The Life of a Home Mom

52 Week Money Challenge for You

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 Idea

By now you’ve probably seen the 52-week money challenge on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, or Google+. You might have even read about it in your favorite blog. What is this challenging task? It’s simple: You can make $365 in one year simply by saving $1 every day of the year or more.

The 52 Week Money Challenge has been trending on social media lately but what exactly does it entail? Basically, all one needs to do throughout this entire endeavor will be saving just 1 dollar every single day which leads us back up to the grand total of 365 dollars by next December 31st. The best part about doing something like this is we don’t always realize how much we can save and it helps us develop a habit of saving our money.

For many people, saving money can be a real challenge. Trust me, I totally get it. However, there are creative ways to save even more so if you’re interested in being as thrifty as possible. One such way is by using the Crockpot for cooking meals at home rather than ordering out or eating from fast food restaurants all the time- it saves both your wallet and waistline!

For those who find themselves constantly on a tight budget with very little left over after paying bills each month, discovering new savings strategies may feel impossible. But don’t despair because there are still plenty of fun things that might help lighten up that paycheck while maintaining peace of mind about how much we have saved throughout any given year—such an example includes substituting takeout foods with healthier meals cooked at home.

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: Another thing you can do to save some money is sell something that you don’t use on eBay, Craigslist, or another site.

Still looking at ways to make a little extra money: Do some side hustles that can earn you a few dollars or more. Open up an Etsy shop and start selling digital products. If you have a car try some door dash opportunities.

Start Saving Money

You’ve been meaning to start a better savings routine, but haven’t had the time or the motivation. Well, we’re here to help! Every week you’ll have the opportunity to save up money in each of these categories: food, clothing, entertainment, travel, and personal items. If you follow this plan for 52 weeks, at the end of it all you’ll have saved $1,378! You can make this challenge even more fun by challenging your friends or family members to see who can save the most money!

Getting an Emergency Fund

Dave Ramsey and many other financial advisors say that the first big step in getting on the right track to reducing your debt is establishing an emergency fund. He likes $1000 to start off for that emergency fund. I don’t have an emergency fund and I want one. I want to be able to save up money for other things, like new stuff that you need. And I also want to have fun money too.

How to save up when you barely have any?

The best way is to start on the small stuff that you can do weekly and work your way up toward bigger things like getting a car. It might take you some time but it’s the only surefire way to be able to get yourself out of debt and also keep yourself in check with spending.

These are the steps I’m going to take and it’s going to be hard — I know that the first time you try, it will feel impossible. But if you try again and again, not only will it seem easier but you’ll also have more money in your account at the end of a month than when you started.

Another way you learn to save by seeing what others are doing and succeeding and replicating it. 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 money challenge?

In the United States, it seems everyone likes to set a challenge. I’m completely on board with this idea because no one wants to do something alone. You can compare notes, be encouraged, succeed with each other, etc. The 52-week money challenge is a great motivational tool for saving more, no matter how much time or money you already have. Missing a day or two of your challenge is not the end. Just keep up with the goal for 365 days and you’ll have $1,378 to spend in savings at the end. If you don’t normally save money you can see how this would be big. The money you save, if the goal is met by the end of 52 weeks, could be used for Christmas and then some or other plans such as a vacation to visit kin, clothes shopping for the school year.

Pay Smaller Bills First

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 backward 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 backward 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.

Why Do You want to Do the 52 Week Challenge?

For me: This challenge is to help me learn to save money, spend money wisely, and 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 the year. That way all I have left is my college debt.

This money challenge can be done alone or with loved ones. Some people want to save more for the wedding, others wish to save money for their dream house or another car, etc. For me, I’m saving for to get out of debt and to be able to take my business to the next level as well as being able to buy our own home. Why do you want to do it?


Who started the 52 Week Money Challenge?

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 would 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. If the dollar-a-day challenge is too much you can try the Nickel a day Challenge, Dime a day Challenge, or even the Penny a day Challenge.

7 Ways to Save Money

Okay, so you are all in but now you have to figure out how to save a few bucks to ensure you can actually do this. Here are 7 ways to save money.

  • Bring your lunch from home instead of buying it!
  • Make a list tempting to buy groceries as soon as you enter the grocery store, but making a list can help you avoid buying unnecessary items that may have been forgotten on the list at home.
  • Buy generic brands instead of name-brand foods.
  • Check out the deals before going into the store. The best way is to look at the grocery store ads and find out which items are on sale for that week. Then you can make a list based on those deals! You can also wait until your favorite item goes BOGO are several ways to do this:
  • Get a Piggy Bank and put all your change at the end of the day into it.
  • Use the money envelopes idea (From Ramsey) This is where you put money for each category in an envelope. You can do this for any of the categories above: food, clothing, entertainment, travel, and personal items.

For example: When we decide to go eat out, we take it from the “Entertainment or Eating out” envelope. But all you have is what you have allowed in that envelope so don’t spend more. I also have School bills, rent, and grocery envelopes. I have upgraded my envelopes to those little pencil bags that come in different colors from Walmart for $1.

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.

I hope the 52-week money challenge helps you and you’ve learned a few ways to save money to do it. If this challenge helped you please share it with your friends and family. If you are looking for more ways to save check out these posts:

Saving Money at the Movies
Ways to Cut down on those Electric Bills

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.

7 thoughts on “52 Week Money Challenge for You

  1. I like the idea of savings $5. We save all of our change, and then when we go on a nice vacation, we cash it in and use it as spending money. It takes a long time to add up, so I guess it is good that we rarely go on nice vacations. 🙂

  2. It is a really good idea, but I don’t know if we could do it, as we don’t make much money. He is retired and gets SS, and I am disabled and don’t have a job. It is hard sometimes just to meet the bills we have.

  3. I am going to do this. I am just going to do the number of week way. I was just wondering if anyone else was. I may need an accountability buddy.

  4. Esther Thornton says:

    I would llove to go on this, but my husband and I are both retired and we only get paid 1 time a month for each of us, Could you make up a sch. for retirees??

  5. I like it. This is the kind of challenge that leaves the ‘winners’ with something more than just a one time prize, you get habits that will take you a long way.

  6. Linda Bradshaw says:

    I wanted to do this but I only get paid once a month. I might try it anyway. 😉

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