[Photo credit: Jacob Edward]
The 52-week money challenge is a very effective savings plan. What I like most about it are the multiple ways you can do it. Each alternative can be modified to suit your preferences and circumstances.
A great time to start the 52-week money challenge is at the beginning of a calendar year. Another great time is mid year; however, any time is a really good time to start.
$1,378 after a year of saving didn’t really inspire me. I wondered what would happen if I added a '0' to the end of each number. That would be a saving of $13,780. Now that inspired me.
Watch the video
When I first heard about the 52-week money challenge, I was intrigued. The idea is to save the corresponding amount of money each week, with that week of the year. Typically, most people start small and build up but there are actually three ways in which you can do this. These are the three options:
$1 in week 1, $2 in week 2, $3 in week 3 … $52 in week 52
$52 in week 1, $51 in week 2, $50 in week 3 … $1 in week 52
$26 each week
At the end of the challenge you will have saved $1,378.
When I say I was intrigued, I mean, I liked the idea. However, $1,378 after a year of saving didn’t really inspire me. I wondered what would happen if I added a '0' to the end of each number. That would be a saving of $13,780. Now that inspired me.
I decided that the best option for me was to follow the ascending option. I started the year putting away $10 in week 1, $20 in week 2 and so on. I didn’t know how I could afford to save $520 in a week, which would be the case in week 52 but I committed to taking it one week at a time. The first month was easy and the second month not too hard. Come the third month however, and things became a little tougher. Month four was a little tougher and month five, a little tougher again. With the one week at a time mindset though, I didn't miss a week. As the weeks rolled on, I continued to be amazed that I always found the money somehow.
The ascending option inspired me, but it also scared me a little. Finding an extra $10 each week became progressively more difficult; however, as I succeeded each week, my belief grew. I learned not to think about the challenge beyond the current week. I became so focussed on the current week that when I reflected on previous weeks, I couldn't believe how far I had come. This created a great relationship with money and a valuable mindset for life.
The Life Lessons I Learned From This Challenge:
- Commit to one week at a time.
Don't worry about what will happen weeks and months down the track. This can be overwhelming and result in giving up before you even start. Focus on what you can do today.
- Stretch yourself.
Set goals that scare you, while at the same time inspire you. If you get really excited but a little bit scared of a goal, it is the right goal for you.
- Don't be rigid in your thinking.
Be flexible in your thinking. Sometimes YOU need to make the rules.
- Money comes and goes.
Whenever you spend money, kiss it goodbye and say to yourself, 'There's plenty more where that came from'.
So, if you would love some savings to pay your bills or go towards a holiday, commit to starting the 52-week money challenge THIS WEEK. Put away $1 or $10 right now. Create a savings account (it will only take five minutes on internet banking if you don’t already have a savings account). If you don’t have internet banking, get a tin and put the money in that for now. Don’t worry about next week or the final week, just do what you need to do each week. The money at the end will be great but the mindset you’ll create will be priceless.
What would this extra money mean to you? Share your response in the comments below.
Thanks for checking this out!
What did you think? I'd love to hear from you. Share this on your favourite social network and ask a question or leave your thoughts in the comments below.