This post has been updated to give you more tips. There are affiliate links, if you click on the links you might earn me a few cents.
52 Week Money Challenge
By now you’ve probably seen the 52 week money challenge on either Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Google+ or a blog. I tend to save money fairly easy and now that the kids and I are experimenting with Crockpot meals and other home meals at home we are saving more than before. Yes, I am a penny pincher, but I still need to figure out how to best use coupons so you can bet I’ll be looking more into that this year too to save even more money. If you got a tip on coupons or some other cheaper way of doing something at home instead of buying it in the store, let me know in the comments below.
TIP: Use the Savings Catcher at Walmart. Every time you get home you just put in your TC# and if it finds another store with a cheaper price it’ll give you back the cents/dollars and it all adds up. I plan on saving mine up until Christmas. It may start off small but it grows, especially when all your doing it adding it after every time you shop. I thought it would never grow because I already by the cheaper items but it does!
Getting an Emergency Fund
Dave Ramsey tends to state, as well as many other financial advisors that the best thing for anyone to have, not just families is a $1000 emergency fund. I’m like most Americans and do not have one, so this is one of my first goals. I want an emergency fund but I also want to be able to save up money for other items I am in need of here, plus fun things to do.
How does one save up when they really never have? You do it with a bunch of others doing the same thing so you can see others doing it right along with you. You pick up how they are doing it, what method they are using, how to coupon better, etc. You learn and grow together, sometimes couples will do it together, other times seeing another person such as a friend doing it, have a family member do it with you and see who will be there in the end race. Make saving fun!
You may want to read some of his books too: (affiliate links below)
Why a challenge?
In America it seems everyone likes a challenge. I can understand it. We all like doing something with someone, at least I do. You can compare notes, be encouraged, etc. The 52 week money challenge is simply that. It’s a challenge, many people have given up in the middle because they got out of the habit. Those that stuck it out had $1,378 in their jars/banks at the end of the year. If you don’t normally save money you can see how this would be big. Either it would definitely pay for Christmas and then some or it could help towards a summer vacation, plane trip for a relative, clothes shopping for the school year, paying off some bills, etc.
Dave Ramsey states that by paying off smaller bills first you will continue with the momentum of getting out of debt. Why not try saving money to pay off some bills. Right? Each week the idea is to put that much money in. If you are in week 1 you drop in a dollar , week 23 means you are dropping in 23 dollars and so forth. Me? I’m going to start it backwards because like many I have a hard time saving after Halloween because there are so many holidays there.
But I’m not entirely doing it backwards I’m doing one week will be 52 and the following will be 1. Why? We get paid every other week so I might not have that huge amount of cash the second week. Like most we live paycheck-to paycheck so this would be best for me. I read where one lady refused to spend any $5 bills and saved up over $1000 in 6 months that way.
Another person is going to do it by days instead of by only once a week. By this I mean on January 29th they’ll be adding $29 in their jar, by Feb 18, they’ll add an additional $18, etc. This would be great for those that can truly do it. Can you picture having an extra $6000 by the end of the year? Heck, an extra $500 by the end of January would be nice.
For me: This challenge is to help me learn to save more, spend money wisely and to pay off my debts. I paid off a few last year but I want to pay off all my small debts by the end of 2015. That way all I have left is my college debt.
Who started this?
I’m not entirely sure who to give credit to as I’ve seen this posted as far back as a year ago, but I saw it first one Couponing to Bed Debtfree. I have read that Kassandra Moreland started a Facebook group so it may have actually been her. Here was her reason behind it:
“I am a single parent, and I have worked at my job for 22 years. I just worked 53 hours alone in this pay period and do this all of the time. I decided that this is the year that I will have something to show for working all of those hours instead of just bills left over at the end of the year.I work better if I am held accountable, even in my personal life, so I decided to see how many of my friends would be honest and say they needed help with a structured savings plan, and even if they don’t would they help me. I had no idea that it wold turn into what it has in just the last two hours.”
Find a method that works for you and join in the challenge, comment below to let me know you are doing it with me and what style you are going with.
TIP: If one method doesn’t work that is okay, not everyone works the same way. Sometimes you have to make the challenge yours. Can you put a jar in your room and dump your change every night? This has worked for some. Set up a direct deposit to go straight to your savings account. Remember if something didn’t work for you one year try it another year or try something new. Not everyone can do the same thing.
There is a child version I wrote so your kids can take part in this challenge at their own pace. The 52 Week Money Challenge for Kids.