52 Week Savings Challenge

Sorry this post is a little late.  With a bit of effort I promise it won’t be difficult to catch up!52 week headerMost of you have probably heard of the 52 Week Savings Challenge.  Basically you put money in a jar or savings account in an amount that corresponds with the week of the year.  For example week one you put in $1, week two you put in $2 and at the end of the year you’re putting in around $50 a week till week 51 which is $52.  Super simple concept and at the end you have $1,378.  Not a ton of money, but if you are struggling to get together an emergency fund or want a little cushion your budget so you can start living on last month’s income (YNAB Rule #4), this can give you the push you need to get there.

It also helps a person like me who needs more than just typical motivation of “I am saving money this is good.”  That does feel good, but what helps me out in the tougher months is feeling like I am gaming the system.  Instead of feeling poor and destitute I try my best to win the game.

I also do the 52 week challenge a little bit differently.  I tried a few years ago and started off great but come the end of the year when I needed a big car insurance payment or Christmas presents were due, I broke down and went into the cash.  So now I do it backwards.  In January right after Christmas and my birthday, when resolutions are in full swing and my commitment level is high I put in the $52 and commit to putting in at least $1 less a week.  I also get paid Bi-weekly so I am really paying every other week and the payment feels bigger.  As always I made my self a way to see my progress without looking at all that money and getting tempted.

1 Year Challenge Bi-Weekly Odd

On top of that little switch, I also try my hardest to game the system.  I  don’t settle on putting in only the minimum amount, as the weeks go by I try to match what I put in the week before.  Some weeks I do and some I don’t but my goal is always to put in enough that I have more than the minimum goal.

This is what my worksheet looks like so far this year….IMG_4681

You can see I feel a little behind on week 3.  Thinks were tight and I didn’t worry about it too much because I knew I would make it up.  I did make sure I highlighted it in a dark pink instead of my happy money green!

To download the printable if you got paid the week of January 1st Click Here

To download if you got paid the second week of January Click Here

Free Help with personal finance

I just wanted to drop a quick note and let everyone know about this gem I stumbled upon today. Lately I have been devouring as much practical (and appropriate for my current situation,) personal finance information as possible. I have had bad luck with some “Celebrity Financial Experts” and I have been really craving things that are put out there in a way that is straight forward, entertaining and very informational.
Today I found this link through PNC Bank. They call it PNC Achievement Sessions. Although it isn’t as entertaining as say Mr. Money Mustache (who I also enjoy reading,) it presents a lot of good information.  You also do not need to be a PNC customer and for the few videos I have watched so far, it looks like education is the goal, not selling you their products.  This is hugely important to me.  I hate feeling like some one is just trying to suck me in under the belief that I am doing what is best for me when really all I am doing is filling their quota.
As with any financial advice I feel it is important to diversify not only your money, but also where you are getting your information from. Let me know if you have any go to resources!