A Pain-Free Trick that Pays Off: How to Save an Extra $1500 Next Year

Anyone who’s searched for a way to save more money has probably heard of the 52 Week Challenge. It’s a way to slowly build up your savings throughout the year—you start by putting aside $1 on week one, $2 on week 2, and so on until you reach week 52, putting aside $52 that week. In total, if you follow the 52 Week Challenge, you’ll save $1,378 by the end of the year. Easy enough, right?

While it sounds like a great idea (and if it works for you, keep it up!) for some people, that’s just not doable—I know I personally have never done it, because despite how easy it starts off, I know that it would be difficult for me in those later months to put aside nearly (and over) $50 a week. But I still like the idea of putting money aside in smaller increments and challenging myself every week, and if you also have the same concerns, there’s another way to make it work—and actually, save even more: break it down into smaller daily challenges that you carry on each week throughout the year.

The How-To

Rather than setting aside $1 one week and working your way up for 52 weeks, try looking at it on a smaller scale. Set aside $1 a day, working your way up throughout the week—so on Sunday, you save $1, $2 on Monday, $3 on Tuesday, and continue on until Saturday, when you put aside $7. Then, every Sunday, start over at the $1 mark. That’s a total of $28 per week, or $112 per month. If you do it for the full 52 weeks, you’ll have $1,456 saved up by the end of the year—an extra $78 from the traditional 52 Week Challenge. Meaning, you’ll save more money and it’ll feel a lot more doable week-to-week.

Ways to Save

Keep a Cash Jar

Some people feel more productive, savings-wise, if they use cash. If that’s you, and you’d prefer to physically put a dollar (or however many you’re supposed to put aside depending on which day of the week it is) aside every day, try keeping a money jar in a place you’ll remember to drop cash into every day, like on top of your dresser—you’ll see it when you’re getting ready, so you won’t forget. At the end of the week (or month, if you prefer), just deposit the cash into your savings account.

Use a Money App

If you’d rather keep things digital (or, if like me, you rarely carry cash on you) a money app like Qapital—or Acorns, if you want to invest your money—can be your best friend in a savings challenge like this. I haven’t found an app that allows you to set up daily recurring transfers of different amounts for the days of the week (Qapital, for example, lets you set up automatic transfers in the same dollar amount every day, every week, or every month, and has the traditional 52 Week Challenge transfer rule) but that doesn’t mean you can’t use an app to make this challenge work.

If you don’t mind remembering to put aside money every day, you can simply transfer the dollar amount for that day into your account with your preferred app—think of it like a digital cash jar, no deposits required. Or, if you’d rather set it and forget it, you can simply set up a recurring automatic weekly transfer of $28, and let your money basically save itself. Minimal effort required, and at the end of the year, your savings account will be nearly $1,500 richer.

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