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Three Ways to Make the 52 Week Savings Challenge Work for You Blog Feature

By: America's Credit Union on December 16th, 2019

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Three Ways to Make the 52 Week Savings Challenge Work for You

Seasonal | Personal Finance

It’s never too early to start thinking about your New Year’s resolutions, especially after a busy month of holiday spending! For some, this might mean making goals to eat healthier, stop smoking, read more books, or lose some weight. For others — it’s all about saving money. 

You could save an extra $1,378 by the end of the year!

If you’re always looking for ways to save, the “52 Week Savings Challenge”is right up your alley. Here’s how it works.

The challenge demands you save a certain amount of money every week (hence, the number 52). The catch is, the number of dollars you put away weekly will change from week to week. There are three ways to complete this challenge:

1). Counting Up by Ones

This is the traditional way to do the challenge. You’ll start with Week 1, saving $1. On each subsequent week, you’ll save one additional dollar. So, on Week 2 you’ll save $2, on Week 3 you’ll save $3, and so on until you reach $52 on Week 52.

2). Counting Down by Ones

This is essentially the first option, but you’ll be headed in the opposite direction. It’s a good option if you want to feel like your savings endeavor is getting easier as the year goes on. 

You’ll begin with $52 on Week 1, then on Week 2, you’ll reduce this number by one dollar (to $51). On Week 3 you’ll save $50, on Week 4 you’ll save $49, and so on until you reach $1 on Week 52.

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3). Counting Up Evens by Twos, Then Down Odds by Twos

This way’s a bit trickier. You’ll be alternating between even-numbered savings amounts for the first half of the year and odd-numbered savings amounts for the latter half. The pattern will go like this:

Week 1: $2
Week 2: $4
Week 3: $6

Until you get to $52 at week 26.

Week 27: $51
Week 28: $49
Week 29: $47

Until you get to $1 on week 52.

Helpful Tips to Make the “52 Week Savings Challenge” Even Easier

  • Keep a digital or printed spreadsheet on-hand to track your savings progress.
  • Or … if you’re doing the challenge as a family, make a colorful chart with your kids to track your savings. Add a sticker or big “X” for each day you complete the challenge.
  • Keep yourself reminded of your daily savings goal with a regulated alert set on your computer or smart phone.
  • Or … schedule your transfers automatically so you don’t have to think about it.
  • Get everyone in the family involved by having your children do the challenge for themselves — but with cents (1¢ for Week 1, 2¢ for Week 2, etc.).

Stay motivated and keep your eyes on the prize by planning to use the money you save for a particular purpose, such as a vacation.

More Tips for Cutting Back and Saving Even More

At the end of 2019 and the “52 Week Savings Challenge,” you can have even more in your pocket if you use these tips for cutting back in small ways:

  • Take advantage of a cash back credit card, which gives you monthly cash rewards for all the purchases you make. Just be sure to pay the card off every month.
  • Try carpooling for work or the kids’ school.
  • List and sell the furniture, tools, toys, clothes, and other items you don’t use.
  • Take another look at your monthly subscriptions (movies, TV, sports, radio, magazines, meal plans, clothes boxes, etc.), and limit them to just one or two.
  • Start going to your local library for books and movies.
  • Become a coupon cutter, and sign up for rewards programs at your grocery store to save on food.
  • Or of course … try the Holy Grail of savings: A monthly budgetMint has some great templates to get you started.

We’re always looking for new ways to help you save for the important things in life. If you try the “52 Week Savings Challenge” for yourself, let us know what you think! And don’t forget to check back often for more tips and tricks on saving big for you and your family.

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