The 52 Week Money Saving Challenge has been out for years. If you are into finding creative ways to save money, you have probably seen it online. This is a fun way to save $1,378 in one year. Sound impossible? Take a close look at this money saving technique and use it as tool to help achieve a very attainable goal. This is CRUSHABLE! (Look, crushable is a word!)
Use the 52 Week Money Challenge to Pay for a Dream Trip
A few years ago, we were able to snag a $499/person trip to the Azores for flight, hotel and car rental. I was over the moon excited as this would be my first overseas adventure. I researched and scoured the internet and library for as much information as I could find on these exotic islands!
As the research continued, I found that the travel bug officially hit me and hit me HARD!!! How could I repeat this again the following year? I had to do something and started to research what major changes we could make with our household budget to make travel a yearly adventure.
The first thing our family did was to exchange tangible Christmas gifts for travel adventure experiences. We all kept thinking “Are we going to stick to it?” “Will we be upset or disappointed come Christmas morning when there are no gift boxes to open?” We were not disappointed at all! In fact, it was awesome and life changing!
I cheated a little bit, though. The next year, we planned on a trip to Iceland as part of our savings, so I bought Icelandic water from the Commissary and put together little travel bags to go with the travel theme. That was it. No stockings. No gifts other than what I noted. We put the money that we would have put towards gifts towards plane tickets. Our parents supported this idea and sent us checks that year to go towards our travel. We made headway!
Find a 52 Week Challenge Printable and Start Tracking
New Years Eve came and I printed out the 52 Week Challenge Printable. I announced to the family that we are going to do this! If we saved the $1378 that is on the chart, it would almost pay for another trip to the Azores!! Everyone was 100% on board and away we went.
We already lived on a weekly allowance so it was fairly easy to incorporate. I needed to add money to the envelope and checked off the boxes. I love a good challenge, so I added whatever cash I had leftover from the week. If I had $13 leftover, looked at what spots on the printable were left open. I had choices. I could mark off the $13 box, the $1 plus the $12 box, the $7 plus the $6 box…you get the idea. The more the boxes we filled in, the more passionate about it I became. A wee bit obsessed, if I’m honest at all. It was so rewarding to see the boxes get marked, and the envelope fill up.
And we did it! We filled in our boxes in less than half the time the challenge called for and bought tickets for $400/person to visit Tenerife, Canary Islands. We chose to visit lower cost areas as it allowed us the luxury of traveling more. I still want to visit places like Rome or Tuscany, but there are too many cheap places to go first. What is on your bucket list?
How Do You Do The 52 Week Challenge
There are three main ways to accomplish the 52 Week Money Saving Challenge
- Fill in the printable in sequential order. Start with week one and add $1, week 2 will be $2, etc. The really good thing with this way is it starts super small. Your saving will become a habit. If you are just starting out with family budgeting, adding some frugality choices to your life, or don’t live on a weekly budget, this is a great option for you!
- Fill the in the printable in reverse order. Start with week 1 and add $52 to the envelope, week 2 will add $51, week 3 will be $50, etc. This is great for those hard hitters out there that take January by storm and knock it out. I caution anyone wanting to try this option to make sure that you aren’t making up the difference in your weekly budget by secretly charging on a credit card! The key here is to really start to live on a budget and save towards a goal or create an emergency fund. If you are like me, I find that I don’t spend as much in January and February, so it is easier to add more to the envelope.
- Use creative combinations to fill in the printable. This is the way I approached it as I explained above. It is extremely flexible and you might be able to finish off early, as I did. Again, make sure you are living off of cash and not charging extra to stay on this plan. You will regret having the extra credit card debt.
- Get the kids involved by having them complete their own 52 Week Challenge – Kids Version!
The 52 Week Money Saving Challenge Printable
We created a 52 Week Money Saving Challenge Printable for you to print and start saving! Are you up for the challenge or does it seem daunting to you? Dig deep and ask yourself what you could give up to save for the challenge! Don’t say “nothing!”
Ways to Save for the 52 Week Money Saving Challenge Printable
If you ask yourself how you can change habits in your home to obtain the 52 Week Money Saving Challenge, it is time to be honest with yourself about how you spend money. Nobody is judging you here. Remember with budgeting it is all about choices.
- Stop buying one Starbucks a week. Save $4/week x 52 weeks= $208. Isn’t that scary? More than $200 saved, just by giving up one less Starbucks each week. Pour an extra cup of homebrew and you are well on your way to save!
- Don’t eat out on Friday night. I know that one is tough. Even if you go cheap, and eat out for a family of 3 at McDonalds on Friday night, that cost adds up fast! Let’s say each of you chooses a $5 meal, that is $15/week x 52 =$780. Scary, right? You have almost completed the challenge just by making these TWO SMALL CHANGES! I haven’t even suggested you cut your cable TV bill yet! Don’t worry, that is coming in a later post! We did and didn’t look back! With those two changes you only have $390 left to save for the year! You have almost achieved your goal. You can do this! I assure you!
- Stop buying bottled soda, fountain soda, or vending machine candy everyday. $1.25/day x 365 days/year = $456 total saved.
- Use more Budget Printables to help track expenses and find areas to save. Here is a list of 20 Budget Printables to get you started. You might even beat this challenge by completing it early!
So, after three small changes to your budget, you can easily CRUSH this 52 Week Money Saving Challenge
$208 + $780 + $456 = $1444
YOU CAN DO THIS!
If you are struggling, try to start using the Cash Envelope System where you designate certain funds to each category each month to keep you on track.
Get Started Saving Now!
Ok, so you are ready, right? Start off by printing off the 52 Week Money Saving Challenge Printable and attach it to an envelope and keep it in sight! Don’t put it away! I think the constant visual reminder is helpful. We put ours on a picture holder by our wallets. Do you get the irony there? Well, it worked so I’ll go with it!
Check back in with us and let us know how it’s going and what you are saving towards! Best of luck and let’s do this!!
Ginny Collins is a passionate foodie and recipe creator of Savor and Savvy and Kitchenlaughter. Indoors she focuses on easy, quick recipes for busy families and kitchen basics. Outdoors, she focuses on backyard grilling and smoking to bring family and friends together. She is a lifelong learner who is always taking cooking classes on her travels overseas and stateside. Her work has been featured on MSN, Parade, Fox News, Yahoo, Cosmopolitan, Elle, and many local news outlets. She lives in Florida where you will find her outside on the water in her kayak, riding her bike on trails, and planning her next overseas adventure.