1. jen says

    I opened one of these capital one savings accounts yesterday. I set it up to automatically transfer $25 each week. It works out about the same at the end of the year but is easier to remember and small enough that I won’t miss it.

    • says

      I agree, why not just save a set amount per month. If you can save 200 in January then why not keep that going every month?

      Keeping in the savings account rather than the jar… No brainer!

        • Katie says

          I have done this challenge the last few years and you can do it how you want. I normally jump around and mark them off as i go. I do normally try to do the bigger numbers first, but i don’t make that a set thing.

        • MaryAnn says

          I agree with you I just started the 52 wk money challenge and love it. I am doing it times 3 so I will have 4,000 for a vacation in September.

      • Chanise says

        Exactly, I think the point of starting small and working your way up is to get people into the habit of saving more each month, but I think saving $1 a week, etc. is ridiculous. I save a minimum of $100 a week, and often more on top of that. Only saving $1378 a year isn’t going to get you very far very fast.

        • sam says

          That’s great that you can afford to save $100 (or more a week); a lot of people can’t afford to save that much every week and this plan is designed for us.

        • Flo says

          No your right it wont get you very far, but it’s a very nice amount to have to buy yourself or your loved ones something nice for christmas.

        • Mackenzie says

          The point of the challenge is to create an attainable amount that most people in our society can save. Most people don’t save because they don’t think they can afford it. With this challenge psychologicially it makes it easier. For me I will likely be contributing monthly because it works out in my head to think that way and honestly my savings account doesn’t earn much interest so monthly versus weekly isn’t goinng to be much of a change. I really like the idea of doing the challeng in reverse because I feel like most times I lose steam on my good intentions. This way it seems much easier towards the end. The challenge is completely customizable which allows for everyone to do what they realistically can do some can save more some less but the point is saving.

      • says

        What I see wrong with these challenges is most people focus on the saving aspects and changing their routines to follow along to create a mere pitence of savings. If they work just as hard on creating wealth for themselves…their results will multiply ten fold.

        • Marsha says

          Some of the commenters seem to think everyone has a lot of extra money, after house payment or rent, utilities, groceries, gas to get to and from work, sitting
          around waiting to make them rich. I am a single school teacher, and even doing one of these “easy” savings ideas would leave me nearly broke, and an emergency could literally have me homeless. Don’t judge others, based on your income!

    • sunkist says

      I did something similar. I have 2 savings accounts now, each transfers 20$ a week into it automatically so I dont have to think about it. By Christmas i have almost a thousand dollars and the 2nd account I use for vacations and it keeps going if we do not spend it, so over time I can build up quite a nest egg for a nice getaway.

    • cj says

      I came across the 52 week challenge last year and started it this year and faithfully put money away every week. FIrst time I have consistently saved money! I enjoyed your post because like you I opened a capital one 360 account so I would not have easy access to the money and be tempted. Another thing I did is if I had extra money in my pay from overtime or whatever I skipped ahead to the $52 week etc so when the end of the year comes I will be paying the lower dollar amounts. I have already saved $1000 and feels awesome!

  2. C.K. Walker says

    I think this is a fantastic idea!!!

    One aspect of the Pinterest savings jars is that there’s a certain satisfaction in seeing the jar fill up. May I suggest doing something to simulate the visual aspect of filling a jar with change by posting a black and white printout in the shape of a thermometer, pile of bills or piggy bank and then marking out the equal amounts along the side. Color in each week as the money builds and see how realistic saving can be while keeping that saved money safe.

    I also like your safer savings idea from a risk management standpoint. Fire, flood, tornado, robbery–they happen; and while we don’t like to imagine it happening to us, saving that money into an FDIC insured bank account means that in case of a real emergency, it’ll be there for you when you really need it.

    • Robin Cleckley says

      What is the advantage of opening up this account, why not open another account at your bank or credit union?

      • says

        Robin – The advantage is that you’re setting up a distance between this account and your regular checking account. That makes it more likely that this account will be a true savings account and not a safety net for your regular account.

        • says

          Notice the first comment the bank makes:

          -No changing banks – 360 Savings® is linked to your existing checking account
          -Access your account instantly from your smart phone or online
          -Join millions of Savers
          -Earn interest with a 0.75% APY

          • says

            Julie – Yes, it’s *linked* to your checking account so you can make transfers to and from your checking account, but it can’t act as a safety net in case you overdraw your regular checking account. Plus, the transfers take several days either way.

        • Jen says

          I have had a Smarty Pig account for almost two years that gains 1.00%. You can also break up your savings into separate goals to save for different things, and has the same limited access policy so it is a real savings, not just there to cover an over expenditure.

      • Mike says

        Obviously the distance between you and your money is important from a savings standpoint. More importantly is the compound interest which surprisingly wasn’t mentioned. Capital one 360 and many other online savings accounts offer higher interest rates than your common brick and mortar bank does. So not only are you saving, you’re earning internet on the money you’re saving. A jar doesn’t do that.

      • Janine Jordan says

        I agree I have opened a TFSA (tax free savings account) the only draw back with that it takes up to 3 days to access the money if you need it, but it comes right off my pay cheque into the account automatically. So it really is the same thing.

        • Sam says

          My bank has lousy rates as well. I actually set my account up through Discover…I only get .80, but its better than sitting in a jar, and the ‘distance’ idea has really helped me to leave the money in the account vs. using it as a back up checking account.

      • No1Twin says

        Capital One right now is paying APY .75% which is more than any savings account I have found. Beats a jar and when it is in this account, the few days delay may deter you from robbing from Peter to pay Paul. :) Good Luck.

        • Amanda says

          Ally Bank savings accounts are .99% APY. It’s the same as a Capital One account, you don’t have instant access, no brick and mortar, super easy to deposit into. I deposit from my checking account and from my Paypal account (this way if you sell anything on ebay, you can deposit that money directly into your savings account). I did a lot of research and found this to be one of the highest APY’s out there…I just deposited my first $52 today!

        • Jen says

          Barclays “Dream” accounts just bumped their rates to 1.05%. The only restrictions I know of offhand are that each account holder is limited to 3 accounts and each account is limited to a maximum monthly deposit of $1000.

        • MaryAnn says

          Hi there is an online bank called Barclay which is paying an interest rate of 1% with no minimum balance or maitinance fees. I too have an Capitial one and thinking about doing this one instead.

      • Cjlyons says

        The banks aren’t PAYING a lot because they aren’t CHARGING a lot. Prime is at 3.25% and you can get a mortgage for 3.125%. Do you really want to go back to the rates of the 80’s??? Sure, you can earn 11% on a CD but you’ll be paying 19% for that house and 16% for that car and that’s assuming you have good credit!

    • Therese says

      I like this way better also!! You know now that you can put 52.00 in the jar. Unfortunately we don’t know what’s going to come up during the rest of the weeks, so it would be easier to lessen it as we go along thru the year. Or if you do have it just go ahead and add that to the jar too!!

    • Floretta says

      Use Monopoly money in the jar to represent what you are putting in the bank – you get the same visual reinforcement without the risk of loss to theft, fire, temptation etc.

  3. Emily Moore says

    Love the capital one account idea!!! But I am also going to create some sort of visual. I don’t want to dip into the money!!!

  4. W. Williams says

    If you open up multiple savings accounts, do you have to log into each one separately, or when you log into your account at capitol one, can you see them all? And with multiple accounts, can I do a transfer from home connected checking at another bank, to any one of my accounts at Capitol One? Right now I select xfer from USBank Checking to College Account. Thinking of moving my online savings because I’m unhappy with the online bank we’ve been at for some time, but want to understand what I can and can’t do. Thanks!

    • says

      In my experience with Capital One you can only log into one account at a time. Yes, you transfer from a different bank’s checking account (I bank at a credit union, but wherever) into/out of Capital One. It’s done online and it takes a couple days for the money to show up when you initiate a transfer. Does that help?

    • says

      I have all my accounts under the same login on Capital One. Once you have your Checking Account open, you can set up “savings goals” (separate savings accounts). Carrie, this is exactly the plan we’re doing as well through Cap 1. Thanks for sharing!

    • Jen says

      You can have multiple accounts under the same user, in which case you will see all of them when you log in. They all earn the same interest rate, but it is a great way to earmark money for different things. I personally have 1 checking account and 4 savings accounts. When I log in, my main screen shows all 5 accounts, and I can click on one to see the details. I can move between accounts without logging out and back in again. I set up my husband as a second owner on all accounts, but you can specify who co-owns which accounts. As far as transferring, you can transfer money immediately between Capital One accounts, and you can link external accounts so that you can transfer back & forth between them (with the 3-day delay Carrie mentioned). I always have Capital One initiate the transfer from my linked external account, and that way I can easily specify which savings account the money will go to. But each account does have a separate account number, so if you’d rather push the money from your other account, you can still specify which savings account it goes to.

      I hope this helps. I was so hesitant to switch to Capital One, but I finally did about a year ago, and I’ve been really happy with it.

      • says

        How did you do that? I monkeyed around in there for at least an hour the other night and couldn’t figure that out. I checked help and everything. (Yes, it’s probably some obvious thing I didn’t do)

        • Laura says

          We have used these accounts for about 10 years. It used to be ING Direct. Log in to your account, if you already have a checking account, just open a savings account. You can open as many savings accounts as you want. We have 10+ savings accounts. We put aside money each paycheck for things like Christmas, taxes, car savings, emergency fund, etc. Transfers between capital 1 accounts are instantaneous. There are restrictions on the number of transfers into and out of savings accounts. Those restrictions are federal regulations for all savings accounts though. Transfers between external accounts take a couple of days. I also pay all my bills through my Capital 1 checking account. I’ve found their processing of payments to utilities and such is much faster than my regular bank. Thanks for the article. This is the way we have saved for years. Wish more people focused on budgeting and living debt free!

        • Jen says

          Hmmm… I don’t know how I did it! It has just always been like that for me. :)

          My account is a Capital One 360 account, previously ING Orange. When I first login, it goes to the Summary under the My Accounts tab, and it shows all of my accounts, including my Capital One credit card (that one is new). The tabs across the top of the main page are: My Accounts, Transfers & Deposits, Payments, eStatements, My Info, and Alerts & Messages.

          I wonder if we just have different kinds of accounts? Or if it is because I also have a checking account there?

          • says

            I also have had my account since it was an ING Orange, but mine is SAVINGS. I don’t have a Capital One checking – maybe that is the difference. I see those same tabs and I *think* I clicked every option and looked on every page. I’ll check again. I have a contact with Capital One and I think I’ll email them to ask too.

        • Korene says

          I think it might depend on how you set these up. I set up an account first. I referred my husband (boyfriend at the time) and he set up his own account (separate log on). When we got married, we decided to combine our accounts (same log on). I feel like we called ING at the time to do that. Then within our combined account/logon, we created a number of separate accounts to track savings goals.

        • Nate says

          Add me to the camp that has never had to do anything to see all my accounts at the same time. I have 6 different accounts for various savings goals and they all show up when I log in. It’s always been that way for me. Though I did open some of them almost 10 years ago, so it’s possible I was grandfathered into a previous way of doing it?

  5. Katie says

    Would love a thermometer type printout so I could have a visual reward while doing this. I opened a capital one 360 (then ING) account about a year ago when they ran the deals for signing up and I am going to use it to set up right now! Thanks so much! Sidenote: I just finished reading your book yesterday on my kindle and have already started making changes based on your advice!

      • says

        I understand. Go ahead and open an account with another online bank that distances you from your money and allows auto-transfers out of your main checking account – Ally is another I think, but I have no personal experience there so I can’t recommend it.

        • Youri says

          Julia. If you find it a conflict of interest (and I’m sorry to say this to Carrie), nothing stops you from going to the website without clicking on the referral link. I actually have been with Capital One (previously ING Direct) for a long time. I also have an Ally account since I didn’t realize initially why I was receiving so many Capital One documents.

          Carrie, I hope to try the reverse 52 week challenge but it will be tough.

        • Korene says

          Also, they aren’t necessarily recruiting Carrie to promote it. Anyone with an account can refer others and get a bonus.

      • Karen says

        Conflict of interest, REALLY? Carrie provides you with a ton of helpful info every month free of charge. This is a blog and blogs make money from referral and advertisements. Let’s be realistic here . I’m not attacking but please use some common sense!! After you sign up you will have the same opportunity to refer people and get a referral bonus as well. There is no conflict of interest, the same rules apply to everyone! ;-)

      • says

        You can open a State Farm Bank savings/checking account. They are a virtual bank and have been around for more than 10 years :) You don’t need State Farm insurance to use their banking products.

  6. Mara says

    I set up an ING savings account (now Capital One 360) years ago and started saving in an account I “hid” from myself. I ended up with $10,000, which got me though 4 years of unemployment. Now that I’m working again, I am saving $50 every other week (which, with the original amount I added will amount to more than the $1,378 in the challenge). I love having money withdrawn automatically so I don’t have to think about it and I love having money hidden from myself so I can’t spend it. This is a great challenge.

    • says

      Amen! What an awesome story. When we were getting out of debt we saved 10% of our net income into our account until we had a 3-month nest egg. Thanksfully, we’ve not ever had to seriously tap that nest egg. *knocks on wood*

  7. DeDe says

    I am taking the 52 week challenge x 2. One envelope has the weekly amount starting at $1 and the other envelope has the amount starting at $52. I will be putting these in a separate account and will have twice the goal money at the end of December 2014 and it will never “hurt” more than $53 a week!

    • Karen says

      Love this idea, my daughter and her husband both wanted to do the challenge but they are pretty tight being newlyweds and Rachel’s student loans repayment just started. So I think they could make it work this way, great idea.

  8. amy g says

    Funny, when I saw the initial saving device hitting the internet I was palm to forehead screaming ROTH IRA. While I get/love the idea of saving for a year, how about the concept of saving for a lifetime. if you have taxable income and make less than 127k single/188k joint put $50-?/month into a Roth IRA. You get the advantage of Dollar Cost Averaging throughout the year and it’s a pretty sure bet that your return on investment will be much greater than a bank account. The after tax $ you contribute can be taken out o the account prior to 59.5 without the 10% penalty if you have an emergency down the road. Just my .02

    • says

      Amy – True, invest for the long-term IF you have some emergency savings on hand that can get you through should, God forbid, a crisis hit your life. You’re right that a bank account is NOT a long-term investment (I am, in fact, planning to write about an investment challenge within the next few weeks too). This is a cash-on-hand-for-emergencies savings. Different purpose.

      • Sara says

        Yeah!!!! I have a retirement account, but it was automatically set up for me through the teachers union. I know this will not be enough. I am clueless on where and how to get started. I have started reading about this, but just cant seem to take the next step of actually investing or finding where and how to. Thank you Carrie and team for all you do!

    • LJ says

      Yeah, I’m surprised there’s only this one mention of a Roth account. The account grows tax free.

      I did a Roth and I found an online-only bank that gave a 1.25% interest rate, which was so much better than my normal banks’s savings account rate.

      Those accounts are linked to my main account, but there’s distance there so I won’t touch them.

  9. defiler2k says

    I did this challenge last year but at a slightly modified pace.

    I put the money in an out of state credit union where it earns interest and I cant touch it unless they mail me a paper check. That removed the temptation of dipping in to the fund for spur of the moment buys.

    The purpose for my saving plan was to fund our Black Friday shopping spree, the fund in the end became our holiday spending budget.

    So I created a personal goal to save X amount by that date and I set savings goals per qrtr. Why setup quarterly goals? Because I had my deposits made directly through payroll so I did not even see the money ever hit my bank account hence I never planned around it. Also, making biweekly changes on my payroll deductions were just unrealistic at least for me so I just set my qtrly target and divided the target by the payroll weeks of that quarter and set my deduction for those quarterly weeks. I also setup a quarterly notice on my calendar to notify me when I had to change the deductions on payroll.

    It worked really well and as posted above it was more fufilling to see the account have a larger funding amount quickly than the 52 week challenge originally lists. I also made my payout week the week before Black Friday to allow time to get the check from my credit union. I start the plan on the first pay period of December.

    This year I’m committed to saving twice as much and I’m well on my way thanks to these tweaks.

  10. says

    Good idea! I like the way you think.

    Of course, some families might have problems saving $52 the first week if their budget is already tight. But this could work for a lot of people.

    In fact, if $52 the first week isn’t a problem, and $51 the second week isn’t a problem, and $50 the third week isn’t a problem, maybe they can save a constant $52 every week for a year. That’ll turn that $1,378 into $2,704 (not accounting for compound interest earned).

  11. Lisa says

    I have a credit union, and one of my savings account it called a Christmas Club account. I haven’t used it in years so it’s just sitting there, with $1 in it. So I have now set up $26 to transfer in there from my checking account weekly. I dont need to have another bank to do this. And then I do believe the money does automatically transfer into checking in October, as theoretically this is when you would begin your Christmas shopping :)

  12. jen says

    i am doing this challenge, but instead of putting that additional amount into savings, i’m transferring that additional amount against the credit card we have. Not only will it be an additional paydown of our normal paymement, but we’ll be saving on interest normally accrued on that amount. an extra 1378 against paying off debt, yes please!

  13. Sheri says

    I saw this on FB all over the place. You brought up the exact point I made on my friends post. If you can afford an above and beyond extras savings of nearly 200 bucks the last few months before Christmas more power to you but I can’t. So I had the idea of Week 1 Save $52 Week 2 save $1 Week 3 save $51 Week 4 Save $2 and so on and so forth. It averages out your savings. Or so in my mind it seems to work. But I haven’t put it on paper. It just seems this 52 week savings plan has good intentions but like most resolutions few will follow through when the bigger savings start adding pressure on your monthly budget. I hope I don’t sound mean I just want to be realistic.

    • AnnieGrace says

      I like your idea of alternating every other week with a smaller then larger amount. That would be a better adjustment for me since I get paid every other week. Payday Friday 52.00, next Friday 1.00, Payday Friday 51.00, next Friday 2.00…..Thanks Sheri!

      • C.K. Walker says

        I was thinking about the larger one week, smaller the next, as I get paid twice a month, so putting aside $52 on pay week would be easy enough, but the $51 the next week much harder. Another idea I had was to do the auto transfer on payday of say $90 and then try to come up with $13 in savings the second week by way of coupons or found money in the couch or selling something on Craigslist or whatever. Ultimately, whatever way a person chooses to do this kind of savings challenge, the value is in doing it and continuing to do it over time. It changes your mindset and attitude about money while adding to your savings accounts.

        • Michelle says

          I “pre-paid” December and part of November with some of my tax refund. I haven’t cancelled the auto-transfer for those dates, but it’s nice to know I can if I have to (which I probably will but that’s a long way off still).

  14. Sheri says

    I did the math and that would be $106 a month.
    Also as to the jar issue for a physical sign of saving could you maybe use those decorative flat glass marbles? Or maybe pennies? Kind of a symbolic gesture.

  15. Molly says

    I have been using the CapitalOne formerly called ING for a number of years. I automatically transfer $75 each week to my account. I have also set up sub accounts for my kids under my main accounts and I can easily transfer money into their accounts.

  16. says

    My husband and I were just talking about this a couple weeks ago when we saw it. We both thought that it would be better to do it backwards since December is such a loaded month anyway. Great idea!

  17. Erica says

    This seems like such a small amount of money to save in a years time. My husband (teacher) and I (entry level professional) saved 18000 last year and paid off 15000 in debt the year before. This year our goal is to get our of the rest of our debt and start paying down the house we just bought with. Extra principal payments. If we (making less than 100k per year combined) can save that kind of money each year, this challenge wouldn’t be much of a challenge.

    • Emily says

      For people living paycheck to paycheck, saving like this IS a challenge. Good on you and your husband for saving more but not everyone is in situations identical to yours!

    • Kate says

      I appreciate that it sounds like you are being really smart with your money, but I think it is unfair to judge that small steps that others are making are such a “small amount”. If you and your husband make around 100,000 a year, you are wealthy by many standards. I am college educated but only earn about 25,000/yr and am single. The “small amount” challenge is about all I can handle with housing, school loans, car repairs, etc. It may not be much of a challenge for you, so good for you to strive for a goal that is a challenge. I just wanted to clarify that what may not challenge one person/couple may be a challenge to another person.

      Best wishes on paying down your debt,

      • Tracy says

        Agreed with Kate, Erica. I make less than half what you two do, with 7 kids, one in college this year and two next, braces, childcare, mortgage, utilities, and tons of FOOD, it is hard to save even the challenge. In other words, it would be a huge challenge for me! Carrie, I was hoping to see you at the library, but had to be somewhere. I am looking forward to your posts and for my challenge, I will be tucking spare dollars into my sock drawer, as soon as I pay this dorm and board fee for this semester. I have about three months before the college bills hit hard again. I am hoping to get to $300, for a car repair or some other smallish emergency.

    • says

      I didn’t know AmEx had fee-free accounts like that. I just checked and theirs does pay *slightly* more (0.1% – which is $1 per year for every $1,000 in deposits)

  18. AsUntoTheLord says

    If your kids are of age to understand a little, consider explaining the idea to them as well and enlist their natural wonder and excitement to help motivate you…both to save AND not use impulsively ;-). If you’re saving for something specific, print a picture of it in outlined form so you (or they) can color it in. Delayed gratification is one of the most lacking ‘resources’ of our day and it is a lesson that is easiest to learn earlier in life, IMHO. :-)

  19. Becca says

    I have always loved the concept of this savings plan when I saw it floating around, but like many others, I just don’t have the funds at the end of the year for those larger amounts with hockey expenses, back to school, and Christmas all hitting the last half of the year. I decided to print off the weekly list and mark off what week I am putting aside. Right now, I am in recovery mode from Christmas so the lower amounts will be used, during tax time ( I get a decent return) I will take care of the larger amounts and mark them off of the list, and then by the time the last half of the year comes, I only have the lower amounts left to mark off of my list. Customized to my family’s financial situation! Thanks for the reminder of putting it somewhere other than a jar…total Starbucks/pizza money then ;)

  20. Betty says

    Well, If you can’t come up with $202/mth. I thought maybe you could put a spin on it,
    First month-$52, $1, $51, $2.= $106/mth
    Next month $50, $3, $49, $ 4=$106/mth and so on. It will equal $106 a month.

  21. Lindsey says

    ALSO, if people open Capital One accounts, I think you can typically find at least one offer that gives you some kind of kick back when you open a new account! I know its been a long time, but I swear there were some $25, $50 or even $100 ones back in the day. That may be for a checking account, but can be used the same way (and split into multiple accounts more easily).

  22. Dawn N says

    I really like a visual but money access not as easy as a jar. To tempting. Anyway you can save money is a plus. I like the thermometer as it’s like a to do list when you check something off it feels good.

  23. says

    Hi. I do not do this with Capital 1 but I do it with my online bank account. I have several funds. One is a “bill pay” account. This isfor my garbage bill ($100 every 3 mo), water bill, oil changes, tabs…etc. That way when they come due, they are already paid for. I also had (when I was looking for a job) a credit union where I had autmatic deposit to 2 accounts(1 was emergency savings….no dip) and the other dedicated to my next new car ( once car note is paid off, continue saving the same amount every month…so then you sell you car for cash + the money you saved & then you can get your next new car for cash –or close to it. I saved $200/paycheck (q 2 wks paid)—what you don’t see, you don’t miss & can’t spend. It is a little less convenient to take it out, so that helps. I tithe my money & have 3 places where it goes to…a separate account for each.

  24. says

    P.S. I also have a “save to spend” account–that is for saving for bigger things & is available for spending (not like the car acount & emergency money credit union accounts). Right now it is for a major purchase I have to pay for over time…but goal is to pay it off early. I pay nearly everything with credit cards which I treat as debit cards….I enter each purchase in my checkbook. Then I always know “how much money I don’t have” & where my money went. That way you can see what you value. When I come to pay my bill, I check my statement with my checkbook. this way, it looks like I have more in my checking account online than I actually have and my checkbook reflects reality. (One can get $50 in cash & it be gone in 3 days & you don’t know where it went). I only have 3 and I pay each off either just before or just after the statement has posted. They each have rewards. I designate the Discover Rewards to day care.

  25. Littlebvt says

    I COMPLETELY agree with doing the 52 week money challenge starting with $52 then decreasing the amount each week. My friends and I are putting our money in sealed and decorated photo storage boxes which we bought at Michael’s for $2.00 each. We cut a small slit on the top of the box to deposit our money and once it’s in there, it’s GONE until we open our boxes at the end of the year!

  26. stephanie says

    I am on a fixed income so this would be incredibly difficult for me to do. there are months when I barely get to the end of the month with 4o dollars. I have a jar that I put all my change (minus quarters) and what ever is left in my purse at the end of the month. with the brutal cold here in the Midwest most of my money is going towards energy. I am able to save more money in the summer when I don’t have to turn the heat on.

    • Rhonda says

      Stephanie, when I was unemployed a 5 years ago I set up my Capital One Savings account, only it was ING at the time. I was in a similar situation, but felt I should put “something” away every week and I seriously started by only putting $2 a month in the account, sounds stupid, but it got me started. Now that I am employed again I raised that amount up, but my point is don’t get frustrated because you don’t have a large income, what is nice about this account is that they will let you start the account with as little as $5 to begin and will let you put as little as $1 in a month. Another thing that helped me is that I always resolve to put at least 5% of every windfall of money I get (taxes, rebates, birthday, Christmas money) even if it’s only $1 I put 5% of everything in my savings, of course more if I can.

  27. Sheri says

    I just want to take a moment to say thanks to Carrie and all those with such good ideas. IMHO the normal 52 week plan seems like it could hurt people from saving. Because if you can’t make the big amounts you may feel bad about it and put you off from trying a plan of your own. Overall it has good intentions but like every savings plan should be tweaked to each persons saving abilities and budgets. I guess I look at savings plans like diets. Not all diets are one size fits all and neither are savings budgets. One woman mentioned this plan was nothing for her to save based on her budget, others are commenting they save what they can and fill out their savings budget accordingly. Take this 52 week savings as what it is: a good way to get in the habit of saving. IMHO. Again thanks everyone for the great ideas.

  28. says

    funny thing is, someone on my Facebook posted the challenge…and I said the same thing, why not start with week 52? wouldn’t it be easier? everyone knows its harder to save during the winter when bills are higher.

  29. kris says

    For me, a spender, saving in a jar is about seeing physically what my effort amounts to. The jar is the whole thing for me-not just moving theoretical money around in theoretical places. I need it to be actual effort and an actual visual pay off.

  30. Josh says

    A friend mentioned to me that your idea makes even more since when you realize you can use your income tax to take out the biggest amounts. I am so glad I found this. Thank you.

  31. says

    You know, it’s a good idea but there is a problem: a lot of people wouldn’t be able to do it. Mainly because of the account. They, and myself included, need something tangible. I won’t feel like I’m saving anything if I can see or feel it. It would seem like money is just getting taken out of my checking account and disappearing forever. Sure, it would be great at the end of the year, but I would have a feeling of loss for an entire year? No, thank you.
    It IS illogical but I know that I’m not alone in this.

    Aside from that, it’s a great idea to turn it around. Not only because you’ll see results right away, but because people spend less in the beginning of a new year (once all the sales have died down.) We’ve already done all of our shopping and we’re getting taxes done. Money is on our minds. I really like this idea but I think I’ll just pick a solid dollar amount to add to my JAR consistently over the next year. Same result at the end, but it feels a little less daunting of a task.

  32. Azieonnia says

    I dont think you all understand that some people dont have it like that to start with the $52 and go down from there. I am a college student and the way they have it set up originally works PERFECT for me. The money is going towards my Barcelona, Spain trip and the money is due next January so thanks but no thanks I will stick to the way the pintrest post says.
    Just thought I wpuld let you all know that not everyone who plans on doing this 52 week money challenge is in living well off.

    • Lindy says

      I live paycheck to paycheck. I do this challenge twice, one account I started at $52 and the other at $1. I am certainly not “living well off” but I do find this is do-able for me. I think the important part is learning to save.
      I find this savings plan almost “addictive” as I watch both savings accounts grow weekly.
      Good luck with your savings, your studies, and enjoy the Barcelona reward next January!

  33. Dori says

    Just signed up. Love the idea of shopping for presents next year with the money I saved. :)

    Thanks Carrie for the great ideas! I love your emails and website.

  34. lostAnnfound says

    I did this last year at a friend’s suggestion to save up for a trip this year. It was helpful to start off slow because my husband gets laid-off from his job at the beginning of the year and is usually out for 2-3 months during winter (construction), so when less money was coming in I was still able to set up a way to start saving some extra money.

    I did notice (at the end of this savings period) on the printout my friend gave me that there is a discrepancy. The total saved is actually $1,278.00, not $1,378.00.

  35. WC says

    I see the point of if you “have” the money and are disciplined enough to set aside $52-49 in the first two weeks, then yes, do the 52 Week Challenge in reverse. But for those who need to prove they can save and haven’t learned the basics of it, then asking them to set aside $1 is a heck of a lot easier than asking to set aside $52. The immediate results are there, sure, but if you can set aside $52.00 on week 1, chances are you have the financial fundamentals pretty well figured out. I think the reverse 52 WC is great for those who have the discipline, but when I’m teaching financial ed. to adults or high schools, I promote the $1 on week 1, just so they can see how easy it is to implement and do.

    Also, lostAnnfound, I think you’re math is wrong… because it’s definitely $1,378.00. Hope this helps!

    • lostAnnfound says

      Hi WC,

      Thanks for pointing out the math error. It was partly the printout I was going by and partly my math. When I got to week 48 it said I should have $1176.00, but then the following week the sheet I had said $1125.00 should be the total for that week. For whatever reason I could not see the error, even though it was right in front my face! At any rate, I started forward from $1125.00 for the last couple of weeks and thought I should have $1278.00 at the end and so stopped early. I still saved $1278.00 last year, but now that I see the discrepancy I’ll be doing the FULL $1378.00 this year. Thanks!

  36. Allison says

    My sister and I saw this challenge a few weeks ago and have decided this is doable for both of our families, but we want to have the total savings around Thanksgiving so we can use it for Christmas gifts for our children. We are both stay at home moms of 4 children each. Our husbands are both very hard workers, but it is still very difficult to find money at Christmas. This plan is a great idea, and I will be calling her to suggest starting with the larger amount when I complete this post (it will take us some time to make up, since we are making our start be this past November). Thanks for the advice!

    • Helen in CA says

      There’s a variation of this plan called Black Friday Challenge (or something like that). It ends w/ 1600 if started Jan 1. It too is a countdown plan, w/ some modifications (like small savings on tax day). Key to it is to start (or end) w/ $10 instead of $1. If your budget can handle it…..

  37. says

    People should do what works for them. One process will not work for everyone just like exercising to lose weight vs dieting or some combination. Here are some counterpoints that I feel compelled to make.

    With regards to doing it in reverse, I like that idea but there is something to be said for starting slow. Many people are more likely to hold on to something they’ve worked hard for and plinking away a few dollars a week can add up slow but it doesn’t hurt to set it aside. While you haven’t sacrificed as much it has taken time and that often means more appreciation for what you’ve accomplished. Again, it really depends on the individual.

    I really have a bone to pick with your dismissal of using a jar. So, your saying permanent reuse of a jar (of any material) is not appropriate, its better to leave it for consumable things? That sounds like a bit of broken logic to me. Sure some people actually do their own pickling and jams (wish more still did) but it sounds like your suggesting that it is better than we just consume what comes in the jars and dispose of them. Either way your stance is irresponsible. Sorry to be so candid.

    I’ll avoid full conspiracy on the bank suggestion, but seriously there isn’t a whole lot of value in this to me. I’m a proponent of having at least a few hundred dollars around in cash anyway, I think its good practice. Savings accounts don’t provide squat for interest rates anymore especially when you consider inflation of the dollar its kind of like swimming upstream. Having the cash physically in front of you is also much more tangible and for some may be more rewarding as far as seeing their progress.

    Now that I’m done bashing, good article.

  38. Dp says

    I thought the same way but when my friend says its a CHALLENGE than I thought let me see if I can handle it when it gets rough. If some people save up too much too early they are going to spend it in a few months (look how quick folks file taxes and quick to spend it). I think just seeing a little bit in there will make you want the bank look larger. One friend says she put in whatever week and scratch it off. Ex. Wk 1 she used wk32 n scratched off $32 and wk 2 she might have really used $2.However you choose to do it is fine either way, aslong as your saving. Im already a pretty good saver so Im just doing it to save even more

  39. Chris says

    I have never been one to save,,,one of my biggest faults, but after reading this, I think I can do it.. I am a seasonal worker and am laid off right now, so I think I will start small, maybe 25, then when I can I will increase it. Going to come with a plan this afternoon. I have had credit card debt for many years, and in Feberaury, will be free of that, so this will be great. Wish me luck

  40. Maryann says

    I have the CapitalOne 360 account and need to get back to having an automatic deposit from checking put in there. However, I still have (and really like) the big change jar we have at home. Everyone in the family contributes their spare change when they can and we agree on what we’re saving for. One year it was a new kitten, the next it was extra spending money for vacation. Since we all contribute and all have a say in what it’s being used for, it’s that much easier to keep from grabbing a handful of change to spend on coffee or something because it’s not just my money that’s in there. The kids each have their own savings counts, too, but this has been a great visual reinforcement for saving.

  41. says

    Last year I started saving a different way. I didn’t have anything planned out, just wanted some cash on hand when we were low and needed extra money, so I just used it when needed. It worked out well, even allowing us a few hundred at Christmas time since my husband was out of work.

    What I did was when I was out shopping and it asks if you want cash back, I say yes and get $20. I would do this once on every shopping trip (as long as there was enough money in the bank), and since I only go out shopping once every week or two, it worked out well. When your buying groceries, adding anoyher $20 to your weekly/biweekly bill is barely noticeable (except when things are really tight) When I got home I put it in a secret hiding place with the rest of my stash. Since I rarely use cash for anything, it works for me, because I didn’t have it with me while shopping. My husband on the other hand, often uses cash, so he couldn’t know about it. ;)

  42. Leah says

    Well, that’s disappointing, I can’t get a savings account with the above mentioned bank, as I am a Australian and not in the USA………..will have to look into some good savings accounts around here.

  43. krob says

    Why not just be smart, and not waste a year of your life to save a weak $1300+. Take this 52 week challange, actually make it a challange, and make it a 52 days. I started this idea this new years when I heard about it, and completed my “52 DAY challange” just this evening. So this so called “52 day challange” is an 18 day challange for me now. I am a server and collect tips for barely an hourly wage.

  44. Calvin says

    Ok i am a college student, and a reservist here is how i did three 52 week challenges in 1 year. I play the challenge like BINGO, everytime you get paid, or extra money, knock off as many as you can afford too. For example after all my dues are paid i have 300$ bucks well i well keep 200$ for spending and use the 100$ left over to apply to the challenge, in any random order. With this Bingo method you can finish the challenge in about 4 months or less. Even challenge friends thats on your level of savings!

    Another way to challenge yourself and get more moeny than the 1378, is to overpay at times. Iike on week 6-9, 16-19, 26-29, etc, round up to the nearest ten, so you would put in 10$ weeks 6-9, 20$ weeks 16-19, ….. if you cant do it all the time thats fine too. You still seeing results.

  45. Sue says

    I saw this challenge last year, decided to start at $52 for week one and decrease it. I completed the challenge and had fun doing it. I originally kept it in a jar, then when i got $100 or so would put it in the bank, just so I didn’t have the extra money hanging around for temptation. I figured doing it “backwards” would work best because trying to find $200 or so extra around Christmas just seemed daunting. I elected to use a account. Gives you a visual on meeting your goals and if you are using it for shopping can get extra bonus money from electing to get certain gift cards. It was in an interest bearing account but also somewhere hard to get the money out. i was glad to have had it on hand too as I have had several financial issues come up. Using it as an emergency fund helped eased those issues. I am a single mom, did the challenge while paying off several thousand dollars of debt earning about 30K a year. It is a rewarding challenge to know you can save while getting other goals taken care of. I also transfer automatically $60 a paycheck for my “mommy money” I pay myself about .17 and hour to be MOM. I do whatever I want with it and I don’t feel guilty…’s usually pay off more bills but now that most of them are gone the spa once in a while isn’t a killer!! Good luck to everyone trying it!

  46. Renee says

    Thank you for printing this form the way I am doing this savings plan that I found on Pinterest. I’m a bookkeeper and the extra hours I earn at this time of year is more than the rest of the year. One difference in my plan is that on week 27 I’m going to start over at $52. Also, I plan to make all the bigger payments now while I have the money.

  47. Gale says

    I get paid every two weeks so I do my savings combining 2 weeks at a time. I chose to include a week from either end, (1+52, 2+51, 3+50, etc.) This way I save more but dont get hit with 200 at once.

  48. Lindy says

    I have two credit union accounts. One in the city where I live and the other in the city where I used to live. I am doing this challenge in both credit unions. As soon as my direct deposit is made on Fridays, I transfer the money to my saving accounts. The first week, in one of the accounts, I transferred $52 and in the other I transferred $45 (week 1 through week 9). The second week, I transferred $51 and in the other I transferred $10 as on my homemade chart I was on week 10 in that account. In essence, I am saving $53 per week. I find this an easy way to save money. There is no way I could do this if I had to put the actual bills in a jar or a shoe box. That would be too tempting for me! I did this last year from January to the end of June. I used that money to fund the expenses for my wedding (second marriage for us both and very small and casual). My husband and I each put $25 a week in our savings account. It may sound like “small potatoes” to some folks, but it works for us! I just wish I could talk my kids into this type of savings plan.

  49. says

    I am sorry but I just do not want to put my money in one of the “too big to fail banks” that does not pay even an interest rate of 1.00%! I have two different savings accounts; one that pays me 6.00% APY & the other that pays 5.10% APY with direct deposit and only up to the first $5,000.00. But to me that is still better than 0.75%.

  50. says


    This is a great website! I’m fortunate to have found it as I always enjoy different thoughts on money management.

    As the 52 week challenge has taken off for a second year, it is really awesome to see so many people saving…some for the first time ever.

    What I appreciate is all the different ideas people have to save. While I agree I personally prefer to have my money go directly into an account, for those that are new to savings putting it into something in front of them can be very beneficial for them.

    I think if we look at there being different levels of savers, a first step might be to save in a jar. Once comfortable with savings, they could then move to putting it in an account. I’ve been a saver my entire life, but I know for some people it’s a totally new experience for them.

    Anyways, great post, Carrie and I look forward to reading more of your blogs! :)

  51. Erika says

    Great advice!! Love the chart! A group of my friends and I actually did this for 2013 and set up a Facebook group to share extra ways to save. You are absolutely right about the jar on the counter, as well as starting with the smaller amount first. It’s cute but it’s not practical for the purpose of saving.

    Many of us actually, did the traditional order and the reverse in two separate accounts. I used my PNC account and my credit union. I think the option to do either is great for anyone who is not use to saving as long as they use a separate account.

    This year I’m working on adding whatever I save from budgeting as well.

    Glad I found your blog!

  52. says

    I definitely like your style better, but my problem with any 52-week challenge is that it’s not very practical. Most people, including me, get paid bi-weekly. I transfer money to my savings account (I don’t put it in a jar) on payday. But for people new to saving, I think it’s great. Maybe a little too high maintenance, but great. For most other people, they can probably do better than $1,378. Happy saving!

  53. jules says

    Have been doing it this way for 2 years. It’s called the Reverse 52 week Money Challenge :) It’s definitely a no-brainer to set aside the bigger amounts first. As the holiday season approaches, you’ll be happy to just be transferring the lesser amounts to your Capital One 260 account (formerly ING) :)

  54. says

    I like your idea, but why not put it into an online savings account like Barclay’s that gives you .9% interest. This way not only are you saving money, but you are being rewarded to do so!!

  55. Angie says

    Hi Carrie!

    This is great advice, I’m late to the game but will try to catch up putting a portion of my tax return into the 360 savings account I just opened while reading your blog.

    Thank you, here’s to 2014!

    • says

      Angie – Welcome to the party! :) Don’t worry about being “late.’ Just start. Now. Count this week as week 1 and GO. Set up your four weekly transfers for $52, $51, $50, and $49. Then bulk it up even more with your tax refund. That’s my opinion, anyway… :)

  56. says

    Love this idea, I’ve seen this all over but never seen it backwards! Like you said it’s all about the instant results. I have a friend who taped the dollar amounts all over the outside of her jar and each week they just pick an amount to put in. I like this way too even if you don’t do the jar, just keep a list with all the amounts and just pick one each week!?

  57. Monica says

    I started the 52 week challenge late, Feb. 14th. I am super motivated. Even if I get to 1357(week 46) instead of 1378, that is a good chunk of money. We have a few goals, a Florida vacation and moving to Florida. It will put a good chunk towards one of those goals. Thank you for sharing the 52 week challenge. If you haven’t started, I would say go ahead and start now, like we did. When I signed up with the Capital one 360 last week, they are giving $25.00 to open a new savings account.

  58. Marissa says

    I’ve been trying to find an online savings account and the blog author mentioned Capital 360 Savings and many of you did as well… but there are many negative reviews out there for it so it makes me a little nervous. I’ve looked at Ally and same there. It makes me want to stick with AMEX because it seems to have a better reputation? Somebody please correct me if I’m wrong because I love the concept of setting up different savings accounts!!

    • Angel says

      We have accounts at all 3 banks mentioned in this post. We started with CapitalOne360 when it was ING and we loved them then. We have been migrating all of our accounts to Ally for about 1 month so I can’t say much about them yet. I am concerned about CapitalOne as they seem to be doing “maintenance” on their site every Saturday now and I can’t access online banking for hours. The plus side of Ally that we have seen is our direct deposits are arriving sooner. I love that transactions “hit” and are reconciled faster than at CapitalOne. AmEx is our tried and true for savings. I would recommend them to anyone. So far we just direct deposit money to them and haven’t had a problem. We’ve also transferred money out of that account. The rubber meets the road when something difficult happens and the only place that’s been so far is CapitalOne.

  59. Manda says

    I was taking place in the original 52 week program that we were saving away in a box, but we would always go to it and take money out when we needed it. We tried this last year without reaching the end goal because the money was always in the house when we needed a little here or a little there. It was always in the back of our mind that it was there if we needed it. I stumbled upon your blog and something clicked. Of course, why didn’t someone think of this before. DUH! I have opened my Capital One 360 account and can’t wait to start saving. Thanks for the great idea. Have you been able to create a visual yet?

  60. Mona says

    I am doing and have done the challenge but go backwards. The closer you get to Christmas the less likely you are to have the extra cash. It is easy and convenient because you do NOT need to go to the bank. Whenever you get extra cash just pick a week and save it. You will suprise yourself with how quickly it adds up. If you “borrow” from the jar, then leave it with a friends (we have a girl doing this and she is still saves). The important thing to remember is to save money and encourage others to save as well. Good luck everybody!!!!

  61. Christina says

    The weekly interaction is too involved for me. I just set up an automated $115/month transfer into my Capital 360 account. That way I can just set it and forget it. I completely agree that having it separate from your regular checking account is important lest it be used as an overdraft account. If you ever really do need the money for an emergency, you can simply write yourself a check out of the account and deposit into your regular account. A transfer is also possible, but takes several days.

    Another quick savings tip. When you tell yourself you’re “saving” money on something – actually save it! When your grocery store receipt says you “saved” $12.57. Go ahead and do a quick transfer of the amount into your savings account. If you “saved” $10 by bringing your lunch to work, quickly transfer it to your savings account. It adds up!

  62. Felicia says

    I’m confused. The link to the weekly download shows the chart for the original 52 week plan not your backward plan of saving $52 the first week?? Am I looking at something wrong?

  63. MQNIQUE says

    i just set up an acct at its an online (fdic insured) piggy bank. what i love is depending on your goal they offer many incentives to make your money go further. for instance, if your goal is a home improvement project, you can load your savings onto a home depot gift card with a 3% bonus. the percentages vary but making a dollar out of 15 cents just got a little easier. your welcome!

  64. range says

    great advertisement for capitol one…. i have a credit card with them but never use it and no it isnt in my wallet. I have multiple saving accounts, two in which money is deducted twice a month and into separate accounts. one in which I have no access too unless I go to my financial advisor thru work. ive only done it for a maybe year and two months now. my one hundred fifty $ a month deposit has turned into almost twenty seven hundred dollars. my use for the money was for a down payment on my first home. I already have money in an account. that was extra in case I had an emergency and needed to dip into instant savings.

    either way, regardless of your income and abilities to save something each month… it is good to do so. you never know when you will need it. especially car repairs. those can be a pretty penny.

    best of luck to everyone in this crazy financial world :D

  65. Karen Fraser says

    To start off I will say that last year when I heard of the Money Challenge, I knew that I could manage it… we have always been very careful with our money. I consider my family as working class, my husband and I both work, our 3 children still live at home attending University/College, and working. We own our home and have all the typical bills of most families, groceries, electric, cable, insurance, car payments, etc…; I guess you could say that we live modestly. We did have a significant debt at the time as we were still paying off some previous home renovations. I did the Money Challenge for 2013 and continued to save until March 2014 for a trip. I started the challenge in reverse like you suggested, but was laid off my job in the summer and switched to paying the $1 working up until I returned to work in Sept, then went back to making decreased payments. I also doubled the amount each week as to save for both my husband and myself (I manage the banking) I also used a separate savings account with a higher interest rate. We spent 2 weeks in Vegas, with road trips to Salt Lake City, and parts of California fortunately we have friends there and we don’t gamble or drink so that saved us lots of money. I have just paid off my credit card, which I also booked two airline tickets for a long weekend trip for my daughters to visit family this May. I maintained a balance in my savings account representing double the amount for savings for the first 4 months of 2014… so here we go again… saving for a kitchen reno, perhaps. I could have taken my savings account to $0, but it is so satisfying to see the amount of $ grow that I just had to start again. Meanwhile because I have been more careful and more in tune with our banking, credit, and bills I have managed to pay our bills on time, as well as pay down almost all of our debt, and still managed to have a healthy bank account, and to enjoy life. This type of saving principle can work for anyone if you want, even if you put a small amount away each week, or month. A little will go a long way, just stick with it. Good luck and good fortune to all those who try! :)

  66. Jeannie says

    I have $25 per week automatically transferred into a savings account for each of my 2 daughters and I have it blocked so that even I can’t see the balance. Then I have $50 per week transferred into another savings account for the family. Again I can’t see the balance. No one in my family knows about it so it’s a great way to save for Christmas and/or vacations so we aren’t so stressed out when we want to do something. So far I have been doing this for over a year and because I never see it I don’t pay any attention to it. If I can’t see it I’m less likely to need it so this works best for me. Also I’m saving so much so quickly that I’m hoping it will never be used up and eventually it will be a large enough amount to feel like I have accomplished something for my family. So far I have been doing this for over a year and because I never see it I never pay any attention to it. If I can leave it alone until they are grown (one is 12 & the other 14) they might have enough to put a down payment on a house by the time they are in their mid 20’s. My account on the other hand is for emergencies, Christmas and vacations. Just so you know…..I am not wealthy and normally can’t save without having to raid it all the time. It really helped me automatically transferring it and blocking myself from seeing it. Although every now and then I get a message from my credit union that my transfer did not go through because there was no enough money. I just ignore it and it transfers next week without a hitch. I pretend it’s just another bill I have to budget for. Whatever it is, it’s working for me.

  67. says

    This is a great idea! I opened another 360 savings account just to do the 52-week plan backwards. :) I picked an online bank-Capitol One 360 (over my credit union of 24yrs) because the interest rate is so much higher, and it will compound. You get credit for your interest every month and they charge NO fees. This is the first time in my life that I’ve been able to set anything aside-EVER. It feels great-even though it’s starting with only $52.00! :) Happy saving! I want a get-away and a kayak at the end of this year.

  68. Janet says

    I’m alittle late to the game with this being that it’s June, but I am going to start it as if it’s Jan – anything is better than nothing right? I opened my capital one account and will setup my payments once it’s verified. It may be less in the end but it will help towards Christmas shopping!

  69. Noname says

    I also did some modification myself, I deposit in multiples of 10 (i.e. 1st week I deposit 10$, 3rd week i deposit 30$ and so on) it’s really not that hard, basically I just need to have $520 saved up on my bank account, so my first paycheck of January I saved $520 and spent the rest – every week I transfer money from the $520 into my savings account. So that means after my first pay I can spend all of my pay because I already have the money I need to participate in the challenge for the whole year – I am just merely transfering them – and you’ll see that $520 work for you cause at the end of the year that $520 turn into $13780.00 just by you transferring the money.

    That’s why I love electronic banking, blog author is correct – dont save it in a jar, you’ll be tempted to spend it.

  70. kym says

    I did the 52 Week challenge – not the jar – I just transferred the money into my savings from my checking every week. I need that saving for my vacation. Although I started 33 weeks ago, I have $561 for my vacation “spending” money. When I get back, I will start the plan you suggested. It seems painless. Thanks for the suggestion.

    • detoxicated1 says

      l feel as though the 52 week money challenge is pointless and such a small amount. If you do this program for 40 years you’ll accumulate a measley 54,320 $$. Cut your expenses stop shopping for the latest fads and crawl through dirt. That’s what I started to do. I learned to save 200$$ a week and by 40 years that’s 416,000$$

      [comment edited]

      • Rachel says

        For some people, we don’t even make $200 in a week. I work two jobs, pay for my own schooling, and don’t spend on unnecessary items. Even if I were to cut food out of my budget, I still wouldn’t have $200 left at the end of the week. Everyone has different financial needs and nobody should have to ‘crawl through dirt’ to save more money.

  71. Lindsey says

    The capital one 360 looks like a pretty good system, but Smarty Pig ( is a better deal. It is essentially the same thing but they give you a full 1% in interest paid quarterly. The name sounds goofy, but I have been using this for the last few years to save for many things and it is a great tool plus the interest rate is about the best you can find for a savings account.

  72. LC says

    I think what matters is saving, instead of telling someone NOT to save; I do not see the value in telling someone a specific method is not good. Most Americans do not save so saving $52 or $5200 in a year may be a feat AND a huge encouragement to continue saving each year. I did the 52 week challenge outside of my other savings plans and was excited to have $1378 at the end of the year. I have encouraged others to start somewhere…even if it is rolls of quarters every week…that’s $520 to spend on Christmas gifts or get new car brakes!

  73. sonja says

    The whole family is going on a Disney Cruise Sept 2015….. My 52 weeks (reversed) starts Sept 1st …in a few weeks :)

  74. Laura says

    Thays exactly what I did I just flipped the chart around :) savimgs right now is 570 or so I always put a few extra dollers when I have spare money for the week aa well

  75. Elizabeth says

    I like the idea of having it separte from your daily accounts! Some years ago I set up a separte savings acount for my scrapbooking retreats and big purchases! After attending my first out of state 3 day retreat and counting up the costs I was shocked! I wanted to attend again ( a yearly event) but taking that amount of money out of my daily bill money all at once was not possible on a recurring basis! I had $25 from each paycheck (paid every two weeks) deposited onto the scrapbooking account. Also, if I ever loaned someone a few bucks for lunch, etc., when they’d pay me back, I would put that money into the scrapbooking account! It made it very easy for me to attend these scrapbooking retreats because it did not come from my living account. A couple of years ago I happened to look at the account, I hadn’t been spending much on scrapbooking, and I was amazed at the amount that had stacked up! I decided to use it to buy myself a DSLR Canon camera and a telephoto lens! And I still had money left in the account! This past June I used some of it for my spending money on our vacation in Italy. The account is still there, chocking up $50 a month.
    Good luck everyone on your goals!

  76. Joe says

    I take that $25 a week and put it into my Capital One Sharebuilder account. I picked a dividend stock that I liked. Now not am I only building a portfolio but I’m also saving money and because of the dividends earning a substantially higher interest rate. If in an emergency I can always sell the stock…but it also is not immediate cash, plus I have to actually make the effort in selling rather than simply transferring.

  77. PJ says

    What difference does it make if, in the end, you save the same amount of money? Putting in the bank, as opposed to a jar, would probably net you less than 10 cents interest over the course of the year.

  78. Rema says

    I totally do this. My mom gave me R100 the other day because I saved R100 worth of electricity. So I divided up the R100 into 2 weeks worth of money according to the chart and it totally boosted my hope for achieving the 52 week goal and now I have about 400 rand in my jar (I still use the jar because my mom said I’m not old enough to own a savings account) so I’m getting really excited because I’m one step closer to reaching my goal

  79. Kat says

    I’ve been doing the 12 month saving plan. I took the 52 week plan added up the total then divided by 12, rounded up to the nearest dollar, and do one automatic transfer a month of $115. I end up saving $1380 a year, and I really don’t feel the pain at all. I haven’t decided what I’m going to do with the money at the end of the year, possibly as my spending money for a vacation. I’ve been doing something similar to take care of my hockey season tickets and parking for the season. I put $200 a month in a separate acct that I don’t have an atm / debit visa. Every year I could pay my season tickets in full and not scramble around to get some cash to pay for it or put them on a credit card building up debt to pay off..

  80. Tony says

    I call it the reverse money challenge. I started 8 weeks ago and got my two kids involved. The four of us are going on a cruise in January 2016 and they love to spend money as we do. So we started a 60 week challenge. We started putting $60.00 (only $15.00 a piece) then $59.00 and so on. After 8 weeks we already have $452.00 saved. We will have $1830.00 at the end. To the people saying why don’t we just save the same amount each week that add up to the same amount, this keeps the kids involved and they like the whole plan. Either way would work but this makes it a little fun.

  81. Crad says

    I’d did the 52 week challenge last year, and it went well. this year I challenged my self to do it times 4, it’s hard but I only have 5 week left and my gold will be completed. that next 5 weeks is almost $200.00 a week, I just keep telling myself, it still my money and I can use it if I need it..

  82. sheryl says

    The other way may be easier for those of us who work retail because hours drop in the beginning of the year and go up again at the last half of the year.

  83. Rewa says

    FINALLY! Someone else gets what I had been trying to explain to others! When I 1st saw the 52 wk. challenge I immediately thought DO IT BACKWARDS and I did just that last yr. Thanks for explaining so well…now maybe my lovable lunkheads will GET IT!

  84. Charleigh says

    I understand why everyone’s saying you should do it backwards, but it kind of defeats the purpose of the challenge. I mean, there’s pros and cons to both ways but personally I think the original way is better. People say that it’s too hard in the month of December to save up to $52, but if you think about it, if we put money aside each week then we are less likely to spend money on gifts etc. I guess with the reverse way you do get immediate results, but I still believe the original way is better. People are entitled to their own opinions though I guess.

  85. Shari says

    It never made sense to me to do it the small way first. Who has extra money on top of Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas extras? I’m glad I’m not the only one who thinks it would be better to start with the large amount first! If you can’t put anything away in December, better to be short $10 than $200!!!

      • Gina says

        Immediate results. After four weeks I’ll have an extra $202 in the bank. Under the rules of their challenge you would have saved a measly $10. In fact, it’d take you until week 20 to save $200+ under their system. After 4 weeks of doing this the PYD way, you’ll have something real and valuable to show for your efforts. Don’t believe me that immediate results matter? Which 4-week weight loss plan would intrigue you more – one that yields a 1 pound drop or a 12 pound drop? Immediate results motivate.

        This is super confusing. The chart is way easier to follow.

        • says

          You’ll want to read more into the post. It gives some very detailed instructions on how to do this. Pretty much we are saying to do the challenge backwards. It gives you more immediate results and it leaves you with more money at the end of the year, which is helpful considering there are a lot of expenses during the holidays.

  86. Cat says

    My main problem with the 52-week money challenge–that is not in fact alleviated by the corrections offered here–is that it requires a weekly income that leaves you up to $52 TO SPARE. I don’t fail to save because my method isn’t fun enough; I fail to save because my income doesn’t pay me enough to do much more than survive.

    • Elizabeth says

      Hi I saw one where people split it. Stated at one, then 2, then 3 etc and at week 26 stated going back down. You never need more than 26 a week and it helps around christmas. Hope that helps

  87. mark lybarger says

    i have a capital one account(s). i looked into setting up this backward tiered savings plan, but it looks like i’d have to log in and change it each week. they don’t let me step down the contributions automatically. bummer.

    someone else pointed out that 25/week is a about the same in the end, but that’s not the point of the backward plan (large immediate results).

    i really wish this idea worked out of the box…

  88. Doug says

    I think it would be easier to do a set amount each day and if you have an on line checking/savings account transfer it each day into your savings account ! Set you our goal and go for it

  89. averageadolescence says

    Some say that the 1378 won’t last long. I agree for adults. However, for teens, this is great. As a teen without a job, its hard to come up with the amounts sometimes. When I do this this year, I plan on checking off he weeks I can do and for the 30- 50 I plan on trying to do half sure I won’t get all the money, but I will get almost all.

  90. kiralee says

    My husband and I did this challenge last year. We put our spin on it. We competed to see who could save the most. When we went to the store instead of tension as to whether we could afford extras and splurges, we would joke and say things like “go for it cause I want to win.” Kept it fun and helped to curb frivelous spending. The loser had to plan a date night! We found ourselves looking to put more in the jar instead of spending. Lol

  91. Jacqueline says

    It doesn’t matter if you save it on the counter or in the 360 at Capital one. Just try to save somthing and have fun doing it. Some people take the simplest thing and turn into (-) when it a (+) no matter which way you do it. I’m going to convert my bad spending habit on lottery to this; at least in December I will have somthing other than none winning loto tickets.

  92. Kelli Harrison says

    I haven’t read all of the comments – but another way to do this – if you don’t use a bank –

    Get 52 envelopes…. and if you have more money one week than another – fill the amount on the front and set that envelope aside.
    If you put more into an envelope than you are ahead of the game.

    Lots of different, simple and creative ways to save a little money !

  93. dave hannum says

    Here is something I did and was amazed at how much money I was able to save and realize how much I was spending on breakfasts, coffees, and lunches during the work week (and I’m an investment guy!).
    I made a conscious effort to stop spending money for breakfasts and lunches and hit up the office coffee pot instead. Anytime I made my own breakfast or brought lunch, I would put half of what I typically spend into a jar. (I figured the other half would cover the cost of my ‘home’ meals). I did this for 11 months this year and stopped in December. The idea was to use the funds for Christmas. I ended up with $1,400 and also ate much healthier in doing so. Christmas was pretty much paid for and now will try to completely stop eating out during the work week (unless of course my employer is picking up the tab).

  94. sandy says

    I found it too hard at the end to save a large amount every week, actually even by the middle I was struggling. So I not only started backwards but flip flopped. Week 1 $52, Week 2 $1, Week 3 $51, Week 4 $2… It gave me a break every other week and still had $106 in savings at end of first month

  95. Gretchen says

    My 9 year old daughter did the version that starts with .25 cents last January. She is now standing in front of me with a fist FULL of $$. Now she can put it in a real savings account but the visual of a stack of money really is impressive.

  96. says

    I’m a count down kind of person and this method of starting big with 52 bucks this week, 51 next etc… really resonated with me. Thanks! and honestly, i was thinking, “gosh” what if I am unable to save that at the end of next year. Seriously, the holidays can get pricey. Starting with the big amount, post holiday, ensures that November and December will be manageable.

  97. Keith says

    I think Im gonna try my own variation of this …. with my job I get paid every 2 weeks, if you take the total amount and divide by 52 comes to $53. so Im going to transfer $53 every pay over to savings so by the end I have the total $1378 in there (that would be in addition to the amount that is already in there PLUS the $1 for every debit card transaction my bank transfers over as well.

  98. Rachel says

    I love things that help me put away money, and the 52 week savings challenge is one of those things. However, it’s silly for my to open additional savings accounts for what is supposed to remind me to save my money. Seeing the jar on my shelf each day is my reminder to not spend so much. Also, as a student, who works two jobs, most of the money I save comes from tips. If I have money pulled from my checking account, it just forces me to make extra trips to put my cash into the bank.

  99. Suzy says

    It comes out exactly the same at $1378 savings. The only difference is that you have more money sooner than later but in the end the savings is the same?

  100. says

    I like the idea, I am going to try something else a little different instead of doing a set amount each week or month I am going to put away all I save from coupons shopping online, in store, groceries you name it what even the amount is I am going to track it monthly and then transfer this amount to my saving account. Even if its a dollars less it a less than the full price. It should not be difficult to do especially since most receipts give you this amount of saving for that visit. For example I saved $35.00 total today on just one item. Instead of paying 79.99 for a pair of shoes I paid 44.99 can’t beat that. If I save 2-10.00 on say 6 items in a week that adds up over an entire month. Good Luck Everyone.

  101. James says

    I did the 52 challenge last year. I didn’t see a problem with it. What difference does it take how long it takes to get $202? It’s a 52 week challenge, not 4 week challenge. I think the idea of the original challenge is to ease people into saving money.
    Now that I’m used to putting money in savings every week, I will continue with a set amount each week this year.

    • says

      Hi James. Glad to hear you were successful last year. We like it this way because you aren’t ponying up big money during the holidays, which is when people spend the most during the year.

  102. Carolynn says

    We are doing it differently from anyone else. $200 for either the first month or the last is hard (December is Christmas shopping!) Those “middle months” tend to be the ones with the extra bucks. We are “odd numbers” to July, then reversing back to December. $1 week one, $3 week two, $5 week three, $7 week four etc to $51, then $52 and back down. Although I see your point about being tempted to spend, we (and others) have actually found people spend less when they have to physically take it out of somewhere (jar, envelope, etc.). It’s way too easy to spend out of an account. There’s too many strings attached to certain savings options that can eat up the funds in fees. Jar for me!

  103. Lisa says is also a great place for savings account. They pay higher interest and give the “distance” you’re talking about as it takes a few days to transfer to and from.

  104. bumrocky says

    Even better, just have $100 direct deposit from your paycheck to the Capital One account every pay day. That comes to $2600 (assuming biweekly paychecks). If weekly, then do $50.

    Because it’s out of site, I never see it in my checking, so it doesn’t get spent.

  105. Alan says

    How about a bit of a compromise? Put aside $30 (or £30) each week if you can stretch to that – and give yourself 2 weeks as ‘free’ weeks. You can use these whenever you like, if you have any emergencies and can’t save that week, or you could save them up until the last 2 weeks of the year so you don’t have to save when you are stretched. If you manage $30 for 50 weeks, you’ve saved $1,500. Just a thought…… :)

  106. Manny says

    I am going to do the challenge in reverse. When December 2015 arrives, I will take the money & purchase small quantities of tax liens in my local county in Florida. (It can be done online now). The state of Florida issues me / us a tax lien certificate where if the property owner doesn’t pay, then the property becomes mine after 2 + years. If the property owner wants to keep his property, he will pay 18% or more to satisfy my lien certificate. Banks are paying you 1% on your money that you put in while the state pays 18%. Which way gives you a bigger return? That 2 to 3 year wait is the same wait that you will be doing when you put money in a 401K. You put it in & forget about it as you let an investment guy manage your 401K. That 401K only gives you a 4 to 5% return. Do the tax lien & get 18% return. Money will grow faster.
    If that person who owes property tax don’t want the hassle, you may get a property for cheap. Example, a 2 bedroom townhouse valued at $89,000 has a property tax not paid of $1150. The owner fell on hard times & went into foreclosure. Other neighbor bought it for $25000 on a short sale & paid the past due property taxes on it. He can sit on the piece of property & rent it out for $900 / month & make his money back in 2-1/2 years or sell it for $45,000 or $55,000 or 70,000. So many options. If you don’t want to be an owner, just keep buying new tax liens & make 18% each time.

  107. Joan says

    I am doing this backwards and just subtracting the amount out of my checkbook register each week. (Yes, I still use a checkbook register!) Leaving it in the account and will still earn interest on it.

  108. Toby says

    Or you can do it my way double the amount every week 1 dollar 1st week 2 dollars the next week 4 dollars 3rd week keep doing this up until you can’t save any more and start all over its not a 52 week challenge but your still saving money. I would only be able to save up to week 9 or week 10 and I get the the same amount of money in a shorter amount of time. Instead of taking a year to save the 1,000 or so it would only take 11 to 12 weeks

  109. Brian Ries says

    An idea I did was eliminate a bill or bills that wasn’t a necessity. Since use to that money being gone, setup a savings account putting that money aside. A lot of things we pay for are wants not needs. I’m now saving $125/wk and it hasn’t affected my normal life…. All money I was spending elsewhere but could live without. Now have emergency funds / vacation money. The family will enjoy that more then I was. Thinking I’ll role my raises from work into it as well.

  110. Victor says

    I disagree. Start saving small on the start of the year, when money is tight from holiday bills, and the big amounts at the end of the year when people usually have bonuses and are more likely to overspend. Also, if you have to save for emergency funds and deductibles and you have a family, it was irresponsible to start that family without having the money saved or a good source of income in the first place. Having the bulk of the money in the jar right away means you are more likely to dip your dirty fingers in there and take money out.

  111. says

    Capital One is about the weakest of the “high interest” online savings account. American Express and GE offer higher interest rates for the same service (over .9%).

  112. Nancy Foote says

    I did this challenge last year with great success. In the summer I borrowed money from it to take on a cruise but immediately paid it back. I am doing it again this year although am putting the amount in monthly rather than weekly. I have it hidden away. I have a friend doing it too but she is doing the way you suggested. It’s a fun challenge.

  113. Trisha says

    So my problem with the whole working backwards thing is that I work retail. Peak seasons are October November and December when people start doing their Christmas shopping. I get 30+ hours a week then. But on off seasons like right after January February March september etc. I am lucky to get one day. So no, I actually will be able to afford dropping $50 every week during that time. But the point of doing it this way is to get people to slowly look at how to start saving. You compared it to weight loss. But just like that, loosing 12 pounds the first week vs 1 pound is going to draw an appeal, but the results are only temporary. (I should know I’ve probably tried every crash diet there is. They don’t work very well the more weight it claims to lose)When you start slow then it is easier to maintain it. Spending habits are just that. Habits. Just like smoking cigarettes, you cut back slowly so you don’t go into withdrawl and end up worse then before.

    If a person sees all this money saving progress and they are a “shopaholic” they may be tempted to think: oh I’m doing good. So I’ll just take some money and go shopping.
    But if there is no results at first then they’ll think to leave it alone.

    The idea is for you to start looking at how your spending your money. If you don’t know what you are doing, then $52 the first week looks intimidating. But $1 and $2 is less scary.

    But here’s something else. I set this money aside while I do my regular savings and pay bills. Who couldn’t use an extra $1300 at the end of the year. It’s a nice surprise honestly.

  114. ryanrudolf says

    i’ve also started doing the 52 week money challenge. 2 things –

    1. instead of jar, i use empty pringles can. PHP100(around $2) every week
    2. i also setup automatic transfer of PHP10,000 (around $200) every month to my stocks account and buy stocks

  115. Betty says

    I just started trying this challenge in January but I’ve been trying it as an extra savings outside of my regular monthly bank account savings and I have to admit, it’s too much as an extra, especially when I get above $25 a week. Still trying though. I can see the point of reversing it, as we generally have more money earlier in the year than towards Christmas. Either way is good and totally depends on each person’s budget.

    I am using the 25 cent, 52-week challenge successfully as an extra savings. (25 cents week 1, 50 cents, week 2, etc). This one I have designated to my annual bead shopping trip. The money comes from whatever is leftover from my weekly spending allowance. This is going well and if I can keep it up for the next 9 months, it will be a fun trip.

  116. DawnK says

    My credit union is participating in a program called “Save To Win”…. it is a CD that is accessible once a year on the origination date. You can leave it in & roll into another year’s period. You can take some or all out on the anniversary date. This
    account also, believe it or not, enters you in a monthly lottery every time you make a deposit of $25 or more. Unlike the usual CD, you make ongoing deposits and you can take all out on the anniv. date (even if your last deposit was a week ago). It earns minor interest however, it keeps it out of reach until you really need it. I started it last April and this April was able to use it for my HOA fee that is due once a year.

    Right now, this is only available in 4 states. I did use it like the 52-week challenge, but just made sure at least the $25 was deposited each time and at least once a month.

    This year, I am going to try the 52week challenge in reverse. Especially if deposited in an interest-bearing account, you will earn more than the $1378.
    Maybe not much, but it will also be “out of reach”….

  117. Lucie says

    I love those types of challenges, however for us, as seasonal workers, we get more money in Spring and Summer, less in Fall and Winter. It also fluctuates due to the weather and workload.
    So I printed a sheet on which I have all kinds of amounts with a checkbox beside it. On the weeks where I can budget to put more I check off the bigger amounts, leaving the smaller ones for the weeks where money is tight.
    For example, on weeks we are making overtime, I take the OT amount and check off that amount from the list. If we hold a yard sale, I do the same.
    The other thing helping me is that I don’t keep the money at home, I have a place where I can stash it so that I can’t access it until its due time in December.

  118. Jo says

    hi Carrie

    Thanks for the article, I’m using tins that you can’t get into without a can opener. I like the account ideal but due to my grandad loosing his money in the 80s crash with high interest savings, my dad with the mis-selling of pensions etc I’m not overly keen on high interest rates and banks Lol skeptical!

    I’ve had a house fire too (new tesco toaster set fire to the house) my tins where ok thankfully .. So figured I’d have tins and try your link .. Covered both eventualities :0)

    Thank you for all your hard work


Speak Your Mind

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *