Save Money With the 52 Week Money Program
If your New Year’s solution includes a savings goal, consider a 52-week money problem. The increments you save should be so small that you hardly notice that you are saving money. Is this a gimmick? Quite right, but it works.
Explaining the 52-week money problem
The task is pretty simple. Each week, you postpone the increase in cash and watch how the amount grows over the year:
- In the first week of the year, you save $ 1 .
- In the second week, you will save $ 2 .
- In the third week, you save $ 3.
- In the fourth week, you save $ 4.
By the end of the year, you are saving more money:
- In week 49, you save $ 49.
- In week 50, you save $ 50.
- In week 51, you save $ 51 .
- At week 52, you save $ 52 .
You will save $ 1,378 at the end of 2021. The beauty of this task is that the initial amounts are so minimal that it seems like you are creating something out of almost nothing. It also gives you the habit of saving, which many people struggle with. There are variations on this task, including:
- Save in reverse in case you need more breathing space during the holidays (last week of 2021 will cost $ 1).
- Simplifying savings to an average weekly amount of $ 26.50 – handy if you want to make recurring automatic payments from your checking account.
- Adjusting the weekly amount to meet a specific spending target (for example, starting at $ 3 in the first week will save you nearly $ 4,000 – use this calculator to make adjustments as needed)
- You can stretch your savings over a two to three year task by resetting the extra savings back to $ 1 in the first week of each year.
How to track your savings
Ideally, this task works best if you have a separate savings account to hide your savings. However, if you only have one savings account, you can try online banking, which will have higher savings rates and lower fees than regular banks. Nerdwallet has a good rundown on savings accounts offered by online banks, including those that don’t have any monthly payments here. Alternatively, try a simple listing to chart your savings . You may be wondering why people might use a printout rather than track their savings with an app or computer, but people often prefer a visual, tactile reminder – if you slap it on the refrigerator, it literally cannot be avoided.