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Is your New Years resolution to save money this year, If so, why not take part in a 52 week saving challenge.
We all know that we should be saving more! Whether that’s for an emergency fund, retirement or for a special purchase such as a new home or car. Saving should be a major factor when organising finances and weekly/monthly budgets.
For many, the hard part is to just get going! However, once we start to see our savings build up, we then start to feel more financially secure which can then prompt us to save more.
This is where saving challenges come in to it. These are easy ways to get saving with end results resulting in thousands of pounds saved up by the end of the challenge. Although the end result really depends on how much you are willing to save each month and how well you stick to the plan.
Principles of the 52 week saving challenge
So you will find lots of different 52 week saving challenges on the internet. However they all follow a similar structure. Most will start by telling you to save £1 in the first week and then gradually increase what you save each week until you reach the end goal of £52 a week. By doing it this way you will have £1378 by the end which is a really nice sum of money! However these types are not always as easy as they seem.
Downsides of 52 week saving challenges
It can be really easy to save a few pounds each week, however as you get towards the middle of the challenge you will be needing to save larger amounts which if not previously accounted for may become a struggle.
Another downside is people starting these challenges without thinking of a reason why they are doing it in the first place. It almost becomes a forgotten New Years resolution, just as we start wavering at the gym we also start to forget to save. If you haven’t got a reason to save in the first place you won’t have the motivation to keep it going.
Benefits of doing a 52 week saving challenge
Taking part in a saving challenge is a great way of making positive money saving habits.
Putting money aside each week to help reach your financial goals will not only help your finances but it will also increase feelings of security and peace of mind.
After all, financial stress is known to cause persistent negative thoughts as well as feelings of fear, worry or regret. These feelings can potentially lead to negative behaviours, poor physical health and twice as likely to experience a host of mental health problems, including depression and severe anxiety.
If you do want to start a 52 week saving challenge then I have one you can start with right away. Instead of starting with smaller amounts and then increasing as the weeks go by, I prefer to start with the bigger amounts first and then gradually decrease.
This way if you can manage the bigger amounts, as your savings grow you will be more likely to continue saving that amount each week therefore increasing your final saved amount. Also, if you do find yourself with an unexpected bill or expense you can easily skip a week or reduce the amount you save without risking your final savings total.
If you have a good budget to work with or you want to try and save even more money, double or triple the amounts stated above. Even if you try and stick to saving £52 a week you would have £2704 at the end of the year.
How to start saving if already on a tight budget.
If finances are already tight, here’s a few tips to get them back on track:
Make a budget and stick to it!
Before you start saving, it’s important to look at your usual spending habits and make a realistic budget that you can stick too. For those who have never made a budget, I have put together a simple step by step guide on how to budget.
Once you know how much surplus income you have each week, it will be much easier to stick to a saving challenge.
Cut back on groceries
One of the best ways to save money is by changing your food shopping habits! With only a few small changes you can dramatically drop your weekly bills. Why not try changing to a cheaper supermarket, down branding or buying essential items in bulk. For more money saving tips check out my guide on how to live frugally.
If you are easily tempted to spend savings, I recommend transferring your savings into a separate account, preferably one which isn’t as easily accessible.
Once you have a savings account set up, you can then set up a direct debit or standing order to automatically transfer any amounts into your saving account. Make sure to set the date just after pay day so that you aren’t tempted to spend it first.
Another option is having an account with an option to automate savings. I use Revolut which is an online bank account which automatically transfers spare change from every transaction I make using my bank card.
Sell unwanted items
Another way of making money to put towards your savings is to sort out all your unused or unwanted items and sell them. You can either take them to your local car boot sale or sell them online on sites such as Ebay.
Cut out needless spending
How much do you really spend on items you don’t really need? Something as simple as taking note on what we actually spend money on can help us reduce our outgoings and save a significant amount each month. So next time you see them new shoes in the sale, ask yourself if you really need them and if you are likely to wear them?
If you are serious about trying to save money then check out my guide on the 22 things you can quit buying to save money fast.
52 Week saving challenges are’t for everyone but they are a great way for beginners to start saving. Even if you are a seasoned saver, starting a saving challenge can be a fun way to reach your financial goals.
Have you ever started a 52 Saving challenge, how did it go, did you reach the end? If so, let me know in the comments below.
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Thanks for reading,
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