I have struggled with saving my whole adult life. I like the idea of creating a nest egg, but it goes against all of my procrastinating tendencies. Last Christmas, I was a few weeks into another budget-busting holiday season of last minute gift buying, when I came across a post in my Facebook newsfeed about the 52 week savings plan. It seemed like the best way to ease into saving. I mean, you only have to save $1 the first week, and by the the 52nd week, you have $1378. How bad could that be?
I have to admit I felt a little silly moving $1 from checking to savings that first week. The upside though was that it didn’t hurt a bit. So, I eagerly moved $2 the next week, and $3 the week after that. I was rocking this whole saving thing!
Sometime in March, I decided to add up my savings so that I could give myself a little pat on the back for being so responsible. Here is where the 52 week savings plan gets a little disheartening. After two months and some change, I had saved a whopping $45. That was barely enough to buy one Christmas gift let alone all of them. Unfortunately, procrastination and the need for instant gratification tend to go hand in hand, so I wasn’t very happy with this result. Since it was only March, I kept plugging along.
The next hurdle was when I arrived at the $20 week. That’s a lot of Starbucks and Target Dollar Spot items to do without. But I was finally over the $200 threshold, and I was determined to make it work. Once I made peace with saving a weekly amount that started with a “2,” it was smooth sailing. By September, I had saved almost $800. Now, we’re talking. By the time Thanksgiving rolled around, I had saved over $1,000. I didn’t have any of the dread that usually comes with the holiday season and could finally enjoy Christmas shopping. Also, a residual effect of the plan is that my husband could no longer have a pass for being grumpy during the holidays because of all the money flying out of our bank account. He had no excuse this time, and I thoroughly enjoyed reminding him of that.
There are lots of variations of this plan. If the end goal isn’t Christmas money, some people like to start at $52 and work their way down to avoid having to save large sums of money during the holidays. You can save in larger increments or calculate it by month instead of weeks. But for someone like me that has a hard time getting motivated to save, starting with $1 did just the trick. You can go here to make your own customizable chart.
The best part about this savings plan is that I am now used to putting aside $50/week. I intend on saving that amount every week of the new year and begin the plan all over again with husband’s paycheck.
I don’t even recognize myself anymore.
Who am I?!?