Saving money is easy with the 52 Week Money Challenge.

52 Week Money Challenge [2024] Savings

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Saving money is important, but it definitely isn’t easy. This year, the average American set aside just 3.9% of their income.

Now, I believe you can do better than that – and even have fun in the process. How? By turning personal finance into a game!

The 52 week money challenge can help you save $1,378 – or more if you change the rules to match your ambitions. 

But how does the challenge work? And how can you beat it successfully? I’ll provide all those details (and more) below!

What is The 52 Week Money Challenge?

The 52 week money challenge is a saving strategy where you set aside a certain amount of money each week. It’s great for establishing healthy saving habits, and it can go a long way towards helping you reach your financial goals.

If you do it the “classic” way, you’ll set aside almost $1,400 in savings. And you can always do a variation of the challenge to save even more.

So here’s how it works:

On the first week of the challenge, you’ll set aside $1.

Each week after, you’ll set aside an additional dollar. So, on the second week, you’ll set aside $2. On the third week, you’ll set aside $3. Another way to think of it is that the amount you set aside will match the number of the week you’re in. So, on week 7, you’ll set aside $7.

As the size of your weekly deposits increases, your savings will grow more quickly. Plus, you can also put your savings somewhere like a high-yield savings account (HYSA), where it’ll earn interest. 

Even without any interest, you’ll have saved $1,378 by the end of the year. That’s a pretty impressive number, especially if you’re new to saving!

Varo offers high-yield savings accounts to help boost your saving success when completing the 52 week money challenge. 
While completing the 52 week money challenge, you can earn interest from a high-yield savings account like the one offered by Varo.
Source: Varo

How To Do The 52 Week Money Challenge

The 52 week money challenge might be simple, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. To successfully pull it off and maximize the impact of the experience, you need to go about it the right way.

Here are five steps for totally crushing the 52 week money challenge. 

1 – Set Your Savings Goals

Before you start the challenge, it’s important to understand your objectives. 

Most people know that saving money is “good,” but it’s best to decide exactly what you’re saving for. Is it a dream vacation? Buying a home? Whatever it is, having something concrete will make it easier to follow through with the demands of the challenge. 

You might decide that saving $1,378 isn’t actually enough. Maybe you’re more ambitious, and you want to set aside 10K.

In that case, check out this guide on how to save $10,000 in a year.

2 – Adjust the Challenge to Meet Your Needs

The 52 week money challenge doesn’t have to be a one-size-fits-all sort of deal. There’s no reason you can’t adjust the rules to meet your needs. What’s important is that you stick to the general pattern since that’s what provides accountability. 

Let’s say you’d like to save more than $1,378. In that case, try doubling the amount you put away each week, so that it’s twice as much as the number of the week. That means you’d set aside $20 on week 10 instead of just $10. 

Or maybe saving a full $1,378 is simply unrealistic. If that’s the case, you deserve credit for recognizing it right off the bat – and you can still do a version of the challenge. Maybe just increase the dollar amount every other week. That way, you’d save $1 the first two weeks, then bump it up to $2 per week during weeks 3 and 4. 

You can get creative in all sorts of ways! Just make sure you make a plan and stick to it. 

3 – Decide Where to Deposit Your Savings

During the 52 week money challenge, it’s best to set the savings aside – meaning you actually separate them from the rest of your money.

There are two reasons for this:

  1. You’ll be able to clearly see how your savings are adding up, which is psychologically rewarding.
  2. You can put the money into an account where it could earn interest or an investment that could bring returns. 

The safest place to deposit your money is a high-yield savings account (HYSA). These accounts are usually insured by the federal government up to $250,000 – which is way more than you’ll set aside during the challenge! They also have interest rates that are higher than what a typical savings account offers.

If you’re earning interest, you could end up with significantly more than $1,378 in your account at the end of the 52 weeks. That’s why a HYSA is a better place for your money than a sock drawer or a piggy bank!

To learn more, check out this list of 5% interest savings accounts

And if you’d like to boost your balance fast, check out these banks with immeidate sign-up bonus.

4 – Fine-Tune Your Budget

The further along you go in the 52 week money challenge, the harder it will get to set aside the required amount of money. Remember – by the end of the challenge, you’ll be setting aside over $50 per week!

There’s only one way to consistently meet those weekly obligations: by becoming a budgeting rockstar. 

Start by tracking your spending, and then look for ways to cut unnecessary expenses. You should also get in the habit of limiting how much you spend in certain areas. This requires discipline, but if you do it within the context of the challenge, it can actually be kind of fun!

Nowadays, there are personal finance apps that make the budgeting process easier. I’d recommend Rocket Money. Not only does it have a wonderful budgeting feature, but it can help you cancel unwanted subscriptions, too. There’s also the “automatic savings” feature, which will deposit money into a savings account for you.

Together, these tools can leave you with a lot more money to devote to the challenge. Read this Rocket Money review to learn more. 

And see how much you could save by learning how to cancel all subscriptions on your debit card or credit card yourself. 

You can also learn how to budget for non recurring expenses so you can be prepared for unexpected costs. 

5 – Set Reminders

At the start, you’ll probably be so excited about the 52 week money challenge that you’ll easily remember to meet your weekly obligations. But we all know the next part of the story. Your car breaks down. Family comes to visit. Life generally gets hectic. The next thing you know, you’re weeks behind in the challenge.

To keep that from happening, take the simple step of setting reminders. There’s no single way to do this. You can use your phone, your laptop, or even an old-fashioned calendar on the wall. 

Another option is to print out a PDF that shows you how much to deposit each week, allowing you to check them off as you go.

Just make sure you do something! Otherwise, this challenge could be just another plan that falls by the wayside. 

Money-savings apps like Rocket Money help make the 52 week money challenge even easier. 
Using a personal finance app like Rocket Money can help you beat the 52 week money challenge.
Source: Rocket Money

Benefits of The 52 Week Money Challenge

The 52 week money challenge can be a lot of fun – but that’s still not the main benefit. Here are the real reasons why the experience will be good for you:

  • Accountability. When you’re in the middle of the challenge, you’ll feel obligated to keep going – and that’ll keep you from impulsively spending money that you’re supposed to be saving. You can also do the challenge along with a friend to increase the accountability factor. 
  • Healthy habits. Taming the overspending impulse is hard – but once you’ve done it, the positive habits you’ve formed can stay with you for life.
  • Budgeting skills. Controlling your spending is the key to beating the challenge. Master that skill now, and it’ll help you reach even more ambitious goals in the future.
  • Self-confidence. When the 52 weeks are over, you’ll be able to look at yourself in the mirror and say, “I did it!” That should give you a boost next time you plan for your financial future.
  • Significant savings. You’ll end the challenge with over $1,300. You can use that money as the base for further savings or invest it in your future. In any case, you’ll be glad to have it!

Commonly Asked Questions About The 52 Week Money Challenge

52 Week Savings Challenge?

The 52 week savings challenge is a strategy for saving $1,378 in a year. You start by setting aside $1 on the first week. Then, you set aside an additional dollar for every week that passes. $2 on week 2, $3 on week 3, and, finally, $52 on week 52. 

How Much Money Will You Save in The 52 Week Money Challenge?

If you complete the standard 52 week money challenge, you’ll save a total of $1,378. And if you put the money in an interest-bearing account like a high-yield savings account, you’ll end up with even more in savings. Be sure to check out this awesome high-yield savings account from CIT Bank.

And to learn which budgeting app could best help you manage your finances and boost your savings, check out these comparisons of Rocket Money vs the competition:

If you’re looking for a low-tech, hands-on budgeting method, learn about cash envelope categories. And if you need to boost your savings fast, the 60/30/10 rule budget can help.

Then use a net worth tracker to see how your new financial strategies are paying off. 

How Can I Save $5000 With The 52 Week Money Challenge?

You can save $5,000 by creating your own version of the 52 week money challenge that includes higher weekly contributions. One option is to start by setting aside $4, then increase the contributions by $4 each week. You’ll end up with $5,512. 

What is The $5 Dollar Challenge for 52 Weeks?

The $5 challenge for 52 weeks is a way to save $6,890 in a year. Start by setting aside $5 in week 1, and then contribute an additional $5 each week. On week 52, you’ll set aside $260. So, you’ll have to be on your budgeting A-game!