saving money

365 Day Money Challenge for 2017

Whether you’re saving up for vacation, or just trying to build up emergency funds, money saving challenges can be a great way to succeed in saving significant sums of money. Challenges create a fun and encouraging environment to meet our financial goals. When choosing a challenge, decide how much you want to save and how quickly you need to have the money. Do not forget to consider how much you can afford to set aside each week after paying off your bills and debt.

A common challenge going around is the 52-week challenge. Each week there is an increasing amount that you save in a designated place (usually a savings account). By the end of the year, you will have saved up $1378.00, plus whatever interest has accumulated over 365 days. Here is how this challenge works: on week one, you deposit $1. On week two, you deposit $2, on week three you deposit $3, and so on. Your largest savings take place during the last week of the challenge, week 52, when you set aside the largest sum of $52 at once. This is a fun challenge to tackle, and an easy way to save.

However, the problem with this common challenge is that each week your savings increase, and they become more and more difficult to reach. The increasing sums can be taxing and stressful, both emotionally and financially. Here are a few different challenges that you may find beneficial and more reachable for your lifestyle. Save up for vacation and have fun doing so!

The Daily Penny Challenge

This challenge spans over the duration of a year and will save up a total of $667.95. The first day you set aside one penny, and every day you increase your penny savings by one cent. Save one cent on day one, two cents on day two, three cents on day three, and so on. By the end of the year you will be saving $3.65 for the last day of the challenge. Because your daily savings are so small, this challenge is very do-able. It’s easy and painless! You’ll barely notice that the money is missing.

The Daily Nickel Challenge

If you would like your savings to be higher, do the exact same challenge with a nickel! Your yearly savings would then total $3,339.75. This will be significantly more challenging than doing so with pennies, so we only suggest it for people who need to save a large sum of money within the year. For beginners, you may want to stick to the penny challenge for a trial year.

The Automatic Transfer Challenge

If you are someone who doesn’t keep cash or coins in your change purse, you can automatically (or manually) transfer $12.85 into your savings account each week. It will save you $668.20 over a 52-week span, just about the same as the Daily Penny Challenge savings.

Whatever challenge you choose, just make sure that you are saving your money. Pick something that you will be able to stick to, even when you’re in the last few weeks and money is tight. Plan now for your future!

About the author

Emilie Burke

Emilie is a politics-major turned data engineer. She graduated from Princeton University in 2015 and from Smartly with her MBA in 2016. She lives in North Carolina with her college sweetheart Casey who is currently stationed at Fort Bragg. She enjoys eating food, cuddling with her dog, and binge watching HGTV. She blogs at Burke Does. You can find her around the web at @emilielimaburke.

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