Let’s start off by saying I am by no means a financial expert – far from it in fact. But as a mom of two young children, I know that saving my pennies add up and I plan to do much better at saving my money in 2016. I started 2015 off by doing the 52 week money saving challenge in which I hoped to save $1,378 by December 31. Unfortunately, my son was born prematurely in May and his birth not only threw off my weekly regime of savings, but also wiped out my savings account once the medical bills came rolling in. That is what savings accounts are for though: the unexpected moments.
However, 2016 is going to be my year to bounce back and build up my savings again. I am always trying to think ahead for the good and the unexpected times when it comes to money and I try to have a plan for what I will need/want to save for. The money that I save is different than the money that I allot for necessities like groceries, bills, things that are necessary to live…you know what those items are in your life. We all have good things that we like to save for: holiday gifts, parties, special dinners, shopping trips, vacation, etc. And unfortunately, it is important to save for the unexpected times: Medical expenses/ER visits, broken appliances, vehicle issues, home repairs, etc.
Hopefully in 2016 we can all have good luck, personally and financially. And although I am sharing this 52 week money saving challenge with you two weeks after I suggest that you start in 2016, it won’t be hard to catch up.
Let’s take a look at this printable 52 Week Challenge Chart so I can explain this money saving challenge to you, Remember, I am not a financial expert, but this is super easy to understand.
For every week of the year, you deposit a specific amount of money into your savings account so that at the end of the year you will have saved a total of $1,378! I created a separate savings account through my bank so that I could easily transfer money from one account to the next. I did all of this virtually through my bank which made it very easy because I could look back and see that every Monday I deposited $X amount of dollars to my savings account and could see my growing balance weekly.
As the weeks get further into the year, you will be depositing more money at one time into your savings account, thus allowing your balance to grow faster. The beginning is pretty easy, but once you get into August, it can be a bit harder to stash away $30+ each week. And come November/December, it gets even harder to put all of that money aside, especially when holiday events are happening. You technically could stop in November and use some of your savings for the holidays, but I personally think I am going to grow mine as an emergency fund since we had to use a lot of ours last year and put away the set amounts in November/December.
If you make it through each week in 2016, I suggest starting 2017 backwards on the chart so that when November/December 2017 roll around you are only depositing $10 or less each week. Plus, you might have some money from the 2016 holidays that you received as gifts that could go toward the $52, $51 and $50 weekly deposits at the beginning of the year.
The 52 week money saving challenge is not something I created, but it is an easy way to start or continue to grow your savings account. And of course, there are no rules that say you can’t deposit more money than the chart states. If you have the extra funds to deposit into your savings, by all means, grow that account!
Have you participated in the 52 week money saving challenge before? Did you make it to the end? What other ways do you save money? I’d love to hear your tips!
Christine Cox is The Choosy Mommy. She has always had a passion for writing and is honored to contribute her work to this blog. Most of her writing inspiration comes from her daughter, Capri, who is fun-loving and full of energy, and newborn son Cam. Follow her on Facebook and on Twitter @thechoosymommy