I hear from my friends often that they are “bad with money”. I quickly realized that most of these feelings are related to the fact that they feel like they are bad with saving money. There are many different strategies to saving money, and many differing opinions on how much you should save (this relates to your income, age, goals, etc). I decided to introduce a new saving challenge for HDM readers in 2016, and I hope some of you take the challenge with me.
I will start by saying that this saving strategy was not my idea. This is something I have seen circulated around the internet, called the ’52-Week Money Challenge’.
The plan goes that each week of the year you set aside a target amount of money. The first week, $52, the next week $51, and so on. By the magic of mathematics, by the end of the year you will have saved nearly $1,400. Wow! The nice thing about the target lowering each week is that the saving gets easier as the year goes on.
I like this challenge because no matter your age or income it is a feasible saving strategy. In January, when the target deposits are the highest, you can set aside money you may have been given over the holiday as gifts. This saving strategy is also very flexible. I know some readers may not have a job or steady source of income. If you still decide to do the challenge, feel free to use the target amounts just as a guide. Instead, put away just as much as you can handle saving. Ambitious savers, feel free to save beyond the target!
Print and stick on a jar/box/somewhere you’ll see it.
Plus, I will keep posting updates and tips here for helping you spend smarter and increase your income. Here are some older Smart Money posts to get you started.
Will you be using this challenge as your main saving strategy, or to use for an extra treat in the future? It’s important to outline your goals at the beginning so you can stay motivated to save. Print out our guide and keep it somewhere handy so you don’t forget, set a reminder on your phone (perhaps for the day you get paid each week), and make sure you have a place to save. I recommend using a savings account or a mason jar; it’s just important to choose a strategy that works for you. A jar is motivating because you can see your progress, but it can also be lost or stolen. In a savings account you get the benefit of compound interest, but you have to be able to open an account and make weekly trips to the bank.
Are you ready to take the challenge? Tag #smartmoneyhdm and #payyourself on social media, and share with friends. Questions? Find me on social media @seijasam.