December 30, 2014

52-Week Money Savings Challenge (with printable)

Yay, me!  I made a New Years' Resolution last year and actually stuck with it!  I didn't start working out, lose weight, or finally get my whole house organized.  I did, however, manage to save nearly $1,400 with a 52-Week Money Savings Plan.  It wasn't that hard at all and the money I put aside was able to completely pay for Christmas this year - all the gifts for kids, our family, and their teachers, a new tree, some decorations, and even dinners out during the busy December season.

Since it worked so well for me, I thought I'd share it.  It's the perfect way to save for the holidays, but it would also be great for vacation saving or any other big-ticket item.

First, here's the week-by-week plan... (Printable HERE)

52 week money savings challenge - awesome plan!!
Here's how I made it work for me...

1.  Save in reverse!

When I first saw this kind of plan last December, it started with $1 the first week, $2 the second week and so on until $52 was deposited on the last week.  A commenter mentioned that she was doing it in reverse and I adopted that version instead.  It worked out great doing it backwards for a few reasons... 

1. You start out with the bigger amounts in the beginning when you're all gung-ho and more eager to save.

 2.  Your money grows faster.  By the end of the first month you have $200 and after 25 weeks you've put aside $1000!! 

3.  If you put it in a savings account, you gain a little bit of interest over the course of a year.  (I ended up with about $6 in interest).

2.  Schedule your deposits for a savings account!

The original version I saw had you putting your cash in a jar every week.  I knew this wouldn't work for me because I'd never have the right amount of cash on hand and I'd be too tempted to dip into the jar when the kids needed money for something.  I do my banking with Capital One 360 (which I love)  so I just set up a savings account for this challenge.

Then I just sat down and scheduled transfers from my checking account to my new 52 Week Savings account for every Friday, starting with $52 on the first week, $51 the second, and so on.  It did take a little bit of time since each transfer was for a different amount and had to be entered separately, but it was totally worth it because then the money went in every week automatically.  If you use the printable above, just check it off as you set up the transfer.

That's it!  I really liked watching the amount grow and it was nice to only have to add a few dollars a week there towards the end.  Plus, let me tell you, it was a HUGE relief to know that I had more than enough set aside for everything I needed for the holidays this year - by the end, I had saved $1384.09 (including interest!)

Now, like I said, I have Capital One 360 (formerly ING Direct) and I really liked it for this challenge.  The transfers were easy to set up and I could quickly open a new savings account just for this purpose (they let you open up to 25 separate savings accounts!).  This isn't a sponsored post, it just really worked out great for me.  See if your bank has something similar or look into setting up your own account at Capital One 360.  (DISCLOSURE:  If you set up a new account through this link, I do get a bonus but so do you!)