3 New 52 Week Savings Plan Ideas

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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.

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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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.

Reverse Savings 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!

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.

By Number Savings Plan for Kids

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 Savings 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 60 days, assigning a one-time savings deposit of this amount is much better for me than struggling to get dollar amounts for each week.

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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About Amiyrah

My name is Amiyrah and I'm an an African American fashion & lifestyle blogger based in Ohio.

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  1. 1.2.14
    Lizz said:

    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.

    • 1.2.14
      Amiyrah said:

      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?

  2. 1.2.14
    Brandi said:

    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!

    • 1.2.14
      Lizz said:

      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.

    • 1.3.14
      Amiyrah said:

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

  3. 1.2.14
    Kia said:

    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.

  4. 1.2.14
    Bunnie Burket said:

    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.

  5. 1.2.14
    Kelly said:

    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.

    • 1.3.14
      Amiyrah said:

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

  6. 1.2.14
    Rachee said:

    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.

  7. 1.2.14

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

  8. 1.3.14

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

  9. 1.3.14
    Onnie said:

    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.

  10. 1.6.14
    Emily said:

    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!

    • 1.6.14
      Amiyrah said:

      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.

  11. 10.15.14
    Kelsey said:

    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!

    • 10.15.14
      Amiyrah said:

      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.

  12. 10.30.14
    Simara said:

    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.

    • 11.2.14
      Amiyrah said:

      That’s great, Simara!

  13. 11.1.14
    Allyson said:

    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!

    • 11.2.14
      Amiyrah said:

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

  14. 11.7.14
    Aicha said:

    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!).

    • 11.10.14
      Amiyrah said:

      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!

  15. 11.13.14
    Kat said:

    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.

    • 11.13.14
      Amiyrah said:

      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 🙂 .

  16. 12.11.14
    Terrie said:

    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!~

  17. 12.22.14
    Aimee said:

    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”

  18. 12.22.14
    Aimee said:

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

    • 12.30.14
      Jeanine said:


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

      • 1.3.15
        Amiyrah said:

        You’re very welcome, Jeanine.

  19. 12.23.14
    Tammi said:

    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!

  20. 12.24.14
    Martha said:

    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.

    • 1.13.15
      Carol Aguilar said:

      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!

      • 1.13.15
        Amiyrah said:

        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!

  21. 12.27.14

    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!

    • 1.3.15
      Amiyrah said:

      That’s an awesome idea, Michelle!

  22. 12.28.14
    Laurel said:

    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..

    • 1.3.15
      Amiyrah said:

      Sounds like a good plan, Laurel!

  23. 12.30.14
    katrina said:

    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.

    • 1.3.15
      Amiyrah said:

      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!

  24. 12.31.14
    KTC said:

    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!

    • 1.3.15
      Amiyrah said:

      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.

  25. 1.1.15
    Sara Rodriguez-Olmos said:


    • 1.3.15
      Amiyrah said:

      I love that idea, Sara!

  26. 1.2.15
    Michele said:

    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!

    • 1.3.15
      Amiyrah said:

      You’re very welcome, Michele!

  27. 11.16.15
    Geo said:

    A bit more of a twist which will add more fun…..
    Have 52 slips with 52 denominations – toss in a can – every week, pick a different number…..last Saturday of the month, make it a double number (multiply the number you pick by 2!)
    I’ve already saved over $1,500!

  28. 12.29.15
    Denise said:

    I’m joining the 52 week reverse savings plan.

    • 12.29.15
      Amiyrah said:

      Yay! I love that plan. It seems way more attainable, since we can put that extra Christmas money away during the first month of the year :D.

  29. 12.31.15
    Jane said:

    Thank you so much!!! Just found this and we have decided to start it and back track to October so that we can have money before Christmas. The 9 yr old wants to do the save by number. She is saving for a new musical instrument. It is easy to start and more doable for her. YEAH!!!!

    • 1.2.16
      Amiyrah said:

      This just made my day, Jane! I’m so glad these plans will be helpful for you and your daughter. I love the idea of backtracking to last October so you’ll end just in time to shop for Christmas. Very smart!

      • 6.24.16
        Jane said:

        Hey I just wanted to give you a update on our journey of saving. As of today My now 10 yr old all by herself has saved the entire Year of money. We even backtrack so we would be finished by October 1st. She has now Started saving again to see how much she can save by October. We are so proud of her. Our girly did this by saving money from paid chores and Selling toys and clothes she no longer used (this was huge). She has racked and stacked. She has even bigger goals for next year. We did not allow her to put Gift money into this savings journey. We did allow her to divide her Gift money and put it into her Give Save and Spend envelopes If she did not want to spend it. I even taught her how to do a spread sheet. to print off and put in her Saving binder. So here we go!!! Thank you so much. This has been a great learning tool for US as a family!!!

        • 6.24.16
          Amiyrah said:

          That is so awesome, Jane! I love how she learned so many things during the experience: what money to save, using her spend/save/give envelopes and how to use a spreadsheet! You are such a great mom, Jane. Keep up the good work!

  30. 1.8.16

    Great System ?

  31. 8.10.16
    Patty said:

    I started the reverse challenge January 1st this year and any time I had a little extra to save I went ahead and marked off the corresponding months. I finished the challenge mid July and now have what I call an Overflow Fund, as well as saving to pay cash for vacation. I’m not naturally frugal, but I am enjoying learning.

    • 8.10.16
      Amiyrah said:

      Wow! You did awesome, Patty! Isn’t it nice to have a savings from something so “small”? Can’t wait to know how much you save in your overflow fund by the end of the year 🙂

      • 12.21.16
        Patty said:

        Well, we’re at the end of the year, and I saved an additional $881, and that’s with having Christmas paid for in cash. I’m excited about starting the reverse challenge again for the new year.

  32. 12.23.16
    Tracey said:

    What did is I wrote the numbers from 1 to 52 on paper and cut them up place them in a jar then on pay day I picked to papers out of the jar and that’s what I had to put aside in my saving jar or account. It all adds up to the same. It is very easy to save this way

  33. 3.23.17
    Beth said:

    I have used the bulk savings idea for years as I am retired and get one check a month. I have one savings for Christmas, one savings for vacation, and one savings for large and/or unexpected expenses. My only question is how do I get a positive balance at the end of the year? All accounts seem to be empty on December 31 each year

  34. 12.10.19
    Betty said:

    I simply do my best to add $125 per month. If I can add more one month, it will make up for a month that I need to add less. If I have all 12 months done, that’s $1500, if I need to just do 11 months, still $1375. I love consistency in budgeting as much as possible since I am salaried so my pay is pretty much the same all year. I do this too with my utilities. I kept up with a full years amount then averaged it out and pay that monthly. On month’s it’s less, I get a credit and that builds for the months that it would be higher so it averages out.