I wanted one of my first posts to be about “The 52 Week Holiday Savings Challenge“. If you’re not familiar with it it’s based on the 52 week money/savings challenge where you save every week for 52 weeks. At the end of the program you can stop or start all over again.
The standard approach to the program is to start with $1 and then increase the amount by $1 the following week ($2), and so on until the 52nd week where you’ll finish up with $52. The grand total after a whole year of saving is $1,378 (from 1+2+3 … +51+52). You can also start in reverse with $52 and then decrease the amount by $1 the following week ($51) and so on until the 52nd week where you’ll finish up with $1. The grand total is, of course, still $1,378.
I do things a little differently with my program by making it a shared experience. Everyone follows along starting from late-December finishing a couple of weeks before the following December holiday season. It’s also done fortnightly instead of weekly and I post regular reminders of what everyone’s balance should be by uploading a new header image on my Facebook and Twitter pages. All the info they need is right there at the top of the home page. It’s my hope this small addition keeps everyone motivated and to stay on track.
I also encourage everyone to transfer funds between bank accounts instead of putting actual cash in a box, envelope or jar for the following reasons:
- Someone can “borrow” out of your container without you knowing about it
- The only way to know for sure how much cash you’ve got is to count it (and who wants to do that with hundreds of notes and coins unless you’re ready to use it)
- You may have withdrawal fees for cash (depending on your bank)
And when transferring between bank accounts:
- It’s more secure since you’re usually the only one who can access your bank account details (either online, over the phone or in person)
- To find out how much you’ve saved you just look up the balance
- My bank doesn’t charge transaction fees when transferring funds between accounts with the same bank (although this depends on your bank as well)
- The cash in your bank account can earn interest where as cash in a container does not
These are the basic principles behind my version of the program and to summarize:
- Set-up a special bank account just for this
- Refer to my Facebook and Twitter pages (or their header images) to see what your balance should be by the end of the current fortnightly period
- Transfer the funds you need to have the balance listed in the header
There’s more to it than this, for example, if you’re able to afford to do it. That requires a budget which we’ll get into next time. Until then… take care!