If the last 52 week money challenge you tried was too rigid to follow, you’ll love this bingo style money saving chart. It makes saving $1000 easy!
52 week money challenges are a popular way to save. But the problem with the charts out there now is that they aren’t forgiving. But don’t worry, because I’ve come up with the perfect solution!
Our family spent more than two years paying off debt. But one of the biggest things we learned along the way was that if you don’t keep an emergency fund on hand (even if you can only come up with $1,000 to put into it), you’re going to miss out on the most important part of the experience.
That’s because the time to learn to use your own cash instead of credit cards is actually while you’re still paying off debt!
(Or better yet, before you ever accumulate any debt!!)
That doesn’t mean that saving money has to feel like a chore. Or even worse, saving money shouldn’t feel like an impossible task!
Use this fun chart to make saving more realistic for you.
52 Week Money Challenge Printable (It’s Free!)
Have you seen those saving charts that tell you to save $5 this week, $10 next week, etc?
Yeah, those never worked for me. Who’s to say I’ll have $10 next week?? My life doesn’t fit on a chart!
Yours doesn’t either!
For instance, in our home, May is a busy month that rivals December in cost. We’d struggle to save a lot in that month.
But in your home, May might be the month when you get a big bonus. You’d be better off saving a larger amount that month.
How can we make a money saving chart that works for both of us?
Simple. I’ve pulled together a variety of amounts of money that add up to $1,000. This chart allows you to pick and choose the right amount of money for the kind of week you’re having. And the bingo style of the chart makes it way more fun to use!
How to Use This Money Saving Chart
Choose a day of the week (Sunday, Monday, whatever day you get paid, etc.). Each week, on that day, pick the dollar amount from the chart that you can afford to save. As you use a number, cross it off or color in that square so you don’t repeat it.
My advice is to push hard. If you think you can save up $20 this week, try for $22. Pick the highest number you can reasonably save without causing you hardship. (Don’t put money in this account that you should be sending to your mortgage payment.)
And for that really rotten week that just will not end, you get a free pass. The week an unexpected rebate check shows up in the mail, cross off a bigger number! I’ll share a few more ideas for getting extra cash below.
Need a bigger challenge? Add a zero to the end of each number to save $10,000 this year!
Know Your Whys
Most money saving challenges fizzle because people don’t have a good solid reason for doing them. Don’t settle for a wishy washy “because I’m supposed to save money” reason. That won’t carry you through a full year of savings.
Instead, have a why. In fact, have two whys! Why do you want to save money? If you’re trying to establish an emergency fund or pay off debt, those are excellent goals. But it’s not enough.
Know why you’re saving for an emergency or why you want to pay debt. If you have a solid picture in your head of what life without debt looks like (for instance), that will help you through the rough weeks where you’d rather see a movie than save money.
For me, I want to get out of debt so I can focus my money on building a second bathroom on our home. (For a family of seven, one bathroom can be a struggle!)
52 Week Money Challenge PDF
Click the chart to print your own copy. Attach it to a large envelope (for saving the money in). Or hang it on the fridge where you’ll see it often while you store the money in its own bank account. You could even put your copy in your favorite planner.
These stickers from Etsy are adorable (and super affordable)! Grab a pack to make marking off the numbers on your chart more fun than ever!
How to Come Up With the Cash
Decide where you’ll keep the cash. You can paste the chart on a large mailing envelope or in a jar.
But you might want to open a bank account just for this money. Not only will you earn interest on your money, but all that cash won’t be easy to access for late night pizza cravings.
Online bank accounts are an awesome way to save. Transferring money is super easy, and it’s out of sight, out of mind. I’m a huge fan of online banking! In fact, we’ve banked this way for over a decade and have never had a problem.
CIT Bank has a fantastic interest rate…double (or better!) what you’ll find if you open a local savings account. It’s so easy to open your account right now (yes, even late at night, in your jammies!).
Can you use some money from your paychecks to fill this account? You probably have more wiggle room in your budget than you realize.
Opening a (free!) Personal Capital account might make you aware of extra spending you hadn’t noticed before. (I know it did for me!)
If finding the cash in your regular budget seems impossible, you probably need ideas for finding extra money. But you’re in luck, because you can download this free cheat sheet with ideas for finding money to finish this challenge! Grab your copy of this and other money saving ideas here.
Or try my book, 500 Ways to Save Money: Build a Cash Jackpot for the Best Things In Life. There are so many actionable tips in this book that you’ll make your money back right away. And then you can really start socking away the cash!
Really, actually, finally save up that $1,000 this year! How long has that been on your list of things to do?
This 52 week money challenge is just what you need to officially become a saver.
BINGO! Have fun, reach your savings goal, and win!
Want more ideas?
Have you ever taken a 52 week money challenge?