52 Week Money Challenge [New Printable for 2017]

52 Week Money Challenge Image

Download the full 52 Week Money Challenge Printable Spreadsheet below.

So you want to save more money?

It’s as good a day as any to get started saving more.

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 – Download the Printable

The idea is simple:

  1. deposit $1 into your savings account (if you don’t have one, open one) on week one of this year,
  2. followed by $2 on week two,
  3. $3 on week three, etc, etc,
  4. 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. Download the printable spreadsheet to see how the numbers add up.

*Includes a reverse order spreadsheet in case you want to do the 52 week money saving challenge in reverse (i.e. start with a $52 deposit on week one).

Why You Should Take the 52 Week Money Challenge in 2017

Check out PT's take on the 52 week money saving challenge. It's a easy way to put extra money in your pocket, savings account, or vacation fund. Find out what it takes to accept the challenge!The amount, $1,378, might not sound life-changing for you at first.

But I promise you this…when you take on simple financial challenges, they lead to bigger ones!

According to the University of Michigan 23.4% of 9,000 families surveyed had no liquid assets. Sad.

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.

1. It’s Simple!

First, the challenge is embarrassingly simple (most great ideas are). Everyone has a dollar and a place to stash it. A simple savings account or coffee can will suffice.

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.

2. It’s Habit-Forming

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.

3. It Sparks New Habits

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.

Odds are, if you stick to the challenge, you’ll have much more than $1,378 by the end of the year.

My Saving Story

I used to be terrible at saving money. In my 20s I’d wait till the end of the month and transfer whatever I hadn’t spent over to my savings account.

52 Week Money Challenge

The Original 52 Week Money Challenge Printable

For a few weeks I’d feel great! But then spending would get out of control and I wouldn’t have any at the end of the month to save.

Or worse, I’d spend too much and have to borrow from my savings, reversing all the progress I’d made. Sad.

It wasn’t until I discovered the concept of “pay yourself first” and implemented my automate/separate strategy that I started seeing real progress with my saving.

I challenge you to take the extra step below.

Extra Step: Automate It!

To take your challenge to the next level, make it automatic. Setup an automatic withdrawal from your checking account into a separate online savings account or use one of these auto savings apps to make it happen.

Are you taking the 52 week money challenge? Do you use other savings challenges to encourage you to save more?

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Last Edited: January 29, 2017 @ 7:46 pmThe content of ptmoney.com is for general information purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. Visitors to ptmoney.com should not act upon the content or information without first seeking appropriate professional advice. In accordance with the latest FTC guidelines, we declare that we have a financial relationship with every company mentioned on this site.
About Philip Taylor

Philip Taylor, aka "PT", is a CPA, financial writer, podcaster, FinCon Founder, husband, and father of three. He created PT Money back in 2007 to share his thoughts on money and to meet others passionate about managing their finances. All the content on this blog is original, and created or edited by PT. Read more about Philip Taylor, and be sure to connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+. Listen to the new podcast, Masters of Money!

Comments

  1. I am taking the challenge, only doing it in reverse. $52 was my initial savings deposit and working my way till I achieve it all! Easier to pay the small amounts at the end of the year for me.

  2. This is awesome! And for everyone who thinks $1,300 isn’t life changing might spend that money on a trip. Every vacay I’ve been on have been life changing in some ways.

    I’all be joining you on this one. 🙌🏻

  3. Hello Philip,
    Great way to save without the pain! Just amazing how fast a little adds up. Your stats about saving are sad and more should take this simple advice. I cry every year after doing the taxes and think about what could have been saved. Thanks for the post!

  4. Hey, PT

    I can’t download the printable spreadsheet. Can you assist, please?

  5. I accept your challenge , start now , great post, thank you

  6. I’m doing it, have debts. Quiet a lot,I have them on track but is equaly important to have te saving chip no matter what, some day the debt will be gone and I have to grow a little the saving habit.
    I change the challenge instead of following the order of saving I mak(e it random every week I save but some weeks are better than other so if I have a good one I save more money and delet the amount so I won’t repeat it. The same but with that little twist so I feel it doable.

  7. Seems I have got work up my sleeve for the coming week! Thank you! Would try it just for the fun of it..:)

  8. This sounds like a good way to start the habit of saving. Any way to get in that habit is a good way. Even better would be to put those savings where you can get a higher return. Depending on your age, high quality corporate bonds or even a stock index fund would be a good choice. And starting with the higher amounts at the beginning of the year would give the money more time to grow (and give you more choices as to where to invest it).

  9. Mrs. lewis says:

    I attempted this savings method back in early 2014, only to give up and start saving lump sums. I would recommend that if you get paid bi-weekly, try adding up the weeks around each paycheck. It’s still the same amount of money but you aren’t maintaining the savings program every week, just when you get paid.

  10. JohnRPowers Normally I would enthusiastically agree, but my credit union’s interest rates are ridiculously low right now; not even half what I’m getting on my Christmas Club account at a small local bank.

  11. JohnRPowers says:

    Try a credit union you will get a better deal.

  12. good method there Philip Taylor. I think it’s not late for me to start doing it this month, right?

  13. hrazifernan says:

    I am doing it, saving double the amount each week  and  have already saved for the whole month of February, although we are just approaching the mid-month.  As the amounts increase, I will be doing it on a weekly basis as it will be more manageable.  

    This is a great way to save and my hat goes out to the person who came up with this.

  14. Better yet, find a bank that still offers a Christmas Club account. Because they know you can’t touch the money without a penalty, they often pay a little better interest, which will also help grow your balance. You should be able to stash at least $5 a week just by collecting your loose change every day or skipping one half-caf mocha latte.

  15. brokeandbeau says:

    I’ve unknowingly been siphoning all my “side hustle” income into savings (I thought it was linked to checking).  It’s great, because by bypassing my checking account, I’m never tempted to spend that money.

  16. It’s not right for me either. It’s a good idea for someone who has little experience with saving. We already save our extra money instead of spending them. It’s not going to help us.

  17. @AnneYu Some banks make this possible. Take a look at Capital One 360 or Ally Bank. The online banks usually have the best recurring transfer options.

  18. I love the idea, but I’m not sure it’s right for me. I save hundreds in retirement accounts each payday automatically and have tons of savings. For people new to saving for a bad day, this is a great way to get going. Super easy, small amount of money, and it ads up to a big difference.

  19. Wondering if there is a way to set this up with automatic withdrawal. I know how to set it up for a weekly amount, just not sure if you could do it so it increases amounts each week.

  20. So my daughter came up with an idea where you deposit $52 the first week, then $51 the second week, and so on. As your number of weeks lessen, so does the deposit amount! Your last deposit will only be $1! This way would be fun!

  21. ShayGrandma says:

    A current FB post suggested that one might want to start with December now and work backwards so the sting of the $202 would be in January instead of December. Just a thought.

  22. Saw this on my future daughter in law’s FB page & thought I’d give it a try.  Just started a few weeks ago & am week 9.  I opened the container today to put in the money & got a strong wiff of coffee- my absolutely favorite drink!  Sign from God that this is a good thing?  🙂  Well… maybe not from God – but this still is a good thing… And forming a good habit usually takes some heavenly help! 🙂

  23. StefanFarrington says:

    I’ll give it a try 🙂

  24. The Debt Princess says:

    I’m absolutely taking this challenge. I have exactly 3 cents in my savings account currently. 2013 has kicked me in the rear and wiped out everything I’ve put away. I don’t know what will happen later in the year but I’m going to try to do this until it becomes impossible.

  25. PlungedinDebt says:

    I also saw this circulating and am going to do it because like you said, it’s habit forming.

  26. Interesting concept for sure – I saw this recently on facebook as well.  However, if you do the math, that’s around $115 a month – not everyone has that much “extra” available…  (or if you do it by the challenge, the last 4 weeks are $202 – that’s quite a bit in December.
     
    Of course, I am saying this from the perspective of someone for whom this would be an additional challenge on top of the 35%+ I’m already saving from each paycheck – and thus maybe it is easier for someone just starting to learn how to save!

    • Helen in CA says:

      The thing that’s different about the challenge (having done it), is the way it grows. It’s much more than the parts, much more than “merely” plunking down the amount per month. Because growing that small amt means that you adjust: the slow growth makes it do-able.

  27. Thanks Philip! So great to see so many people on board with it. I know quite a few people who have done it and it made a real difference to their finances and their saving habits in general.

  28. Beachbudget says:

    Yup, I’m doing the challenge!

  29. freedommcflyy says:

    Great post!

  30. Montina Portis says:

    Hi, Philip!  Thank you so much for doing your research!  My husband and I began the 52 Week Financial Challenge July 2010 on You Tube and we are so grateful to God for how it continues to grow and grow and grow years later!  We have since made it our mission to save our monies using our passive income streams.  Glad to have you along!

  31. JoanConcilioOtto says:

    Great idea! I’m thinking my husband and I will be on board with this!

  32. Anne from ImpulseSave says:

    This is a great idea and totally agree about it being habit-forming. I can see it getting difficult when the holidays roll around, but hopefully by then the habit has sunk in and you’re making better spending choices.

  33. I am not taking the challenge but I save quite a bit already. Even more challenging would be the 100 or 104 week challenge!

  34. I am participating in this challenge.  It is a really great way to save money.  It is not life-changing for me, but can help on top of my other savings goals.