What does a Garden Gnome do when she is not gardening, in the kitchen or doing genealogy? Well the answer might just surprise you so read the entries to find out more. This blog focuses on everything we do to make our house a home. There will be a strong emphasis on home energy efficiency and do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. At the same time there will also be crafts, knitting and crocheting projects along with any other little tips we do to create that down to earth, I want to be here home. Please enjoy your visit :)

Saturday, February 8, 2014

The 52 Week Money Challenge

The new year is viewed as a new start to improve your life in some fashion.  This is the time of year that folks go on weight loss plans, join gyms or fitness classes, vow to improve their diets, become better people and take control of their finances.  Quite often, the new year's resolutions are long forgotten by the end of January.  The reason being, the changes are either too drastic or simply to vague.  A resolution of taking control of your finances is vague.  A resolution that says 'I want to have $1,000 in savings by the end of the year' is more specific.  Even better is a resolution that says 'I will put $20 away per week so at the end of the year I will have $1,040' because it give you a game plan to follow.  When it comes to the financial resolutions, the first vague resolution is doomed to fail because there is no starting point.  The second has a starting point and ending point but no 'how to'.  The third financial resolution has a starting point, how to and ending point that if followed is destined for success. 

52 Week Challenge
Towards the end of 2013, I saw the 52 Week Money Challenge posted in Facebook.  Please note that this is not my idea or my chart. There was no acknowledgement as to the author or who created the chart (pictured).  Kudos to the person who came up with this idea. The 52 Week Money Challenge is quite a good idea!  It is a simple savings plan that if followed will give you a tidy sum of $1,378 in the jar.  There are 52 weeks in a year.  Under this savings plan, the first week you put in $1 giving a balance of $1.  The second week you put in $2 for a balance of $3.  Each week you add the amount of money that equals that week, so on week 12 you add $12 and so forth until the 52nd week where you add $52 for a final total of $1,378.  This is a very simple, painless way to put away a few dollars.  The only weeks that may be a bit difficult for some are weeks 47 through 52, since the heating season is in full force and there are higher seasonal expenses with the holiday season.  However, the first twenty weeks of the new year are quite easy for most, barely noticeable while recovering financially from the holiday season and higher winter expenses.

my 52 week money challenge jar
I printed off a copy of the chart as pictured rather than make a new one.  The 8.5" x 11" size was too large so I reduced the image and printed it.  I cut the chart out then taped it to a recycled plastic container.  Each Friday, I add the appropriate amount.  This is week 6 so I put $6 in the jar bringing the total amount in the jar to $21.  I put a check mark beside the week number as a reminder that I have already added the money.  This will be a help when taking into account the weeks we are away.  I'll circle those weeks and pre-pay them.so I can stay on track.

I'm looking forward to seeing my little savings challenge grow.  This method does take a bit of discipline but it is rather painless.  I don't really have any plans for the savings either.  My husband came up with the idea to extend the savings plan through the following year for a total of 104 weeks which is something I am considering.  That would mean setting up a new chart, easily done in Microsoft Excel.  I'll decide whether to do that closer to the end of the year.  In the meantime, I'm feeding the jar each week.