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Save More Money This Year with Savings Challenges

December 26, 2016

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savings-challenges-free-downloadIs one of your resolutions this year to save more money? If so, you are not alone.

Many people are striving to save more money this year, but they don’t know where to begin. Others make a valiant effort to save more money at the beginning of the year but by Spring Break they are ready to give up on their goal.

This year you can make sure you save more money by creating accountability, and using your competitive side to your advantage, with one of these savings challenges.

Plus, I even created some helpful downloadable charts to help keep you on track!

52 Week Savings Challenge

Surely you’ve heard of this savings challenge. It’s a pretty popular one on Facebook and other social media networks this time of year. In this savings challenge you set aside $1 the first week of the new year (or whenever you decide to start the challenge) and increase you savings amount by $1 each week.

For example, on week 15 you’ll save $15. By the end of the year, you will have saved $1,378!

The challenging part of this one is that at the end of the year. When the holidays hit and money is tight, you will need be saving around $50/week to stay on track with the challenge. If you are on a tight budget, it might be difficult to complete the entire challenge. Luckily there are some alternatives that might fit your lifestyle, and budget, better.

52 Week Savings Challenge Modifications

52 Week Flat Rate Savings Challenge

Take the amount of money you want to save this year, or the amount you’d save in the normal 52 Week Savings Challenge, and divide it out evenly among the 52 weeks of the year. This will allow you to save a flat rate each week instead of increasing your savings rate throughout the year. Saving a flat rate of $26.50 for 52 weeks will add up to the same amount as the regular 52 Week Savings Challenge.

Reverse 52 Week Savings Challenge

As mentioned, one of the hardest parts of the 52 Week Savings Challenge is setting aside $50/week during the holidays. One way to modify this challenge and solve that problem is by doing the challenge in reverse. You can start out by saving $52 on week one and end the year with $1 on week 52. This might be easier if you get a bonus or tax refund during the beginning of the year so you can fund those larger savings weeks with your extra income.

52 Week Savings Elimination Challenge

In this modification, you can choose to save any amount you want each week, from $1 to $52. This allows you to have more flexibility. You’ll be able to save more when you have extra money. Or you can choose to save a lesser amount when your budget is tight. Each week, cross the amount you saved off the list. You won’t save that exact amount again during the remainder of the challenge.

52 Week Mini Savings Challenge

If your budget is really tight, you might not be able to set aside $1,378 over the course of year. Taking part in this mini challenge will help you save money on a smaller scale. The mini version of this challenge uses $0.50 increments instead of $1 increases each week. It’s just like the 52 Week Savings Challenge cut in half. You save $0.50 the first week and end the year saving $26 on week 52. The total savings will also be half at $689.

365 Day Savings Challenge

If you prefer a daily action instead of a weekly action to make saving money a habit, try the 365 Day Savings Challenge. In this challenge you set aside $0.01 on day 1, $0.02 on day 2, and so on. On the last day of the year, you’ll save $3.65. This challenge will result in savings of $667.95 if completed correctly.

Download My Spreadsheets to Start Your Savings Challenges!

savingschallengeexampleTo help you get started on the right foot with any of the savings challenges in this post, I’ve created some FREE downloadable spreadsheets.

These spreadsheets will serve as your guide throughout the year to keep you on track with your goals. You can fill in your information as you meet the savings goal each week, or just cross through them like a to-do list.

Each of the challenges is in a separate section in this downloadable spreadsheet.

Just enter your email below to get a copy of my spreadsheets so you can start with one of these savings challenges!

Boost Your Savings Challenges Money with Interest

If you really want to make the most of the money you are saving in these savings challenges, sock it away in a high-yield savings account. The interest won’t be much until you’ve built up a larger balance in the account, but a penny saved is a penny saved! 🙂

My favorite choice for a high-yield savings account is with CapitalOne360. Although the interest rate is slightly lower than with Ally Bank, CapitalOne360 allows you have multiple savings accounts with different nicknames and goals. This really helps me keep my money organized by goal. For example, it keeps me from spending money from my travel fund for something other than it’s intended use.

Savings challenges are a great way to make sure you save more money this year, but it’s also important that you use that money wisely. You can choose to put your challenge savings into your emergency fund, invest it, put it toward debt as a lump sum payment at the end of the year, or to pay for Christmas gifts for your friends and family.

All of these are good ways to use your savings challenge money if it will prevent you from taking on debt. Plus savings challenges help you build a new savings habit that you are more likely to continue after completing the challenge.

Have you ever done any savings challenges? Which one did you use?

Looking to save more money this year? Try one of these savings challenges!
Want to save more money this year? Download these savings challenge spreadsheets to stay on track!
Want to save more money this year? Try some of these alternatives to the 52 week savings challenge!
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Kayla

Kayla is a mid-20s single girl living in the Midwest, USA. She is focused on paying off her consumer and student loans, while simplifying her life and closet. You can join her on her journey at ShoeaholicNoMore or follow her on Twitter.

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8 responses to “Save More Money This Year with Savings Challenges

  1. In 2015, I did the 52 week challenge – doubled. I wasn’t saving for a specific goal until maybe April/May. I decided I would use the funds for travel and was able to pay for our trip to Philadelphia. I would definitely do this challenge again, but next time I would do it reversed.

    1. Awesome! I tried the regular 52 week challenge in 2014, but I failed miserably. I did pretty well until it got to like $30+/week. I used the money I saved toward Christmas and birthday gifts for friends and family. If I did it again I think I’d just stash it in a savings account instead of keeping a pile of cash around to tempt me to spend, plus I’d probably do the elimination version so I have more flexibility.

  2. I’ve never done either — or even heard of either — but they’re interesting. I may have to try the weekly one, but our expenses tend to be all over the place. So we’ll have to see how well it works.

    Thanks for the idea!

  3. I am so excited to take on the 52 week savings challenge. I’ve never been successful yet with any savings challenge, so I am making sure that this year, I’ll be successful at this one. Hashtags determination and candoattitude. Happy New Year, Kayla.

  4. really excited to do a savings challenge this year! i think i’m going to try the elimination version of the 52 weeks – i like the flexibility of picking the amount, but keeping the structure. thank you for sharing these 🙂

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