By now, you’re probably familiar with the 52-week money challenge. We’ve all seen our friends posting about it on Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter. I often see those posts and think what a great idea it is but always end up putting it off. However, with January 1st right around the corner, now is the perfect time to make that resolution and start saving! If you’re motivated to save some extra cash in 2014, check out these variations on the 52-week money challenge and start building up that nest egg!
1. The original challenge
The original 52-week money challenge has an extremely simple premise. On week 1, you’ll save $1. On week 2, you’ll save $2. On week 3, $3 and so on. By the time you’ve deposited that $52 on week 52, you will have yielded a total savings of $1378! To make keeping track of the plan simpler, many people choose to deposit their savings on a specific day of the week, or if you are paid weekly, on payday.
2. The "I’m always Broke During the Holidays” Variation
If you find that saving money is nearly impossible during the holiday season, consider this variation which reverses the plan. Instead of saving $1 the first week of January, save the largest amount of $52 first. You’ll end up with the same savings of $1378, but by the time you get to the month of December, you’ll only be required to save between $1 and $4 each week, making Christmas shopping a little less stressful than it already is.
3. The Super Saver Plan
If you have the means and the motivation to set aside some serious cash, try this variation of the 52-week plan. Under this plan, you’ll save daily rather than weekly, based on the date. On January 1st, save $1. On January 2nd, save $2 and so on. Once you deposit the $28 on January 28th, you’ll have just under $500 in January alone. If you can manage to keep that up the whole year, you’ll end up with a whopping savings of nearly $6,000!
4. The Bi-Weekly Plan
If your budget is too tight to follow any of the above plans but you still want to stash some cash during the year, consider trying the bi-weekly plan. With this plan, you’ll simply set aside the corresponding amount for each week (as you do with the original plan), but you’ll only save for 26 weeks instead of 52. The first week of January, set aside $1. Skip the next week and set aside $2 the following week. Skip the next week and set aside $3 the following week, and so on. With this plan you would never have to save more than $26 in one go and you would still wind up with an extra $351 in your pocket by the end of the year!