Half of Americans have less than three months of expenses saved
up, and only a quarter have six months saved, which is the typical
recommendation for emergency financial reserves, according to
The 52 Week Savings Challenge was the financial internet
sensation of 2013. The concept is simple. Start by saving one
dollar in the first week of the year and increase your contribution
by a dollar each week until you contribute $52 in week 52. For
example: the first week, you would deposit $1; the second week, $2;
and so on. By the end of the year, you will have saved nearly
For some families, getting into the habit of saving is the
hardest part. The 52-week savings plan introduces a creative
approach to getting started.
We created our own version of the chart for you to download here. Keep in mind: this is
just for fun!
Tips for success:
- Find a partner. Being held accountable (by your spouse, sibling
or trusted friend) is a great motivator. People who write down
their goals, share this information with a friend, and send weekly
updates to that friend are 33% more successful than those who
attempt goals without a partner.
- Pick a target. It's always easier to save when you have a goal
in mind. Whether you're starting your rainy-day fund or saving up
for holiday expenses, knowing that there is a reward at the end of
your efforts will help you stick with the plan - even if the reward
is the financial security of having an extra $1,378 in case you
have an unexpected, emergency expense.
- Make it fun. Yes, you could also just save $26.50 a week for a
year, but where's the challenge in that? Keep a positive attitude
and imagine how happy you'll be on the 52nd week when
you have saved $1,378 more than you did last year.
- Be consistent. Try to deposit your money on the same day every
week. Whether you're collecting the money in a jar at your house or
depositing it into a separate savings account, it'll be easier for
you to succeed if you're consistent.