Yesterday I wrote about my word of the year being balance and I shared the vision board I created, which is comprised of 5 key areas of my life (which I call My Fab Five) I am working on. One of the Fab Five is Finance. I want to work on getting back on track and start saving properly. I bumped into a 52 Week Money Challenge that has become very popular in Social Media with many variations done by different organizations and individuals. Personally, saving has been challenging for me because I’m trying my best to be completely out of debt, Lord willing, by September of this year. Because I’m trying to find balance in that, I found this activity to be manageable, measurable and tangible. Surely I can do it with the help of God! I went on a quest to find the best fit for me…. And well, because I am very particular (semi-OCD), I created my own. Maybe it’ll be useful to you!

I’ve gotten my family and in-laws to partake in it with me. It’s awesome. We are currently on Week 2! (It’s not too late to start) – CHOOSE THE PLAN THAT BEST FITS YOU!

PLAN 1 is the regular 52-Week-Money Challenge that is most popular right now.

THIS IS HOW IT WORKS: The plan is divided into 52 weeks (for the year, of course). Beginning with Week 1 (January 1st-7th), in a jar or any kind of container really, you deposit $1. With each week, you add a dollar to the amount you deposit the previous week. You can print the sheet I provided and tape it on the container or just have it in a folder for your records.

EXAMPLE:

  1. Week 1 – Deposit $1
  2. Week 2 – Deposit $2
  3. Week 3 – Deposit $3… (and so on)

You do this each week until you reach Week 52. On that last week, where your deposit will be $52, you will have saved $1,378! That’s awesome for someone that is just getting their feet wet in learning how to save, down to someone trying to get back into the swing of things!

PRINTABLE SHEET: BMW 52WMoney Ch Plan 1

PLAN 2 contains the same concept, only in reverse. Because I know how difficult the last couple of weeks of the year is with spending, going on winter break and not having all that much money to spare, I decided that the beginning of the year is much more convenient for me to deposit the larger amounts. This is my personal preference.

THIS IS HOW IT WORKS: Following the same concept as PLAN 1 with the difference in initial and consequent deposits and subtracting $1 per week.

EXAMPLE:

  1. Week 1 – Deposit $52
  2. Week 2 – Deposit $51
  3. Week 3 – Deposit $50… (and so on)

With this plan, you decrease the deposit amount per week. By the end of the year, you are saving the same exact amount, only that you will worry less towards the latter part of the year about where you’ll be having to cut down to stay on top of the weekly deposits.

PRINTABLE SHEET: BMW 52WMoneyCh.P2

For my 52-Week- Money Challenge, I did Plan 2 and I emptied out a walnuts container I had at home (please don’t go buy a container – defeats the purpose of saving – find something at home). I cleaned it out and placed the sheet over it and used scotch tape. The container is square, but it does the job. A cylinder shape container would be most advantageous.

Overall, this is a great way to become more aware and intentional about saving. The point is to always make deposits, NOT withdrawals for the cute outfit on sale this week. Ideally, you will create a system where you can save this amount annually and NOT use it at all at the end of the year. That way, if you keep up the system, you’ll be saving a whole lot more! Take a look!

  1. Year 1 – Save $1,378
  2. Year 2 – Save $2,756
  3. Year 3 – Save $4,134
  4. Year 4 – Save $5,512
  5. Year 5 – Save $6,890

The next step after annually putting aside this money in a container would be to put it in a CD or Savings account where your money will be accruing interest monthly as well. I use Capital One 360. I’ve been using them since they first came out as ING Direct. Only this time, I plan to LEAVE THE MONEY IN THE ACCOUNT. That’s where discipline comes in handy. Help us Lord! Now, sure there are other ways to save and accrue interest much quicker (check out Suze Orman or Dave Ramsey – which are my personal favorites – for more in depth Money Saving Ideas), but this is my first step to the rest of my journey. The key is to find what works for you and stick to it.

START SAVING NOW as you continue your journey to being made whole!

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