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How to Save Nearly $1,400 in a Year…One Week at at Time

Saving money is a goal for most of us, but it can be difficult to set aside a chunk of our paycheck each month. A popular new method makes it easier to save by taking it one week at a time and building gradually.

“The 52 Week Money Challenge” is gaining momentum around the world because it is a simple plan and a nearly pain-free way to set aside money. The best part? By the end of this challenge (if the “rules” are followed), it is possible to save $1,378!

Take the challenge

There are 52 weeks in a year, and this plan uses those weeks to set aside money that builds throughout the year. This plan doesn’t have to start on the first of a new year; it can begin whenever you are ready to start saving. Just plan to continue each week for exactly one year from the date you begin. Each week, deposit the dollar amount that corresponds to the week in the plan. For example, $1 for week one, $2, for week two, $3 for week three, etc.

For those with young children, this could make an incredible college savings plan. Or it can help save for a vacation, a car, retirement or just to build savings.

I can only imagine what I will do at the end of the year with $1,378!

The 52 Week Challenge website has tips and support. Sign up for their free newsletter for  additional advice.


The key to this challenge is to keep setting aside money each week. But the system can vary depending on what works best for each user’s budget.

  • For those who find money is tight around the end of the year when this challenge requires setting aside larger quantities of money each week, consider starting in reverse. Set aside $52 for the first week and then work back down until reaching $1 in the final week. This is also a good method for those who might lack the discipline to keep going as the challenge gets harder and it is tempting to stop.
  • Tackle the big “payments” whenever there are weeks when extra money is available. Cross off week 50 when there is an extra $50 in the budget. Having a lean week? Cross off week three and contribute $3 instead. If following this option, it is important to mark off each week on a calendar in order to keep track of how much money needs to be set aside each week and to save the proper amount of money by the end of the year.

Just imagine: By the beginning of 2014 you could have nearly $1,400 in savings!

This is a guest post by Pamela from Lawrenceville, GA
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13 thoughts on “How to Save Nearly $1,400 in a Year…One Week at at Time”

  1. Chris says:

    Thanks for linking to the 52 Week Money Challenge website. The community has grown quite a bit in the last two weeks. We are on week five and going strong. I look forward to helping everyone have a little more cash at the end of 2013!

  2. Melissa says:

    Our 20th anniversary is only 3 years away and we and we want to go somewhere nice. My plan for this year was to have my husband and I each save $10 a week ( total of $20 for the 20th). I am putting it in a savings account that requires both of us to sign to withdraw so we are not tempted to dip into it. So in 3 years we will have $3500 to use for our anniversary.

  3. NICCAV says:

    I’m doing this but I went with $2 instead of $1. It means cutting way down on the eating out and putting more work into using my coupons but that’s okay with me, it will certainly be worth it in the end with over $2700 in savings!

  4. I really like this ieda and it’s going to be so easy to “save, even just a little at a time with help!! :):)

  5. You suck says:

    This system is BULL $%*@! It works only if you have a lot of money!

  6. Marilin Meghan Dunsmore says:

    I saw this the first week of Jan and decided to do it. Only I started with week 52 and am working my way down to 1, it doesn’t ‘make cents’ to save the largest amounts during the holidays (weeks 52-49 are $202 total!). Or you could average the amounts and set up a weekly automatic deposit with your bank (mine does this, not sure if all banks do) for like $26.50.

  7. Cristy says:

    I’ll have to try this for my savings. So far I’m keeping a lookout for any rebates on things I’ve already purchased. I then cash the check or use the card and take the amount out in cash. Finally, put the savings in a jar. Hopefully I can have a good amount saved after one year! :)

  8. Jazzy J says:

    Go Pamela!!! Represent Lawrenceville, GA, What a GREAT way to save!

  9. Nic says:

    I’m doing something similar, but not as specific, and a variation of what I know others do. Every Sunday, I remove all change and $1 bills from my wallet (and the bottom of my purse!). I am placing all of this in a jar to save and I can’t wait to see how much I have at the end of the year. Saving is really difficult for me, but change and ones don’t really feel like they are missing. The first week was only a little bit of change but this past week was several dollars. This is manageable for me now, and I am working on taking care of and getting caught up on other bills. If I can keep this up then maybe I will do something like this post next year!

    • german_e12 says:

      I like this method much better. I don’t have regular amounts of pay, and “emergency bills” (vet, hospital, medicine, etc.) pop up for us and cause us stress in our household, so this seems much more reasonable.

  10. Emily says:

    I’m doing this :) I get excited putting the money in, knowing how much I’m going to end up saving. You know, pretty easy right now that it’s only a few dollars going in each week. We’ll see how well it holds up once we get into the higher weeks.. Might have to try that second alternative.

  11. yazmen3 says:

    wow! im definetely going to try this one. very easy to follow.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I really like this idea–especially the ideas for alternatives when the money is a little tight or a little extra is available. I think it gives everyone a chance to keep it going for the year instead of giving up.