52-Week Money Challenge: How to Save $5,000 This Year
For anyone trying to save money in 2021, the 52-week money challenge is a manageable and efficient way to stay on track. The best time to create a new challenge is whenever you are ready to get started. After all, there aren't any rules that declare when you can start working on your financial goals. Given that almost half of the American public can't come up with $300 without borrowing money, finding easy ways to ramp your savings is crucial if you happen to be part of the not-so-wealthy half.
Saving money can be difficult when the mere acts of paying bills are a struggle; nevertheless, money challenges can make pursuing your savings goals fun, while providing that extra lift of motivation if you've dropped behind or fallen off entirely. The 52-week money challenge encourages strategically saving a certain amount of money each week for 52 weeks, the equivalent of 1 year. Nail this challenge with a few of our Top Money-Saving Tips.
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1. Determine your Savings:
To begin, it may be a good idea to take some time to determine what, exactly, you want to save for so you'll be more motivated to stay the course throughout the challenge. $5,000 may sound like a lot of money to save, but it can be done. To successfully complete this financial challenge, one must be able to squirrel away approximately $416.66 per month or $13.69 per day.
2. Start Anew:
The beginning of a new week or a new month is a great time to start saving. This is because psychologically, beginning with a new week or new month gives you the sense of having a fresh start. It's also known as the "fresh start effect". When you feel like you are starting fresh, you are more inclined to make the necessary effort to succeed.
3. Make a Budget:
Having a budget is good, but figuring out how much money to save is only half the battle. You won't know if you're sticking to the budget unless you're also tracking expenses. Recording your expenses every day, so you don't lose track can be helpful. At the end of the month, you'll be able to see exactly how much you're spending and where you may be spending too much.
4. Focus on Current Bills:
Saving money is an excellent opportunity to ask yourself which bills can be cut, like your cell phone bill. It's no secret that many of us can easily live without cable and internet, but cell phones seem much harder to live without. Try calling your provider and ask for promotional deals or go prepaid. Another option is to get rid of cable tv. Streaming on Roku or using an antenna is free and offers several channel selections. Almost everyone has Netflix, Hulu, or Disney plus, allowing you to often watch shows for free online the next day. During sports seasons, if you add a sports package to your streaming service; don't forget to cancel when the season is over.
5. Don’t Spend your Earnings on Impulse Buys:
If you're paid bi-weekly, there are a few months each year where you have three paydays. Those months are fantastic for savings! If you know when those months with the extra paydays are, you can plan for them and have the money go right into your savings account or toward bill payments before you have a chance to spend it.
6. Be Strategic when Grocery Shopping:
Meal planning is a great way to save money, considering food takes up a significant portion of most budgets. Plan your meals to get rid of the food you already have in your refrigerator, freezer, and pantry. Be careful with the amount of money you spend when going out to eat. You don't need to avoid restaurants entirely, but limiting the number of meals and monitoring your spending is a great way to become financially conscious. There is a lot of money to be saved by purchasing your groceries, toilet paper, and beauty essentials in bulk. Although many stores typically have an annual membership; the money you'll save buying in bulk will offset the annual fee. This also ensures the benefit of not having to go shopping for essentials as often. Home gardening and couponing can also drastically cut the costs of food & essential necessities.
It doesn't matter whether you use the 52-Week Money Challenge, some variant of it, or a completely different tactic. Always remember that it's not how you save, it's that you save! In the end, whether you're building your first-ever emergency fund or saving for a down payment on a car, the important thing is that you start a routine of saving money for your future and stick to it.
By: Jowanna's Corner
Getting Grown, LLC
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