Now that the most wonderful (and expensive) time of the year has come to a close, it’s the perfect time to start thinking about saving money. The 52 Week Savings Plan (a.k.a. 52 Week Money Challenge) is an easy way to jump-start your savings account. The approach is pretty simple. Each week you deposit the same amount of dollars as the number of the week into your piggy bank or savings account.
Protip: Go with the savings account. Even though interest rates are abysmal, it’s way safer than keeping a stash of cash around your house.
One of the challenges of setting aside actual cash is, well, having actual cash to set aside. What we suggest is scheduling automatic deposits or transfers from your checking account to your savings account each week. You can set this all up ahead of time to put your savings on autopilot. If you’re anything like me, I need my money saving to be easy and carefree.
Money Challenge on Autopilot: One or Two Deposits/Transfers Per Month
The goal? Minimize the number of trips to the bank while gradually increasing the amount of money you save each month.
Total number of deposits or transfers you need to schedule: 12. You’ll set up 12 individual semiweekly transfers per month. You could also set up 12 transfers with one deposit each month for the entire total saved in that month (i.e., Month 1- save $10, Month 2- save $36, etc.).
Money Challenge on Autopilot: Equal Bimonthly Deposits (Twice a month)
The goal? Take the math and the guesswork out of scheduling your deposits. You just want your deposits out of sight and out of mind, but split evenly over the course of the month.
Total number of automatic transfers you need to set up? One. You should be able to schedule 1 automatic transfer for the entire year that includes two transfers each month (i.e., transfer $57.42 on the 1st and 15th of each month).
Money Challenge on Autopilot: Equal Monthly Deposits
The goal? You’ve got the cash to spare and you want it saved, baby, saved.
Total number of automatic transfers you need to set up? One. You should be able to schedule 1 automatic transfer for the entire year that includes ONE transfer each month (i.e. transfer $114.84 each on the 1st of each month).