Half of Americans have less than three months of expenses saved up, and only a quarter have six months saved, which is the typical recommendation for emergency financial reserves, according to Bankrate.com.
The concept is simple. Start by saving one dollar in the first week of the year and increase your contribution by a dollar each week until you contribute $52 in week 52. For example: the first week, you would deposit $1; the second week, $2; and so on. By the end of the year, you will have saved nearly $1,400.
For some families, getting into the habit of saving is the hardest part. The 52-week savings plan introduces a creative approach to getting started.
We created our own version of the chart for you to download here. Keep in mind: this is just for fun!
Tips for success:
- Find a partner. Being held accountable (by your spouse, sibling or trusted friend) is a great motivator. People who write down their goals, share this information with a friend, and send weekly updates to that friend are 33% more successful than those who attempt goals without a partner.
- Pick a target. It’s always easier to save when you have a goal in mind. Whether you’re starting your rainy-day fund or saving up for holiday expenses, knowing that there is a reward at the end of your efforts will help you stick with the plan - even if the reward is the financial security of having an extra $1,378 in case you have an unexpected, emergency expense.
- Make it fun. Yes, you could also just save $26.50 a week for a year, but where’s the challenge in that? Keep a positive attitude and imagine how happy you’ll be on the 52nd week when you have saved $1,378 more than you did last year.
- Be consistent. Try to deposit your money on the same day every week. Whether you’re collecting the money in a jar at your house or depositing it into a separate savings account, it’ll be easier for you to succeed if you’re consistent.