How to Save over $1,000 with the 52-Week Money Challenge

Money-Saving Tip

Save over $1,000 with this 52-Week Money Challenge!

Need some help getting in the habit of saving money? Check out this money challenge!
(Original posted January 18, 2018 — updated December 27, 2020.)


The 52 Week Money Challenge is a great challenge that will get you in the habit of saving money. You could use it as one of the steps in our post, 3 Steps to Help You Save Money.

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What is the 52-Week Money Challenge? 

Just in case you haven’t, here’s the premise of the challenge.  You start in January and save the amount of the week number that you are currently in.  For example, you would:

  • Save $1 in Week One.
  • Save $2 in Week 2.
  • Save $3 in Week Three and so on until the last week where you would save $52.
  • At the end of the 52 weeks, if you followed the savings plan, you would have a total in savings of $1,378.


It’s a habit-forming challenge that in the end will leave you with a pretty good amount of money in savings.  You could use this money to start an emergency fund.  You could roll the money forward into saving for a vacation next year.  You could use it to buy Christmas gifts.  You could add it to your IRA account.  Whatever the reason, it is a GREAT challenge to get you started saving money.

The Down-Side of The 52-Week Money Challenge

There is a down-side to the 52-Week Money Challenge.   

In the last four weeks of the year, you would be putting $50 plus in savings each week.  For some, this is going to make an already tight budget even tighter especially when you are thinking about the holidays and don’t necessarily want to put money into savings.

There are some ways to get around the down-side of saving a large amount of money at the end of the challenge. Check out out some of the ways we’ve come up with to make the 52-Week Money Challenge work for you.



How to make the 52-week money challenge work for you

Take care of the larger amounts when you have the extra cash. 

Print off the challenge and then work the plan according to your extra cash for that week.  For instance, if you come into an extra $103 in cash in February.  Go ahead and put that in savings and cross off the $51 and $52 amount on the challenge.  Save the smaller amounts for the months when you know that money is going to be tight.

Work the plan in reverse. 

Stick to the schedule the way it is but save the larger amounts first.  This way in December you won’t have to put as much into savings.

Set up automatic savings for the same amount each week.

This is the one we are going to do this year.  You would need to save $26.50 each week to get to $1,378 in December.  Set up the amount to be automatically transferred from your checking account to your savings account. 

Just make sure you have the money in your checking account on the day of the transfer.  Don’t be tempted to withdraw it and put it back into your checking account.  It defeats the purpose of the challenge if you do.

Make a game of the challenge. 

Make a game of the challenge with your spouse or significant other.  Not married or have a significant other?  No problem.  Get a friend to the challenge with you and make it a game to see who can finish the challenge and save the most.  The prize could be a gift card to the winner or a fancy meal.

To help you get started…

We made a simple printable of the original 52-Week Money Challenge that you can download.  Download and print the pdf and then each week mark off the “Week Number” when you put the money into savings.

The point is to just start saving

A lot of people don’t have any savings whatsoever. 

The 52-Week Money Challenge is a way to get people in the habit of saving.  Whether you choose to follow the original plan or work the plan to how it is more convenient for you, just start saving. 

Get in the habit of saving money and stick to it!



Are you going to try the 52-Week Money Challenge?  We’d love to hear from you. Leave us a comment and let us know if this something you might try!


Written by Jen T. Locke

Owner/Writer The Frugal Housewife

Jen T. Locke is a God fearing, Jesus loving wife, mom, and grandmother
who loves to share her love of Jesus and money-saving tips and ideas with you.


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