The 52 Week Challenge is popping up again all over the internet. It promises to be an easy way to save over $1,000 by the end of the year. I think it is a good idea in principle but it is definitely not ‘easy’

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I wrote about the 52 Week Challenge in the past and stated why I would not be joining it. 

This year, my feelings have not changed. I do not believe that the challenge as it stands is ‘easy’.

How it works

You number off the weeks of the year starting from 1 to 52.

Each week you save an increasing amount, starting from $1 and ending with $52 in the final week.

Every week corresponds to the amount that you need to save. So in week 5 you would save $5 and in week 30 you would save $30

The amounts seem small enough, however, in December you would need to save $49+ $50 + $51 + $52 = $202. Yes, in December…when everyone is most likely buying Christmas gifts.

Another version reverses the weeks so you save $52 the first week. I think this also difficult as you would need to save $202 in January. This may again be problematic as people are paying off debts incurred in December.

While I like the idea of saving on a regular basis I think this system could be improved. Many of the posts call for saving in a jar. This is really a bad idea as money in a jar is not earning interest.

Some of the posts also call for moving the money manually every week. This means you have to tackle this task four times a month. Having to do this so frequently is one of the often cited reasons for people quitting. It just seems like too much work!

What I Do

I treat my savings as a bill and have it set up in my budget. My savings amount is preset to automatically transfer to a separate savings account. I do not have to think about it. The money goes out of checking before I can miss it. This means I am not tempted to use it just because I see it.

Are you trying the 52 week challenge? Let me know your thoughts on it.