A week or so ago an interesting image came across my Facebook wall. It was the picture below of the 52 week money challenge.
You guys know I’m all over the “52″ concept. So today I thought I’d share my thoughts on the 52 week money challenge and see how many of you would do something like this.
How the 52 Week Money Challenge Works
The idea is simple: deposit $1 into your savings account on week one of 2013, followed by $2 on week two, $3 on week three, etc, etc, until you reach week fifty-two where you make your last deposit of $52. Your final balance at the end of the year is $1,378. It’s a simple way to save almost $1,400.
Who’s Buzzing About the 52 Week Challenge
Many people are blogging about it this new year and the thing has gone viral, with thousands taking the challenge.
- J.Money referred to it today in his list of 5 Challenges to Do in 2013.
- Kylie Ofiu wrote about it last January in her post about 6 Savings Plans You Can Do.
- I traced the concept back to a June 2010 Youtube video from Montina Portis (SparkWisdom) titled The 52 Week Financial Challenge. Montina has since started a 52 Week Financial Challenge for 2013 on Udemy as a video class to help people through the challenge.
- Kassondra Perry-Moreland started the 52 Week Money Challenge Facebook group that’s creating a lot of the 2013 viral buzz for the concept.
I’ve done my best to track down the origin of the picture of the spreadsheet above, but I can’t seems to find it. Do you know? I’d love to talk to them about it and point out the error on week 49.
Why You Should Take the 52 Week Money Challenge
The amount, $1,378, isn’t life-changing for most. Although according to the University of Michigan 23.4% of 9,000 families surveyed had no liquid assets. I’d say for those guys this is a life-changing amount. For you, it might be a great way to start getting into the habit of saving. No one says you can’t continue saving past week 52.
Even though the process is simple, the challenge has some powerful effects.
First, the challenge is embarrassingly simple (most great ideas are). Everyone has a dollar and a place to stash it. A simple bank account or coffee can will suffice. So there is no excuse for not being able to at least start this challenge. Five weeks in and you’re only putting $5 away at the end of the week.
The second thing I like about this challenge is that it’s habit-forming. The challenge places you into the act of saving. This means you’ll have to:
- establish a place to put the money, and
- determine where the money is going to come from.
As easy as these two steps sound, if you’re not saving regularly then it’s because you aren’t doing those two things. And there’s nothing like the fun of a good challenge to help make the habit-forming process easy.
Finally, I like that the challenge is sure to spark other good financial habits like spending less that you earn and finding ways to increase your income. Odd are, if you stick to the challenge, you’ll have much more than $1,378 by the end of the year.
To take your challenge to the next level, make it automatic. Setup an automatic withdrawal from your checking account into an online savings account.
Are you taking the 52 week money challenge? Do you use other savings challenges to encourage you to save more?