Personal Finance

7 min read

December 03, 2021

The 52-Week Savings Challenge, Explained

In a world of fast-paced transactions, saving money can seem like an impossible task. Here’s everything you need to know about the 52-Week Savings Challenge and whether it is the right fit for you.

Whether you are a full-time employee or a college student with a part-time job, saving money can be a hassle. We may try to cut corners in our monthly budget. We may scrimp and save on every shopping trip. Yet, somehow, every month our expenses always trump our savings.

What is the 52-Week Savings Challenge?

The 52-Week Savings Challenge is a way to incrementally save money across the period of one year. The challenge helps you to systematically set aside a part of your income or allowance corresponding to each week of the challenge. 

How Does the 52-Week Savings Challenge Work?

The 52-Week Savings Challenge is a relatively simple way to save money. In the first week you set aside $1, in the second week $2, and so on for each week of the year. If all goes well, at the end of 52 weeks (i.e., one year) you will have piled up a grand total of  $1,378. If you like, you can start with a larger amount and work towards saving an even higher amount.

When Should You Start the 52-Week Savings Challenge?

You can start the 52-Week Savings Challenge at any time, including right now! You just need to keep track of each week and the amount you save. The challenge runs for the duration of one year, so you can make it a New Year’s resolution if you like. You can even start on your birthday and gift yourself a substantial amount by the time your next birthday comes up.

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The Pros

A Habit of Saving

With digital payments and e-shopping, we make purchases almost every day, almost without thinking. Hectic schedules don’t often allow for carefully-weighed decisions on spending. The 52-Week Savings Challenge helps you to make a conscious habit of saving money regularly without having to spend too much time on each individual transaction

Substantial Rewards

If you complete the 52-Week Money Challenge correctly, you should have a lump sum of money by the end of it. This can be very useful if there is something you have been saving to spend on, such as college fees, gifts, or addressing any pressing financial liabilities. It can also be deposited in an emergency fund that you can use later. Either way, you will have a substantial amount to show for your efforts across the year.

Flexibility

You can adjust the 52-Week Savings Challenge according to your preferences and financial goals. Although it follows a structure, you can set your own deadlines, increase the amount you want to save, or make other changes that suit you. 

To maintain accountability, you can also consider taking up the challenge with a group of friends so that you have somebody to keep a check on you. You can also motivate each other to carry the challenge through to its end.

Cons

Financial Feasibility

The 52-Week Money Challenge starts off easy since you begin by saving small amounts. The challenge gets progressively harder with time. Looking at it weekly, the amounts may seem manageable, but you must realize that by week 31 you will be setting aside $100 in a month. It is essential to make sure in advance that your monthly budget can handle this sort of strain before committing to the challenge.

Commitment 

Since the 52-Week Savings Challenge begins with small amounts and works its way toward larger amounts with time, it is essential to commit to it for the entire year to see satisfying results. In order to complete the challenge, it is important to resist the urge to break the piggy bank before time. It is advisable to deposit your savings each week in a separate savings or checking account so that you are not tempted to dip into it for routine expenses.

Consistency

As the months go by, it might be increasingly difficult to remember to set aside money each week. Amidst the busy schedules, you may be tempted to skip a week or two, hoping to compensate for it later but that may not work. Setting weekly reminders can be of great help in these situations.

Tips

  1. Although the 52-Week Money Challenge works in a scheduled manner, if you come into extra money during the year — by way of a bonus or a gift — you can use that to increase your saved amount. If you put in a larger amount in advance, you can go easy on the leaner months where you find it difficult to save as much.
  1. If you prefer to save a fixed amount every month instead of an increasing amount, you can do so, too. If you save $20 dollars every month, for instance, you can save $1,040 by the end of 52 weeks. If you want to save the same reward that the challenge affords, you can set aside $26.50 each week.
  1. The 52-Week Savings Challenge can be practiced backwards as well — that is, you can start by saving $52 in your first week and work your way back to $1 in the 52nd week. This helps you to clear the more difficult hurdles earlier while you are still highly motivated.

The 52-Week Money Challenge can set the course for your savings regimen. However, it is essential to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of this plan so that you can choose for yourself whether it is right for you. Since it allows you to customize it according to your own needs, you can make changes accordingly. If it is perfect for you, you can draw up a chart, set a deadline and start saving!

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Joann Rachel Cherian
Joann is a freelance content creator and copywriter with a passion for words and a weakness for books. She is usually found taking apart her favorite TV shows or relaxing with a P.G. Wodehouse novel.

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