10 Alternatives to the 52-Week Money Challenge
Chances are, you've seen the 52-Week Money Challenge shared through your social feeds or on your favorite personal finance websites over the past few years. While the concept is great - encouraging people to set aside increasing dollar amounts week after week ($1 week one, $2 week two... $52 week fifty-two) and resulting in a total $1,378.00 saved over the course of a year - it's not feasible enough for some, or enticing enough for others.
Here are 10 additional money challenges that might better suit your financial situation and goals.
Reverse (or Modified) 52-Week Challenge
Who says you have to start with $1 and work your way up? For some, depending on when they start the challenge, it may make more sense to contribute $52 first, and contribute $1 less week over week. For others, the week's contribution may depend on several factors. Don't feel obligated to stick to the plan exactly - switch it up, into one that better suits your needs (contribute more around tax time or payday weeks and less around holidays, for example.) Plus, by starting with larger amounts, you might be more motivated to keep moving forward as your total savings will look more attractive early on. | Read more.
52-Week Half Challenge
If the classic 52-Week Money Challenge isn't possible for your current financial situation, consider cutting each week's contributions back by half (50 cents week one, $1 week two, $1.50 week three... $26 week 52) and you'll have saved $674 over the course of 52 weeks. | Read more.
Double 52 Week Money Challenge
Ready to take on an extra challenge? Instead of contributing the standard amounts the classic 52-Week Money Challenge suggests, double up each week's contribution ($2 week one, $4 week two, $6 week three...$104 week 52) and you'll end up with $2,756.00 after the 52 weeks are up! | Read more.
For those who get paid bi-weekly, it may make more sense to contribute a pre-determined dollar amount into savings after receiving a paycheck and making sure the bills are taken care of, first. Determine how much you want to save and by which date, and use that to decide how much you'll need to contribute. If you have a year to save and contribute every other week, you'd divide your total savings goal by 26 weeks. For example, to save $1,500 by December 31, if starting January 1, would require about $58 per paycheck. | Read more.
12 Month Challenge
For those with a less steady income (freelancers, for example), it might be less stressful to set aside extra money once per month, once all other financial obligations have been taken care of. Depending on your ultimate savings goal, this may require a larger sum contributed all at once than contributing weekly or bi-weekly, but might also be easier to work into the monthly budget you have set in place. | Read more.
365 Day Money Challenge
Some may prefer to make a daily habit of saving money. There are multiple ways you could go about this one! Consider saving a quarter a day ($91.25 after one year of saving), a dollar a day ($365 after one year of saving), or more or less. Even if you don't determine a specific amount to set aside daily, getting in the habit of tossing any spare coins or bills you have on you into your savings on a regular basis is a great habit to practice. | Read more.
Specific Bill (or Coin) Challenge
While you likely won't be able to determine how much money you'll have saved by what time when it comes to this challenge, it's still worth giving a go! Pre-determine a coin or bill (perhaps it's $5 bills or dimes.) Once you've decided, you're no longer allowed to use those specific bills or coins once you receive them back in change - they must go into your savings. | Read more.
Before grocery shopping or a night out, set a budget for yourself. Withdraw that amount in cash. Then, whatever you don't use (the change that you get back), goes directly into your savings. This not only adds up over time, but it helps you to strengthen your budgeting and spending skills. | Read more.
Spending Freeze Challenge
Pick a week (or if you're feeling really motivated, a month) and declare it a "no-spend" time period. While you're allowed to continue running automatic payments or pay any monthly (or emergency) bills in that time-frame, all other spending is off limits. This is a great exercise to test your ability to save, resist impulse purchases, and get creative with your cooking, DIY, and home-improvement skills, too! | Read more.
Live on $50 a Week Challenge
For those feeling especially ambitious when it comes to improving their financial situation, try living on $50 a week! Like with a spending freeze, expenses like rent, utilities, medical bills, and other payments that are due during that week don't count - but everything from food to entertainment to "just because" purchases do. | Read more.
Have you tried any of these money challenges before? Have you come up with one of your own? Share your best tips and tricks with us - and our readers - in the comments section below!
Credit to some of the challenges mentioned above goes to this link.