The 52 Week Savings Challenge is a personal finance challenge where, for 52 weeks, you save a specific amount each week. It is a strategy that helps people acquire better saving habits and learn to slowly save money. There are many variations of this money-saving challenge. The idea is that even if you save small amounts of money, it’s the consistency of the action that will set you on the right track to saving. Even though you don’t save much each week, over the course of 52 weeks, it will add up. You will save more than you would have and it will help you believe that a better financial future is possible.
I have an MBA in finance and I love helping people take care of their financial future. I also love anything named a “challenge”. Therefore, the 52-week money challenge is just up my alley. 52 weeks is long enough to save a substantial amount that you can use for a rainy day, to take a vacation, make a down payment on a car, or buy something special. On the other hand, you are not committing to a lifetime savings plan.
What is the 52 Week Savings Challenge?
This is a weekly savings challenge during which you save money each week for 52 weeks which is just under a year. There are different versions of the 52-week savings plan. During the classic 52-week money-saving challenge, you save an incremental amount of money each week for 52 weeks (which is one year). The initial amount is low, and it increases each week. This 52 week savings plan is good for people who want to start out slowly and get used to saving or those who will earn more throughout the year. The second variation also has an incremental sum but it goes from the highest to the lowest. The largest deposit is made in the beginning. This variation is good if you start the first week of the year and know that you will have a lot of expenses in November (Black Friday) and December (Christmas). The third variation has a fixed sum each week.
There are other money saving challenge options on this site.
How long is 52 weeks?
52 weeks is exactly one year. So if you start the challenge on New Year’s you will complete it on the 31st of December. You can start anytime and carry on for one year.
52 Week Savings Plan
The amount that you can save every week depends on how much you make and how much you spend. See how much should you save a month.
Increase your savings by $1 per week
The first week is very easy as you only save $1. From the second week, you save one more dollar each week. Therefore, in the second week, you need to save $2 and in the third week $3. This goes on, with your savings increasing by one dollar each week until you reach week 52 where you save $51. This version of the challenge is for people who need to slowly get used to saving and make gradual changes over the year until they learn how to save bigger amounts. In the beginning, it is very easy to reach your goal. However, the last few weeks are much more challenging.
Please note that with our saving charts you can change the initial sum if you want to save more each week. The Excel money saving chart will automatically calculate how much you will save during the year.
Fixed weekly savings
With this version of the 52-week savings challenge, you will be setting aside a fixed amount of money each week. The first few weeks of the money savings challenge are more difficult than they are in the first version but the last few weeks are not as challenging.
52 Week Money Saving Chart
Each week you save an extra sum in addition to what you saved the previous week. Even if you only start saving one dollar and increase that amount by one dollar each week then you will have saved $1,378 at the end of the year! Each week you add how much you actually saved and the savings challenge chart will keep track of your savings and show the total amount.
If you select the Excel version, then you can also change the initial sum and the spreadsheet will change accordingly. You can also keep track of your deposits and the spreadsheet will calculate the final sum saved.
$1 Challenge (Save $1,378)
With the one dollar challenge, you save a dollar in the first week. There are two versions of this challenge. Either you increase the amount by $1 each week or you double the amount each week.
There are different variations of the 52 week savings challenge:
The weekly money saving chart printable is available in 3 versions:
Incremental sum – from the lowest sum to the highest sum
You start saving the lowest sum at the beginning and finish with the highest sum at the end of the 52-week challenge. If you select the Excel spreadsheet, you can change the start day, the initial sum, and the increments (i.e. the amount it is increased by daily). The default version starts with $1 and increases by $1 to save a total of $1,378 by the end of week 52.
Enter the start date and the date for each week is automatically updated.
Since the amount you save is incremental and increases each week, this system is best for those who are just getting into the habit of saving and want to start slowly. It is also good for those who expect their salary to increase over time.
Incremental sum – from the highest sum to the lowest sum
You start saving the highest sum at the beginning and finish with the lowest sum at the end of the 52 weeks.
If you expect to have less available cash each week then you can start from the largest sum and decrease the amount that you save each week.
Fixed sum – weekly savings chart with the same sum each week for 52 weeks
If you want to keep things stable and save a fixed sum each week then this chart is for you.
The Penny Challenge
If you can’t afford to save $1 a week then try the penny challenge. You won’t save as much but it is better than not saving at all. With the penny challenge you start with 1 penny and the amount you save each week increases by one penny. Put your coins in a jar or a piggy bank you cannot open.
You can change the amount you start with so feel free to change it to a nickel or any other sum.
How to do the 52 Week Savings Challenge?
- Print or download any 52 week saving plan on this page.
- Decide how much you will save in the first week and by how much you will increase this sum each week.
- Insert these sums into the form above to see how much you will save over a 52-week period.
- Prepare the printable money savings chart to keep yourself accountable and to know how much to save each week.
- Open a new savings account or separate bank account with no way to withdraw money (i.e. with no checks and no debit card). Try to find a bank with a competitive savings interest rate and no bank charges. If you use a high-yield savings account, then you will save even more since you will get a higher interest rate. If you keep the money in your checking account then make sure you don’t accidentally spend it. An online bank will often give you a better rate. If you keep your money at home, use a piggy bank you cannot open to resist temptation. If you don’t you might find yourself taking out tips for the delivery man each time you don’t have spare change.
- Set up automatic transfers or automatic weekly payments if you can. If not, then set reminders or custom alerts on your phone to remember to deposit money each week.
- Mark the payment schedule each time you make your weekly deposits or add how much you actually saved (depending on the template).
- Many of our free printables for the monthly savings challenge include a section for your end goal or reason for saving. Don’t forget to add this as it will keep you motivated and remind you why you want to save.
Why don’t you do the money-saving challenge together with a friend? It is more fun to do it together and it will keep you accountable. If you have a friend with whom you tend to waste money, then that is probably the person you should do the challenge together with 😊.
52 Week Money Challenge Printable
This printable shows you your weekly savings plan which changes depending on the variation you choose and how much you want to save. Check the savings calendar each week to see how much you need to save that week. Select the money saving chart with the highest amount you can reasonably save over 52 weeks. There are four different versions ranging from $1,000 to $10,000.
52 Week Money Challenge $1,000
The 52 Week Savings Challenge is a challenge to save $1,000 over the course of the year by saving $19 each week for 52 weeks. You choose the amount you want to save each week and your savings goal. The last week of the challenge will automatically change to the sum required to reach your goal.
52 Week Challenge – Save $5,000
Do you want to save $5,000 in a year? With this money saving challenge, you commit to a savings goal of $5,000. To save $5,000 over 52 weeks you will need to save an average of $96 each week. You can change the dates and the amounts on the Word, Powerpoint, and Excel versions. To edit the Word or Powerpoint versions, click on the table to open it for editing.
52 Week Challenge – Save $10,000
Do you want to save $10,000 in a year? To save $10,000 in 52 weeks you will need to save $192 each week. A $10,000 savings challenge is not easy but at the end of the challenge when you will have saved a whopping $10,000 which makes it worth it.
The 52 Week Money Challenge $10,000 is available both in color and black and white.
52 Week Money Challenge $20,000
The 52 week money challenge $20000, helps you save $20,000 in a year.
What are the benefits of the 52-week savings challenge?
- 52 weeks is a relatively long period so you can save a decent amount. On the other hand, it isn’t too long, so it doesn’t sound too restrictive.
- Since the challenge starts gradually, it enables you to get used to saving before you reach the higher sums at the end of the challenge. If you don’t need to get used to saving then you can choose a version with a set amount.
- When you do something often enough it becomes a habit so this is a great way to start a saving habit.
- You will not gain financial freedom in 52 weeks but you will be taking a step in the right direction! Sometimes it is better to have small achievable goals than big goals you cannot reach.
How much should you save?
How much you should save depends a lot on your income and your financial goals.
The first step to saving money is making sure that you’re aware of what your spending habits are. In order to make this easier for people, there have been multiple apps created that automatically track your spending and give insights on how much money is being spent on certain items.
People might spend more money than they intend in a week because they don’t have a clear view of what their budget looks like each month. This challenge can help people stay on budget by giving them an idea of how much they are able to spend in one week and what kind of habits need to change in order for them.
Why do people not save?
We are used to getting what we want when we want. Things today are accessible and when we want to buy something we would prefer to get it right away even if we can’t really afford it.
There are also many different payment systems whereby it is easy to buy things we can’t really afford. We can pay for them at a later stage. Sometimes this costs us even more if there is interest involved.
The future isn’t really clear. Nobody knows what the future holds and what their needs are going to be. Most people don’t plan for a rainy day and save for the worst possibility. They prefer to hope for the best. Some people save but not enough and some put the future off altogether and never actually plan for their retirement or for a rainy day.
Some people don’t save because they are not left with extra money at the end of the week or month. They spend what they make and are not left with any money that could be saved.
Why is it important to save money?
Did you know that most people in the US do not have enough money in the bank to pay for a financial emergency that costs $400 (source)? Our future is unknown and we can find ourselves with unexpected expenses that we cannot cover. For that reason, we should all have a rainy day fund or an emergency fund just for in case.
You also might want to save for things that you cannot afford to pay for from your salary such as vacations, a car, or a home. These are things we save for over longer periods of time.
Do you offer any other money saving challenge options?
You can do different versions of these challenges.