection for you in times of emergency and better options for your future. 

The 52 Weeks Money Challenge is one of the more popular money challenges of recent years, largely thanks to its uncomplicated structure, small deposits, and beginner-friendly savings principles. 

If you keep this challenge up each week and don’t miss a payment, you’ll finish up the year with a solid $1,378 in your savings account. And that’s not something to turn up your nose at! 

If starting the 52 Weeks Money Challenge at the start of a year is your thing, then all power to you! But don’t put this off because it’s already three weeks into 2021 and you feel that you need a fresh year to get going! This money savings challenge can be started anytime, anywhere - so stop making excuses and get started this week! You’re only going to have to pay up $1 after all!

 

How Does the 52 Weeks Money Challenge Work?

The concept behind the 52 Weeks Money Challenge is incredibly simple. This isn’t a complex financial plan or savings challenge that only established investors can take up. 

The first, overarching principle of this money savings challenge is that NO amount of money is too little to put away in your account. So if you’re of the opinion that only larger amounts deserve to make their way into your savings account then get rid of that notion, stat! 

The main principle of the 52 Weeks Money Challenge is that every week, for an entire year, you put away one dollar more (yes, that’s just ONE DOLLAR) than what you saved the week before. So, starting with just $1 in Week 1, you’ll then increase that amount to $2 in Week 2, $3 in Week 3 … and so it goes on. 

By Week 52 - just one year from now - you’ll have a not-too-shabby $1378 dollars in your savings account - and be proud to be among the just 31% of Americans who have more than $1000 in emergency savings! 

Check out the table below to see exactly how the 52 Weeks Money Challenge plays out: 

WEEK

DEPOSIT

BALANCE

Week 1

$1.00

$1.00

Week 2

$2.00

$3.00

Week 3

$3.00

$6.00

Week 4

$4.00

$10.00

Week 5

$5.00

$15.00

Week 6

$6.00

$21.00

Week 7

$7.00

$28.00

Week 8

$8.00

$36.00

Week 9

$9.00

$45.00

Week 10

$10.00

$55.00

Week 11

$11.00

$66.00

Week 12

$12.00

$78.00

Week 13

$13.00

$91.00

Week 14

$14.00

$105.00

Week 15

$15.00

$120.00

Week 16

$16.00

$136.00

Week 17

$17.00

$153.00

Week 18

$18.00

$171.00

Week 19

$19.00

$190.00

Week 20

$20.00

$210.00

Week 21

$21.00

$231.00

Week 22

$22.00

$253.00

Week 23

$23.00

$276.00

Week 24

$24.00

$300.00

Week 25

$25.00

$325.00

Week 26

$26.00

$351.00

Week 27

$27.00

$378.00

Week 28

$28.00

$406.00

Week 29

$29.00

$435.00

Week 30

$30.00

$465.00

Week 31

$31.00

$496.00

Week 32

$32.00

$528.00

Week 33

$33.00

$561.00

Week 34

$34.00

$595.00

Week 35

$35.00

$630.00

Week 36

$36.00

$666.00

Week 37

$37.00

$703.00

Week 38

$38.00

$741.00

Week 39

$39.00

$780.00

Week 40

$40.00

$820.00

Week 41

$41.00

$861.00

Week 42

$42.00

$903.00

Week 43

$43.00

$946.00

Week 44

$44.00

$990.00

Week 45

$45.00

$1,035.00

Week 46

$46.00

$1,081.00

Week 47

$47.00

$1,128.00

Week 48

$48.00

$1,176.00

Week 49

$49.00

$1,225.00

Week 50

$50.00

$1,275.00

Week 51

$51.00

$1,326.00

Week 52

$52.00

$1,378.00


The joy of this money challenge is that it slowly builds up a good savings habit in your life - so slowly, in fact, that you’ll barely notice it happening! 

You’re not going to miss the first $1 or $2 that you move over to your savings account during the first couple of weeks. By Week 20 you’ll start to notice the hole that the savings transfer leaves in your paycheck, but hopefully it won’t have any impact on your life. By Week 40 you may have had to rearrange some aspects of your budget to allow for the $40 to come out without leaving you short - but hopefully that reassessment of your incomings and outgoings will also see you cut some unnecessary spending from your lifestyle. 

When you get to Week 52, you’ve got some options! Either stop there - enjoy the safety net of your stash of cash, or continue the good habit into the next year! You could start the 52 Weeks Money Challenge all over again. Or better still, just stay at Level 52 and try and keep up your new $52 per week habit! If you can put away $52 per week for a year, by the end of Year 2 you’ll have saved an extra $2704. Over ten years that’s $27,040 in the bank! 

 

Tips for Getting Through the 52 Weeks Money Challenge

Although the 52 Weeks Money Challenge is relatively simple on paper, in practice it is not without difficulty. 

At the beginning, the small amounts will lull you into the false sense that this whole challenge is a walk in the park. But by Week 52, you may find that the automatic payments sting a little bit more. 

Here are 5 tips for tweaking this money savings challenge to make sure it works for you!

Set Up Automatic Transfers

Piggy banks are cute, but they’re not going to prepare you for regular savings success. Automate your savings and watch your bank balance climb while you sleep. The best thing about setting up an automatic transfer is that your money can be whisked away right after you get your paycheck - meaning you won’t have to see it sitting there for days before it goes to its “safe place.”

Play Money Challenge Bingo

If you start the 52 Weeks Money Challenge in January, you’re going to be putting $52 dollars away right around Christmastime when people tend to need extra money the most. If that doesn’t sound good to you, then try the same challenge, but pick your weeks at random. That way you could be paying $3 one week, and $40 the next. It helps to spread the load!

Save in Reverse

The same as Money Challenge Bingo, but you’ll be saving in order from most money to least. Start by putting $52 away in the first week, then work your way through the year, putting $1 away in Week 52. 

Go Up A Level

If your income is a little higher and your savings goals a bit bigger, you could level up your 52 Weeks Money Challenge by starting with $101 dollars and going up one dollar per week, just like in the regular challenge. If you succeed at putting away the money each week, you’ll end up with more than $5,500 at the end of the year. Not too shabby!

Engage in Some Friendly Competition

The 52 Weeks Money doesn’t need to be something you do alone. A bit of friendly competition can help hold you to account. So call up your friends and get them involved too!

 

Starting Small is Better Than Not Starting At All

Big trees grow from small seeds. The only thing worse than saving just $10, $100, or $1000 in a year is saving absolutely nothing at all. 

Start your savings journey today, and give yourself a healthy kick start by trying a money savings challenge like the 52 Weeks Money Challenge. You’ll be proud as punch come Week 52 when you realize how wonderful it is to go from 0 savings to more than ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS squirreled away. 

If you need a place to organize your financial life, a budget planner could well be your new best friend. We love this  Digital Budget Planner which contains all the structure you need to start making excellent budgeting and savings decisions. 

Good luck and happy saving! 



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