3 New 52 Week Savings Plans

January 2, 2014 in finance

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Have you heard of the 52 week money challenge? Here are 3 new 52 week savings plans that are less overwhelming and more fun!

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Last year, it seemed like the new trend in the frugal and financial world was the 52 week savings plan. You know, the one where you save 1 dollar the first week of the year, 2 dollars the second week, and so on. Heck, even I wrote about the plan and TRIED to do it myself. I say tried because I didn’t finish. Yes, this frugal and financial fanatic didn’t finish the program. There were big reasons why I didn’t continue (mostly because the price gets higher the closer you get to the holidays) but what I learned is that there are a few other ways you can accomplish this type of savings. Actually, I came up with 3 new 52 week savings plans that just might work out better in the long run.

Save in Reverse

Have you heard of the 52 week money challenge? Here are 3 new 52 week savings plans that are less overwhelming and more fun!

This is the easiest way to use the 52 week savings plan from last year, and not feel burned out at the end of this year. It seems really easy to save a small amount per week, until summer (and your vacations) start to hit that checking account. From summer on, the amount just get bigger and you start to resent even the little bit of money you are putting aside. By the time Thanksgiving, Christmas and Hanukkah roll around, all you want to do is take that money you are supposed to be saving and actually spend it on other things. By going in reverse, saving 52 dollars the first week and 51 dollars the second week, you set yourself up for success. You’re already motivated to save since it’s the new year, and you know that the number will just get smaller and smaller.

Save by Number

Have you heard of the 52 week money challenge? Here are 3 new 52 week savings plans that are less overwhelming and more fun!

This is my favorite new way to save because it’s centered around getting our kids accustomed to saving throughout the year. This plan is also great for those of us on a very tight budget, and just can’t shell out the amounts in the regular 52 week savings plan. It’s very similar to the reverse savings, but you are choosing one amount to save each week of each month. Since there are 12 months, and you’re starting in January, you would save 12 dollars each week of January. In February, you’ll save 11 dollars each week, and 10 dollars each week in March. This plan works for kids since the amount changes every month. Since the amount also decreases, you don’t have to worry about them giving it up all together. I’ll write a more detailed post later in the week on how well this works for kids.

Note: all numbers are based on savings deposits being placed in accounts on fridays. A few of the months have 5 fridays, which explains why a few of them have 5 weeks instead of 4.

Bulk Saving Plan

Have you heard of the 52 week money challenge? Here are 3 new 52 week savings plans that are less overwhelming and more fun!

As a freelance writer and contractor, it can be pretty difficult to do the 52 week savings plan when you don’t have a steady paycheck. One way to remedy this is the set up a bulk payment each month. For example, if you add up the weekly amounts for the reverse savings plan, it equals 250 dollars for January. Since my payments come in every 30 to 45 days, assigning a one time savings deposit of this amount is much better for me than struggling to get 52 dollars together for the first week, then 51 dollars from the next week. Again, this amount will decrease month after month, so if I end up getting a windfall of money from a contract job, I can take care of 2 or even 3 months at a time. By the time I get to December and only have to save 4 dollars for the whole month, I’ll be more inclined to double, triple, or even increase it tenfold. Again, you’re setting yourself up to succeed and be motivated to continue your saving.

Will you be participating in the 52 week savings plan this year? Will one of these options work better for your lifestyle than the usual plan? Let me know in the comments below.

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{ 46 comments… read them below or add one }

Lizz January 2, 2014 at 7:54 pm

Ours is pretty specific for us, but we deposit Jamie’s mileage reimbursement checks (every Tuesday) directly into savings… then I go in on Tuesday evenings and add whatever I need to to get the savings balance up to the nearest round hundred.
So if we had $1247 after a reimbursement check, I’d add $53 from checking to get it to $1300. Then the next week, the check might be another $72, so I’d add $28 to get it up to $1400… etc, etc.

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Amiyrah January 2, 2014 at 8:12 pm

I love that system, Lizz! We are doing a similar one with my husband’s overtime money this year. That “extra” money is being used for the down payment on our house. Any saving system is a good one, as long as you don’t take the money out before you really need it, right?

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Brandi January 2, 2014 at 8:38 pm

You killed this post, Amiyrah! I love every single one of these savings plans, especially #2. Ayva is old enough to start understanding where money comes from, and it’ll be a nice way teach her to save with a GREAT bonus at the end. Well done, friend! Now, off to pin them all!

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Lizz January 2, 2014 at 9:17 pm

Brandi,
Something that really helped drive it home for Max was when he saved up for a big LEGO set ($60!) we rolled all the change and his crumpled dollars and took him into a store to buy it. He had to pile all of his hard-earned money up on that counter and hand it to the cashier. He has been way more careful since then, seeing the actual exchange of cash for goods, instead of me swiping a card or a box appearing on the front step from Amazon.

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Amiyrah January 3, 2014 at 3:10 pm

Thank you, Brandi! We gotta teach them early, right? :)

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Kia January 2, 2014 at 8:46 pm

I love the bulk version because you can save according to how your month is. for people who are getting in money once a month you can decide that if february is a bad month to use the bulk amount from a different month and cross it out. each month doing the one you can afford.

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Bunnie Burket January 2, 2014 at 9:04 pm

I like the reverse savings idea… we already have $50 automatically deducted from our checking and deposited into savings each month, plus I keep a separate Ing Direct savings account specifically set aside for Christmas that gets $60 deposited into it monthly. We also deposit my husband’s extensive overtime pay each summer into savings. In 2013, we saved enough to buy a new microwave and dishwasher, pay cash for Christmas gifts for close family and our 3 kids, plus we were able to cover unexpected expenses when my mother-in-law passed away on Dec 20. It’s not an exact science, but by having the amounts automatically deposited, it adds up fairly quickly and we don’t miss the money.

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Kelly January 2, 2014 at 9:51 pm

Love these! I’m doing a challenge to get readers to save $2,014 in 2014, but I will have to share these! They are great plans.

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Amiyrah January 3, 2014 at 3:09 pm

Thank you Kelly! I signed up for your challenge. You are a genius!

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Rachee January 2, 2014 at 10:00 pm

I LOVE this! My boyfriend and I have been talking about starting a savings plan and this sounds like an awesome way to start. Like Brandi said, you KILLED this post.

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marielle altenor January 2, 2014 at 10:47 pm

Love this post! I want to try and complete the first chart, wish me luck!

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cocoamommy January 3, 2014 at 2:17 pm

Wow, I love the bulk savings idea. I think I will try this one. Wish me luck.

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Onnie January 3, 2014 at 8:56 pm

I love the bulk savings idea. I too tried the 52 week plan, but stopped when the even I was saving for came along (Miss America). It’s nice to know that I can catch up and get back on track.

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Emily January 6, 2014 at 11:31 am

These are great ideas – I love that they can work with multiple budgets. I saw another version where you saved a large amount one week, a small amount the next – the total for the year was $1378. Wish I could remember where that one was!

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Amiyrah January 6, 2014 at 11:45 am

Hi Emily! The version of the plan that you saw is just like the reverse plan, except you make the 52 dollar deposit first, then make a 1 dollar deposit. The next 2 weeks, you make a 51 dollar deposit, then a 2 dollar deposit. You can use the reverse plan picture above to try that plan if you want. Just cross off the weeks, once you do them so you can keep track of which week you’re on.

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Kelsey October 15, 2014 at 5:50 pm

I just happened to stumble upon your website by googling saving systems, and I’m thrilled to try #3! Saving money has never come naturally to me…I’m afraid I’m the exact opposite of a frugal person, but I’m determined to start! I’m super excited! Thanks so much!

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Amiyrah October 15, 2014 at 8:25 pm

Hi Kelsey! I’m so excited that you found the site through google. Frugal and non-frugal readers are all welcome here :) . Please keep me updated how savings plan #3 works for you. Remember, whether you’re saving a lot or a little, you’re still saving! That’s all that matters. Hope to see you again soon.

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Simara October 30, 2014 at 6:39 pm

I’m doing the savings challenge and I put aside $26.50 a week. It will total $1,378 by the end of the year.

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Amiyrah November 2, 2014 at 5:02 pm

That’s great, Simara!

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Allyson November 1, 2014 at 7:46 am

Just a side note. I am currently doing the 52 week money challenge and am getting to the big amounts that are hard to get through now. I am planning on next year doing it in reverse. The other benefit that no one has mentioned, is that by doing it in reverse and getting the high amounts in the account sooner, you will accumulate more interest over the course of the year because the higher amounts will be in the account longer!

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Amiyrah November 2, 2014 at 5:00 pm

That is a great tip, Allyson! We always forget about that awesome interest.

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Aicha November 7, 2014 at 3:38 pm

I’m going to be really ambitious and for 2015 I am going to take on all 3 money challenges you listed above! I have 3 separate accounts I will put it in and see how it all goes. Wish me luck because that’s a total of $3,096 and I don’t think I’ve ever saved that much in a year but there is a first time for everything! I’m committed to it (especially if I stop eating out so much!).

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Amiyrah November 10, 2014 at 12:41 am

I believe in you, Aicha! Please come back to this post to let us know your progress. You’re inspiring me to do all 3 at the same time!

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Kat November 13, 2014 at 1:36 pm

I don’t know why it hasn’t been suggested taking the total amount saved on the 52 week plan, and dividing it by either 12 or 52 and putting away that much. My bank charges me if I have more than 10 transfers a month, so I decided to put the money away monthly but have rounded up to the nearest whole dollar ($115 a month), so I end up saving $1380 instead of $1378. If you do it weekly it would be $1404, for a whopping $27 a week.

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Amiyrah November 13, 2014 at 3:41 pm

I love that idea, Kat! I’m assuming no one suggests that because that’s pretty much how everyone usually saves; the same amount once a week. The 52 week savings plan gave people a new way to view their savings. It was seen as a fun challenge. Your way is just as awesome, though :) .

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Terrie December 11, 2014 at 2:40 pm

Love your savings plans!

~Currently I “take” all of my hubby’s loose change and $1′s every night and put in a large water jug but seeing it build daily/weekly/monthly is pretty encouraging!~

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Aimee December 22, 2014 at 10:13 am

We did our family’s Christmas exchange this past weekend, and my sister spent 2014 doing the 52 week savings plan for me – yes, she gave me two Mason jars of cash! Here’s the email I just sent her – I thought it might give you ideas for another alternative version of the plan…

“You’ve inspired me to try my own 52 week savings plan this year. I did some Internet searching last night and found a site where a woman has developed a few variations on the plan, for example: for kids, save $1 per week in the first month, $2 in the second month, etc, which doesn’t equal the same grand total of course but is manageable on an allowance. She also talked about the wisdom of doing the 52 weeks backwards so that the burden is smallest in December, when one is thinking of holiday gifts, travel, and so forth.

I also know that I plan and do best when I think in terms of 26 pay periods instead of 52 weeks. And I know that since I never carry cash, I need to plan for easy ATM withdrawals that I can take straight home and put in my jar.

So… I rounded up to $1400 for my 2015 goal to make counting by 20s easy, and since there are two pay periods that are “extra” (two months with three pay periods instead of two), you’ll see two larger amounts like a blip on the radar.

I’ve added entries to my budget spreadsheet and I’m excited to get started! I know that with everything else going on for me right now, completing this program will require additional economies, but I’m ready to do that because I really want to add another jar to my collection!

Pay periods 1 and 2: $80
Pay periods 3-9: $60
Pay period 10: $100
Pay periods 11-15: $60
Pay periods 16-20: $40
Pay period 21: $100
Pay periods 22-26: $20″

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Aimee December 22, 2014 at 10:15 am

I just spotted an error in my post: pay period 22 is $40 and then 23-26 are $20. Sorry!

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Jeanine December 30, 2014 at 11:29 pm

Aimee,

Thanks for your post/idea, I have been trying to do a savings plan around a biweekly pay schedule

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Amiyrah January 3, 2015 at 2:39 am

You’re very welcome, Jeanine.

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Tammi December 23, 2014 at 11:05 pm

I actually do a high low combo week 1 is $52 week 2 is $1 week 3 is $51 week 4 is $2 and so on. I do like the idea of the bulk month though that may work for me as well :-) Thanks!

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Martha December 24, 2014 at 3:21 pm

I am planning on doing $26 a week the first week, $25 the next week, going down, until I reach $1, probably in June. Then going back up until the last week of the year I do $26 that week. I need to figure out how it works out but whatever it is I am sure it is better than my $10 a payday I am doing now.

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Carol Aguilar January 13, 2015 at 10:12 am

I did my own version in 2014. Saved $26 in week 1, $25 in week 2, going down until week 26 saved $1. Then started again with $26 in week 27, $25 in week 28, and so forth until $1 in week 52. We didn’t have much money to spare but I managed to do this and saved $702. From saving nothing previous years I think I did really well!

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Amiyrah January 13, 2015 at 5:55 pm

You sure did, Carol! I think it’s all about saving what you can. These systems help us get into the habit of saving whether it’s a lot or a little. Good job!

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Michelle Love-Day December 27, 2014 at 2:56 pm

I like this savings challenge, but I actually alternate the weeks. So I move through the year with highs and lows. For example, week 1-$1, week 2-$52. Etc. That way each month gets am amount. I need my money throughout the year!

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Amiyrah January 3, 2015 at 2:43 am

That’s an awesome idea, Michelle!

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Laurel December 28, 2014 at 9:24 pm

I was going to try my own variation where I alternate the amount from the beginning of the list and the end. There is never a month where I can do 4 weeks of $50+ each week. This method would average the amounts to closer to $100 and would still meet the $13** goal.
Week 1- $1. Week 2- $52. Week 3 -$2. Week 4- $51..

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Amiyrah January 3, 2015 at 2:42 am

Sounds like a good plan, Laurel!

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katrina December 30, 2014 at 10:36 am

awesome options. I’ve been wanting to do this. It would make for a much easier Christmas next year. This is our first year (2014) we paid cash for Christmas and will not start January starving for extra funds. But it would have been great to have a little extra for 2015 to give more to families in need and our teacher’s.

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Amiyrah January 3, 2015 at 2:41 am

Katrina, this is the perfect thing to do to make sure you have extra money for the holidays. You can do it up to November, then start to use the funds on holiday sales. Such a help!

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KTC December 31, 2014 at 7:55 am

Thank you for posting this. I just put the partial of my first savings in my much abused savings account. I look forward to watching it grow throughout the year. Great post!

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Amiyrah January 3, 2015 at 2:39 am

You’re so welcome. You’re going to jump for joy once you see all of that money saved at the end of the year.

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Sara Rodriguez-Olmos January 1, 2015 at 7:17 pm

HOW WE DID IT WAS TO SKIP AROUND TO ANY GIVEN WEEK AND SAVE THAT AMOUNT. AND CROSS IT OFF THE PRINTED COPY TAPED TO THE JAR OF THE 52 WEEKS AND THE ONLY REASON IS BECAUSE THERE WERE WEEKS THAT WE HAD EXTRA MONEY AND SOME WEEKS WE WERE TIGHT ON CASH BUT IN THE END YOU STILL END UP SAVING THE FULL AMOUNT. FOR EXAMPLE THERE WAS ONE WEEK THAT WE HAD $49 DOLLARS EXTRA AND MAYBE THE NEXT WEEK WE HAD $9. WE PUT THOSE AND CROSSED THOSE OFF. MADE IT SO EASY THAN TO FOLLOW IT WEEK BY WEEK

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Amiyrah January 3, 2015 at 2:39 am

I love that idea, Sara!

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Michele January 2, 2015 at 11:47 pm

I love #3! I don’t think I would remember to save each week so each month is better. What great ideas. I can’t wait for my girls to be old enough to understand money and start saving their own. Thank you!

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Amiyrah January 3, 2015 at 2:38 am

You’re very welcome, Michele!

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