What is a 52-week money challenge?

If your dream is to save more money and later afford some big purchase to fulfill your dream, then you should pay attention to one of the weekly savings challenges, which will allow you to get more than one thousand dollars without any effort within a year. 

Let’s break down the basics of the popular 52-week challenge, find out how to get started and customize it to your personal needs. In addition, experts will tell you how to stay motivated and not go astray.

Fun fact: If you’re better at keeping track of things when creating special plans or lists, you can find printable versions of the 52-week challenge savings schedule online. Print it out in color and hang it in a prominent place so you don’t forget!


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So, let’s start with what the 52-week savings challenge is. In general, this is a technique in which the user must replenish the saving account every week with an increasing amount each time:

  • first week — $1;
  • second week — $2;
  • third week — $3;
  • …….
  • fifty-first week — $51;
  • fifty-second week — $52.

Don’t underestimate this challenge with such meager savings in the first weeks, because by sticking to the original plan, you could end up with $1,378 to save, which is a pretty hefty sum!

How to start efficiently?

First of all, you should take care of the piggy bank — digital or conventional one. However, the second option is not very convenient, since it is rarely possible to find an even amount in cash, and the safety of such funds may be in question. So, it’s better to choose one of the alternative options, for example:

  • create special high-yielding savings account with a selected bank specifically for the 52-week challenge (its advantage is that some banks offer accrued interest, so you can save more than $1,378 by the end of the year);
  • set up your online bank by creating a separate account or virtual piggy bank for weekly deductions.

Regarding the last option, it will be great if the virtual piggy bank is customizable and you can specify the end date of the challenge, the target amount and set reminders for the regularity of contributions.

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Adapt the challenge to your personal preferences

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Of course, the first weeks may seem even too easy, but the last weeks, where you need to deposit more than $50, can become a problem. Especially if they fall on some holiday periods, where basic spending (for example, on gifts for the family) can cost a pretty penny.

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This is the main reason why experts recommend not using the standard plan, but customizing it a bit. For example:

  1. You can start by depositing $52 in the first week and end with $1 in week 52 to get through the tough period in the first place.
  2. In addition, if you receive a bonus or a grant, and can do without this money without affecting your usual lifestyle, then contribute this money as a head starts for the last “difficult” weeks of the challenge.
  3. If the constant increase in contribution annoys and confuses you, then you can customize the 52-week saving challenge and average all the amounts. $1378/52=$26.5 weekly.

Also, this plan may seem too inefficient for those who set themselves more ambitious goals. To get a big benefit, you can simply double all contributions: $2 in the first week, $4 in the second, $6 in the third …. $102 in the fifty-first week, and $104 in the fifty-second week.

Keep the goal in mind

Decent motivation is the most important key to the successful completion of the 52-weeks savings challenge. Before starting, clearly find out for yourself what the ultimate goal will be, set several checkpoints for the entire period of accumulation, and also create reminders in your phone calendar or the bank application.

By the way, it is quite effective to reward yourself for saving — for example, you can allow indulgences for yourself in terms of buying something you want every 13 weeks of successful contributions (4 times in total per challenge). Start now and see how useful this simple technique is for saving money!

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