I’m sure you’ve seen different versions of the 52 week money challenge floating around the web. I know I’ve seen them all over Facebook. Seems like they pop up most in December and January when everyone is making New Year’s resolutions to save money. I’m sure they are great for some people, but I can’t shake the fact that these calendars teach you nothing. They don’t help you learn how to make sound financial decisions that can help you for the rest of your life.
I promise, I’m not trying to be a hater. If these calendars and challenges work for you, by all means stick to them. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, here are a couple of examples:
From The Frugal Fairy
From The Survival Mom
Saving any amount of money is an achievement. If you think these calendars and challenges work, then go for it. If you can save $1,378 by the end of the year, then good for you. That being said, I challenge you to do some of these tips below instead. You may be surprised to find that your savings will be even larger and these tips will help you save money every year if you stick to them. These are my top 5 favorite tips from two articles I recently shared on my Facebook page: 5 Smart steps to get a healthy financial life in 2015 and 25 bite size money resolutions to make 2015 your biggest year yet. I promise that if you do these 5 things, you’ll be much better off than doing a 52 week savings challenge. Better yet, if you really love those challenges, do the challenge and follow these 5 tips.
- Save at least 10% of each paycheck. I bet if you do that you’ll save way more than $1,378 each year. Plus, this is a sound financial practice. Everyone should be saving at least 10% for emergencies.
- Understand your current financial state. Sit down on your own, with your partner, and then again with a financial planner to make sure you understand what is currently going on with your finances and where you’d like to be by the end of the year.
- Shop around for loans, credit cards and ALL major purchases. Everything is negotiable.
- Automate all bills so you won’t have late fees.
- Change insurance and/ or other service providers. You’d be amazed by how much you can save by switching from one cable or internet company to another every few years. We also do this with our car insurance every so often.
Check out the rest of the tips from the articles because they are all great tips. Living a financially stable lifestyle is a mindset, not something that can be fixed with one challenge. Do your best this year to make solid financial decisions and the savings will add up fast, faster than they would with a silly little challenge.