I came across a pretty novel idea recently when it comes to saving money “the easy way”. Well, actually it came across my Facebook feed and I looked at it. Now, I’m taking it, improving it and sharing it with you.
Regardless, the idea is actually pretty simple and I believe overall has the right premise. It’s called the “52 Week Money Challenge.” This has actually been floating around the internet for awhile. If I recall correctly, I want to say that this actually hit my email at least a couple of times over the last however many years. I’m sure you may have seen this too.
Anyway, the idea is that there are 52 weeks in a year. For each week, you set aside the dollar amount that correlates with the given week. This is way too easy.
For example: Week 1, you put a dollar aside. Week 2, you put a couple dollars aside. Of course, by the time you get to week 40, you are putting forty dollars aside, but there are two hidden beauties in this little game. 1) you are going to get all the money on the back-end (plus a little interest) and 2) the most you are going to put aside in one month comes in the final weeks.
If you do not cheat, you will end up with at least $1,378 at the end of the year. At the very least, it’s an easy way to put aside some money for Christmas or to do something more responsible with it, like trade it in for silver or ammo.
The downside is that this final month will probably be the month which you’ll want that money the most. Another downside is that this final month (weeks 49 through 52), you will have to set aside $202 in total. This is probably going to be hard for some to do considering the holidays. Plus, if the point of you saving was for the holidays, it’s kind of counterproductive to put that money aside if you’re just going to pull it anyway.
Now, like I said, this is pretty cool little game to play with yourself, however, I think it can be improved upon. Logically speaking we know a couple of basic things when it comes to the year and finances. 1) Most get their tax returns towards the beginning of the year, and 2) finances get more strained the closer you get to the holidays.
So why not do this little game backwards? If you started week one, putting in $52, then week two with $51, and week three with $50, and so on, you actually work your way down in monthly obligation. Also, you would get to take advantage of the compounded interest the bank would provide, and the game gets easier instead of harder as you go, which would more than likely encourage you to stick with it longer.
Here is the best part; instead of having to put in $202 at the end of the year, you are only forced to put in $10. So if you were in a position where you needed to pull that money, you’ve done yourself a favor having saved more on the front end. The money you would end up with would actually be greater than if you did it the way the original game suggested.
Just something to consider. I think the game is great, but with the tips I have provided here, it’s going to be even better!