Anyone who know me knows that one of my biggest passions is to travel and see the world. I have Pinterest boards dedicated to all of the famous landmarks I want to see, types of food I want to try and things I want to do. All of which can take a bit of strategic financial planning to achieve. When I tell people that one of my goals is to travel to four different places this year (local, stateside and internationally) they immediately stop and ask how.
It’s because I started planning 2015 travel in 2014. All with the help of a popular financial challenge.
You may have heard of the 52 Week Savings Challenge. It’s a super simple, yet popular money challenge that has been floating around the personal finance blog space. During the first week of the year, you save $1. During the second week, you save $2. Keep adding one dollar to each increasing week until you have $1,378 saved.
Seems simple enough, right? That is until you get to December amidst the holiday frenzy of holiday travel, gifts and entertaining. Doing the challenge as it was originally created is kind of a guaranteed fail. After a failed attempt in 2013, I thought to myself “my life isn’t linear…why should I think my saving habits would be”? Which is why I adapted the challenge to guarantee I have the full amount saved.
Here’s how I did it:
- Print out your 52 Week Money Challenge chart (you can find one via a google search or use the one I’ve included below).
- Each week, make it your goal to save as much as you can. Can you save $18? How about $37? Perhaps $52? The higher the number, the better in the long run.
- Once you’ve decided how much you can save, simply cross off that number from your money challenge chart. This helps you keep track of what you’re saving so that you do not save the same number twice or miss a number and end up with less than $1,378.
Why do it this way? If you follow the chart as-is, you’re eventually going to run into a week where it’s difficult to save. If you fail one week, it’s pretty hard to build the momentum back up. On the other hand, being able to cross off some of those bigger numbers earlier in the year helps to keep you motivated and you won’t have to worry about saving larger amounts during seasons where people typically spend more money.
So, there you go. Print out the money challenge chart. Stick it on the fridge or in your planner. Save the maximum amount of money you can each week and cross that amount off the chart. By this time next year, you’ll have about $1,400 to go anywhere you want and finally replace those “want to go” pins on Pinterest with “been there, done that and bought the t-shirt” pins.
Thanks for reading.