My Experience with 52 weeks Saving Challenge (in all honesty)
So last year I took a 52 week saving challenge, where you save $1 the first week, $2 the second, and so on to the end of the year. In other words you keep adding money corresponding to the respective week number, and since any year has 52 weeks, hence the name 52 week savings challenge. By the end of the year you should have $1,378 in your piggy bank.
I added a twist or two to my challenge:
- The money I added into my challenge was either the money I saved from my usual expenditure; like using coupons for our daily needs stuff or finding something on a deal etc. or money I earned from selling old things from the house that we didn’t use anymore. I did this to keep myself motivated to save and be frugal, which I like to be.
- I added money into the jar whatever I earned or saved that week, plus or minus some change to make up to a random number on the list. The reason I did this was, I realized larger amounts would have to be put in the towards the end of the year, which is typically the most spendy months of the year anyways, so I knew I would have been planning for the failure had I taken the traditional route.
Adding the money to the mason jar (my modest piggy bank)
I started a couple of weeks late, so I added the money for the first 3 weeks together which was $6, not a hefty amount so I could. By largest amount of $52 went in the month of feb, honestly I don’t remember from where that money came from but I was definitely relieved from the thought of not being able to put down $52 on the week of Christmas (with all the last minute shopping, that looked implausible anyways)
It was fun counting the little things I do to save money and adding it to the fund.
Such as, one time I called amazon for a price match on my son’s convertible carseat, and we saved about $42 on that, which went in this jar. Another was when I sold some baby stuff on a buy and sell app for $24 which I had got from Ebay for cents on the dollar. It was such thrill and fun putting the money in the jar.
Taking the money out of the Jar (the un-fun part)
Yes this happened. We are a credit card friendly family, so we don’t keep a lot of cash in hand. So, when ever we needed cash for say dog sitter or visiting a festival (mostly this) we would take some cash out of the jar instead of stopping by the ATM.
Thankfully I was good about keeping a note in my mind about how much money I took out and would stop by the ATM on the way to get some cash and replenish my money jar. And other times when I forgot the amount, I had to count all the money that is in there, and all the weeks that are crossed off the list and put the balance in the jar, this was a pain. But, I was determinant about this little project and made sure I put the money back in that I withdrew.
This was also my place to get change from, so anytime I needed a change for 20 I would bust open the jar.
Forgetting some weeks
This happened too, obviously! There were some or more Sundays I forgot to put in the money. Which again had to be counted to how much money was in the jar : how many weeks are crossed and how many weeks have past in the year, and I had to put in the extra money. This happened a lot between May-July. I had my first baby born in May, so that month and the following two were such a haphazard, I forgot to bathe sometimes, so let alone putting the funds in the right place. But in the end it was all tallied up and accounted for.
If done again; What I would change and what I wouldn’t
- If I could I would get a jar that had to be broken to take the money out and could not be opened otherwise, I was getting tired of counting the money again and again, because I took the money out of it. Knowing me and my family I know we would not be able to resist taking out the money, so I would get a jar that had to be broken.
- I wouldn’t change the jumbled weeks plan, I really like that flexibility and the relieve at the end of the year. Well, honestly it wasn’t like I was putting in $2 or $8 by the end week, I was still putting in between $15-$35, but it was definitely better than shelling out $50’s in the last 3 months of the year, with the festive season that would have been impossible.
- I took up the challenge for fun and because I like been frugal and it was a motivation to save, but if you are not like me and know that it’s hard for you to not spend the extra cash you have in your wallet, I highly recommend you have a cause or purpose to save this money for. It’s a year long project, and it’s very very common and easy for us to fall off the boat, unless we have a driving force for it.
- I don’t think I can do anything about forgetting some weeks, that’s bound to happen here.
- Yes, I would do the challenge again; although I haven’t done it this year. I will definitely do it in another year. I simply LOVED IT.
I figured after reading my experience, you would want to know where did I finally spend the saved money. We gladly used the money for a Vacation to Jamaica, this trip was a lot more expensive than the trips we usually take, which are drive around trips, as opposed to flying to a different country. It was one of the most memorable vacations, and it would have been difficult to happen without this extra financial wiggle room, we got from this money we saved.
My Money Jar and how I did it.
I used a empty pint sized jar from one of my purchases at the farmers market. It worked perfect for me, and I developed a little table with the $ amount, and I would check off, the amount of money I put in the jar, since I was doing random amount a given week, this helped me keep a track of which amount was done.
You can find my template here; 52 week challenge template.
Until next time!