If you’ve made it a goal to save more money in 2022, then this 52-week money challenge is just what you need! This popular money challenge helps you set aside a certain amount of money each week so that by the end of the year, you have an extra $1,378, $5,000, or even up to saving $10,000 a year or more!
Want to save money?
You are not alone; saving more money is the second most popular New Year’s goal after losing weight – but how to get started?
Read on to find out how to do this money-saving challenge and save more in 2022.
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What is the 52-week money challenge?
The 52-week money challenge is a way to save money by setting aside a certain amount of money each week.
There are different variations of the 52-week challenge, but the standard savings challenge is to start with saving $1 in the first week, then increasing the savings amount by $1 each week so that by the end of the 52-week challenge, you’ve saved a total of $1378!
- Week 1 = $1
- Week 2 = $2
- Week 3 = $3
- Week 4 = $4
- and so on until in Week 52 = you save $52
When is the best time to start a money challenge like this?
While the start of a New Year is a great time to begin this challenge, you don’t have to wait until January 1st to begin.
After all, it doesn’t make sense to put off your goal of paying off debt or saving up for a downpayment on your dream home.
Time waits for no man, so carpe diem!
- If you’re ready to start saving money, read on to find out how to do a 52-week money challenge and kickstart your journey to achieving your goals this year.
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How much money do you save in the 52-week money challenge?
As mentioned before, the standard 52-week money-saving challenge allows you to save $1,378 a year; that’s not chump change!
Depending on how much money you make and how much practice you’ve had with frugal living or no-spend challenges, this particular method might not be enough of a challenge.
If it’s not you can always up the amount to try and say more!
Here are a few ways to modify the 52-week money-saving challenge
No hard and fast rule says the 52-week money challenge has to be done one particular way!
It might take some number-crunching on your part, but there are an almost infinite amount of ways to break down, modify, or reverse the money challenge to suit your income, budget, and schedule.
- Reverse 52-week money challenge: This works well for people who find it harder to save money the closer they get to the holiday. To reverse the money challenge, simply flip the weeks; instead of starting with $1 on Week 1, you save $52, then $51, on Week 2, and so on until you save $1 on Week 52. Total savings = $1,378 in one year.
- Save $3,000 in 52 weeks: This money challenge works well for people who already save a little but want to challenge themselves to save even more. There are a lot of ways to break down this money challenge, but I like to keep it simple and target $250/savings per month, which means saving in increments of $25 + $50 + $75 + $100 for weeks 1, 2, 3, and 4, respectively. Total savings = $3,000 in one year.
- Save $5,000 in 52 weeks: The more money you want to save, the harder it gets; this challenge is suitable for advanced savers, or those who want to do more extreme spending freezes or side hustles to increase income. This challenge is harder to break down evenly, but you’ll try and have around $416 a month, give or take (I will try and do a blog post on this separately in the future). Total savings = $5,000 in one year.
- Save $10,000 in 52 weeks: Great for advanced budgeters and passionate savers! You will need to save around $833 a month, or approximately $27 a day, for this challenge. You’ll need to think hard about saving more money, ways to make extra money, and maybe even passive income ideas. Total savings = $10,000 in one year.
52-week money challenge printable
Are all of these numbers and dates making your head spin? Hey, I get it – I’m a visual person too!
And that’s actually a good thing.
Studies show that people who write down their goals are 42% more likely to achieve them, and visualization is a powerful tool that everyone, from Olympic athletes to billionaires businessmen, swear by.
If you want to make this money challenge a success, why not download a printable 52-week money challenge PDF like the one pictured below?
A visual tracker like this will help you track your progress and stay motivated throughout the year.
This simple printable can be customized to your weekly savings goals; just write in your savings each week!
How to do the 52-week money saving challenge
1. Identify your “why”
Before starting this money challenge, take the time to sit down and reflect on why you want to save money.
One of the principles of minimalism states that when you focus on what matters to you, it becomes easier to say no to the things that don’t.
Finding your why, your raison d’etre, can keep you going even when times get tough.
2. Set a target savings goal
It’s easier to save money when you have a specific target in mind.
If you’re using a 52-week money challenge printable, map out how much money you want to save every week; use a notebook or your computer if you don’t have a printable.
You should have a total savings goal for the end of the year and weekly goals.
3. Decide where to put your money
When you start saving, you have several options:
- put your money in a piggy bank or jar
- put your weekly savings in your current savings account
- put your savings in a new savings account (preferably a high-yield account like this one)
The third option is better for most people since it has the benefit of making your money less visible and accessible to you, meaning less temptation to spend it.
When you put it in a high-yield savings account, you’ll also have the added benefit of increasing your money passively while it just sits there (CIT Bank consistently has one of the highest APY percentages.)
4. Brainstorm money-saving ideas
How far would you go to save money and meet your money goals?
For smaller goals, like the standard 52-week savings challenge, it might be enough to practice frugal living, tighten your budget, and stop spending money on crap you don’t need.
If you want to save $10,000 a year or more, you might need additional money-saving ideas or find ways to make extra money each month.
- keep a budget
- track your spending
- cancel subscriptions
- do a spending freeze
- shop at thrift or secondhand stores
- get stuff for free by joining Buy Nothing groups
- cook cheap meals at home
- start meal planning
- renegotiate your bills and utilities
Ways to make extra money
- sell clutter for cash
- drive for Uber or Lyft
- take a survey for money
- start a side hustle
- thrift flip
- start a YouTube channel
- do a freelance side gig
- teach an online course
5. Start the challenge
Now that you’ve gotten your game plan together, it’s time to start the challenge!
Week one is usually the easiest because the savings goals are typically low, and your motivation is high.
Get excited and find ways to stay excited, such as talking about the challenge with your family and friends, watching YouTube videos about saving money, and daydreaming about what you’re going to do with your money!
6. Do weekly check-ins
No matter if you are doing this challenge alone or with a partner or family, do a weekly check-in where you sit down and go over your experiences.
Were you successful in meeting your savings goal for the past week? If not, could you make it up this week or in the future?
If something happened that tripped you up, think about what you can do differently to prevent another slip.
7. Review & analyze your experience
Pat yourself on the back – you made it to the end of the 52-week challenge!
How did you do? Did you meet your savings goals? Analyze the experience as a whole and see what lessons you can take away.
“Successful people don’t fear failure, but understand that it’s necessary to learn and grow from.”– Robert Kiyosaki
52-week money challenge: pros & cons
As with anything in life, money challenges like this have pros and cons. Here are a few things to consider when participating in this challenge.
Pros of doing the 52-week saving challenge
- Get better at saving money. If you are someone who has struggled with impulse spending or lousy money habits in the past, a challenge like this can be an excellent opportunity to confront your weaknesses head-on.
- Save a lot of money at once. Challenges like this can help you save up a lot of money at once, beyond what you typically save in your budget.
- Pay off debt. Particularly if you have high-interest debts, saving up a lot of money at once to put towards your debt is a great idea. If you save up a lot and knock off one or two high-interest loans or credit card debts, you can look forward to more money in your pocket in the future as budgeting becomes more effortless.
- Builds character and teamwork. If you’re single, a savings challenge like this builds character and sets a good foundation to be better and more intentional with your money in the future. If you have a partner or a family, it’s a great teambuilding exercise that helps bring you closer together (it teaches kids things like financial literacy, budgeting, and problem-solving!)
- It makes saving FUN. Who knew, right? Yes, challenges like this help make saving money fun, and when something is fun, you will be more likely to want to keep doing it in the future. It’s called “gamification,” and it’s super effective!
Cons of doing the 52-week savings challenge
- It’s scary to face your weaknesses. Money is a taboo topic, and many people who have trouble saving money or hold a lot of debt can feel ashamed or scared to even think about their debt, let alone face it. Solution: remember that every journey is broken down and measured by single steps, and keep moving forward.
- Saving is a long game. Let’s face it – most of us have the attention span of a goldfish nowadays, and putting on your game face for 365 days can be a…well, a challenge, obviously. Solution: remember your “why,” and that can help motivate you.
- You can get burned out. Money-saving burnout is real; if saving tons of money were easy, everyone would be doing it! It can be hard to say no to going out for drinks with your friends after a hard day at work or cooking at home for weeks on end. Solution: Find small ways to reward yourself without blowing your saving goals; there are plenty of free or cheap ways to spend time together or have fun!
- Life happens. There are plenty of things that can happen to trip up your money challenge. If your refrigerator suddenly broke, you could easily rack up $1,000 – $2,000 on buying a new one. Solution: Let go of things you can’t control and focus on moving forward and working on the things you CAN.
- Saving isn’t enough. This might be hard for you to hear, but simply saving more money isn’t enough to become rich or maybe even comfortable. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, inflation in the USA has risen to the highest point since 1982, up to 6.8% in 2021. That means inflation is gobbling up a large percentage of every dollar you save. Solution: Find ways to invest and grow your money to offset inflation and grow your wealth, like a 401k, Roth IRA, or the stock market.
Final thoughts on the 52-week money saving challenge
I hope you enjoyed this post!
If you’ve done the 52-week money challenge, feel free to share your experiences with us down in the comments section below.
Let’s cheer each other on and grow together!