My (Reverse) 52 Week Money Challenge

My 52 Week Money Challenge

I’m not sure when it was that the 52 Week Money Challenge came about but I know that it became very popular last year. Many bloggers and YouTubers were jumping on the bandwagon and after watching one too many YouTube videos on this subject, I decided to give the challenge a go as well. I discussed my intention for the challenge with LeGeeque and she showed me this article that was written by a blogger which was on the reverse version of the 52 Week Money Challenge and why the original challenge doesn’t really work.

Before I talk about my experience with the challenge, I thought I’d give you a brief description of the challenge. It’s essentially a money saving project where you save the amount of money corresponding to the number of weeks in the year. For example, on the first week of the year, you’ll save $1. Second week, $2. Tenth week, $10. On the 52nd week, you’ll save $52. You get the gist. That’s the basis of the original 52 Week Money Challenge.

I didn’t end up doing the original 52 Week Money Challenge but did the reverse version instead because come December, it will be a lot of money to save, especially on a month where I’ll be spending the most. It made more sense to me to do the reverse version and to start saving $52 on the first week of the new year, $51 on the 2nd week and so on.

The Reverse 52 Week Money Challenge

A lot of people who did the challenge saved the money physically in a jar or money box. I started a new bank account called “The 52 Week Money Challenge” account because 1) it was easier for me to set up automatic transfers to the account and 2) I’d be able to accrue interest. Of course, given that it’s not a lot of money to begin with, the interest accrued isn’t going to be a lot but hey, something is better than nothing, right? Also, when it came towards the 30th week, I changed the rules of the challenge and ended up saving $30 a week up to the 52th week instead of going down the week number.

By the way, the 52 Week Money Challenge isn’t the only way I save money. I have money saved from my income every month which goes to another account separate from the challenge. That’s not to be touched and is for emergencies only. The extra savings that comes from the 52 Week Money Challenge would go towards funding a new bag.

Y’see, I’m a bit of a bag lady. As much as I love makeup and all that, I love bags even more. Admittedly, I do buy a 2-3 each year and have run out of space for them in my small home. So, on January 2014, I set myself this 52 Week Money Challenge to only buy ONE bag when the challenge is over. As you can imagine, it will be quite an expensive bag but it will only be one bag nonetheless. I’m not to buy a single bag throughout the entire yet until the challenge is over. It doesn’t matter if a bag is only $10; I cannot buy one.

It was a challenge of perseverance because it was tough looking at so many gorgeous bags during the mid-year sale and not being able to buy a single one. Thankfully, I had LeGeeque as my personal cheerleader who told me to keep my eyes on the prize. It was hard. I know it sounds really frivolous (“geez, it’s just a bag!“) but for someone like me who loves new bags, it was very hard to say no to new ones. It’s like new and gorgeous makeup that you really, really want but cannot get. Not because you cannot afford to but because you’ve set yourself a challenge not to. Even if it costs only $10.

The challenge officially ended on 4 January 2015 for me and to tell you the truth, the thought of completing the year-long challenge felt pretty damn good. I haven’t gotten anything with the money I saved yet; in fact, the thought of persevering and not giving in to temptations throughout the year made me feel even more excited than getting the actual bag. It taught me a big lesson in perseverance. It could be a bag, it could be money towards a holiday, it could be savings towards a house, towards your kids’ education, etc … the point is, if you wanted something that badly, you’d work even harder towards it. And I did. It became more of a life lesson than just a challenge to get a bag.

Coins saved in a biscuit tin

This isn’t part of the money challenge but I have a biscuit tin of loose change that I added to the bag fund as well. I hate carrying loose change with me so at the end of each day, I’d empty my wallet of coins into the biscuit tin. When the tin is full, all I have to do is deposit those coins into my bank account. I didn’t even realised that I saved about $500 in loose change alone!

I haven’t gotten the bag yet as I’m still deciding on which one to get but when I do, I’ll definitely show you. Will I show it off? HECK YES. I worked damn hard for it. 😛

I highly recommend doing the 52 Week Money Challenge or any sort of money-saving challenge this year. Give yourself a goal to save towards. E.g. say you want to save an extra $1000 a year and treat yourself to something lovely by the end of it. If you tend to spend a lot of money on makeup, stop buying new makeup for one year and then treat yourself to one super fancy item when the year is over. Keep your eyes on the prize and don’t give in to temptations mid way. That feeling of achievement at the end of the challenge is absolutely exhilarating.

I’ve started a new 52 Week Money Challenge for 2015. If you’re doing the challenge too, come join me and we’ll hold each other accountable. Remember to keep your eyes on the prize and good luck!

Are you doing the 52 Week Money Challenge or any sort of money-saving challenge this year? What’s your goal?

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24 comments… add one
  1. LeGeeque

    I’m so excited for you 🙂 I can’t wait for you to pick your bag 🙂 And whatever bits and bobs extra you will get 😀

    1. Tine

      I’m actually quite excited for the bits and bobs! 😀

  2. Jess @ Miss J. Shopaholic

    Yay!! Well done my dear! Let’s go shoppingggg!!!
    Jess @ Miss J. Shopaholic recently posted..Hello and Quick Update!My Profile

    1. Tine

      CAN’T WAIT!!!

  3. Kat Ness

    Well done on achieving your goal! I have two real savings accounts (as well as the acc I get paid into) and one is for my personal expenses/bills and the other is putting money away for myself. For the past 3 years, I paid off my giant uni loan every fortnight and this week, I completely plaid it off!!! It feels awesome! =)
    Kat Ness recently posted..A Smooth Flawless FinishMy Profile

    1. Tine

      WOOHOO congratulations! That’s a huge achievement! 😀

  4. Paris B

    Can’t wait to see which bag you decide to get! You know me, I’m a bag lady too – I get unhealthily excited about new bags vs new makeup any day 😉 I think this is a good savings challenge and yes, the reverse 52 week challenge makes more sense. I won’t participate, primarily because to be honest, while RM1k+ is a lot of money, it can’t buy me any of the bags I’m eyeing >.< So for those who live in countries where your money gets you less, I'd actually recommend multiplying the recommended amount by 10. It'll get you further 😛 Oh and locally also, we would hit a snag because with CNY looming at the beginning of the year, the money will flow out quickly too. I guess we'll have to adjust for ourselves 🙂

    As for how I save, I have a separate savings account. Before, I used to be very particular about what I wanted to save for, e.g. a holiday/bag, get the cost, divide it by 12 and then put aside that amount every month which I'd track in a spreadsheet. It worked. I saved a lot of money, and ended up not getting anything because I couldn't bring myself to spend the hard earned cash LOL So I ended up buying stocks instead – and made more. So well… that's the way it goes 😉 These days, without a truly steady income stream, I just set aside money as and when I have it, but I make sure I do, or I invest them. Old habits die hard 🙂
    Paris B recently posted..Revitalize and pamper your skin while you sleep with the Sulwhasoo Overnight Revitalizing MaskMy Profile

    1. Tine

      I wish I had the balls to invest in stocks and shares. I’m such a terrible risk-taker; I’m okay not making much money but I cannot bear to lose it. Terrible, right? So kiasu.

      Oh yeah, CNY would be our version of Christmas! Lots of money going out, not much coming in 😛 Oh that’s a great idea to multiply that amount by 10, or at least wait till past mid year (the first month is going to be a tough one if one doesn’t make a lot of money. My old engineer’s pay would never be able to allow it).

      1. Paris B

        I’m very risk averse too so I have a very small stock portfolio but I go for good stocks. It helped of course that I jumped in when the market was low or when prices dip. I don’t really sell, but dividends do pay off and bring in nice little surprise money once in a while 🙂 Research of course is key, and I’m kind of lucky I have others do it for me and I just pick their brains. Thank goodness for family haha 🙂
        Paris B recently posted..Revitalize and pamper your skin while you sleep with the Sulwhasoo Overnight Revitalizing MaskMy Profile

  5. Norlin

    Hmm…wonder if I should take up this challenge! I’ve missed the first two weeks…so do I just add that on to the third week? Meaning I add an extra $3 on top of the $3 of the third week on Jan?
    Norlin recently posted..Friday’s Favourites: Things That Made Me Emotional This WeekMy Profile

    1. Tine

      I didn’t actually start on the first week of 2014 when I started this challenge but on the 3rd or 4th week. What you can do is either add the extra amount on top of that or bring it forward to the next year. Up to you!

  6. swati

    hey Tine!! I have been waiting for this post!! so, I love the idea, first and foremost and I am thinking fo saving in multiples of 100 indian currecy instead. Well, obviously Dollar exchange is not gonna work out for me!!

    And, I totally love the idea of the coins part. I have soooooooooo much of change at home which we are forever moving from here and there and most of it is in a cup so I think it is time to fill it up, count it and chuck it into the account without a second thought!

    and, we have a doremon bank (piggy bank) also at home where hubs puts the money for me specially. i can use it in any way i want! we love that idea and have been doing it since almost a year! saved almost 8-10k that way. not spent on anything specifically yet, though! i am thinking of getting an AIR so may be will be spending for it. and, since I started blogging full time sometime back, it has not yet become self-sustained so have to work towards it as well so i can actually save more money!!
    swati recently posted..Boating, Tummy Bulge and Meals {Health}My Profile

    1. Tine

      Glad you enjoyed it! Oh yeah I forgot to mention on the post for different currencies. For smaller currencies, I’d do it in multiples. Say if I was still living in Malaysia, I’d be saving RM10 instead of just RM1.

      Hahaha you have a proper piggy bank! I used to have that when I was still living with my folks. Like a proper honest to goodness pig piggy bank 😛 Now it’s just a biscuit tin. LOL!

  7. Jessica

    I love love love love LOVE this idea!

    1. Tine

      Haha glad you love it! Me too! 😀

  8. Rachel

    I love this idea. The reverse seems so much more doable. I think this will be my ‘new kitchen mixer fund’ haha
    Rachel recently posted..Empties: 2014 Skincare And Body ProductsMy Profile

    1. Tine

      Oooh I’d love to see your kitchen mixer when you do get it! Sounds like it’s going to be a fancy one! 😉

  9. Giddy tigress

    What a coincidence! I was just gonna post about this too cos I just started it this year. I contemplated doing the reverse version but figured I will start with conventional first because I hope to make more by the end of the year! Money flows out equally as much at the start and end of year because we celebrate both Christmas and CNY. I might put it into savings midway through the year though.

    I’ve gotten my kids to start too. They save in increments of 20 cents per week 🙂
    Giddy tigress recently posted..The Battle Between Antioxidants & Free Radicals – Make Sure the Antioxidants WIN!My Profile

    1. Tine

      Oh yeah, that’s true. Christmas and CNY can be pretty tough financially. Over here, CNY is just another day so there’s hardly any celebrations. Save money on angpows too. 😛

      That’s a great idea, getting the little ones to save as well. 🙂

  10. Joyce (bronzerbunny)

    I was really thinking about doing this this year… I hate cash but I also hate constantly transferring to accounts, so I haven’t quite started yet! Argh!
    Joyce (bronzerbunny) recently posted..Pops of PinkMy Profile

    1. Tine

      I hate constantly transferring account too so what I do is that I take 30 mins out and schedule at least 3-4 months worth of savings over to my Bag Fund. I make a note in my diary the day I need to make the next batch of scheduled transfers. This way, I don’t have to worry about needing to transfer the money every week!

  11. Sam Bear

    This is a great idea! Normally when I have something to save up for (eg: Holiday/gifts/Lemmings) I set a deadline – for holidays it’s not an issue as the deadline is when I intend to purchase the tickets. For other things I just set an arbitrary date (eg: six months from now! or three weeks from now!) and between now and then I divide the cost of the item across the number of days/months that I have to save. So for example, a $2000 holiday in 6 months will be $333.33 per month until the end of the period.
    Its a pretty harsh way of saving but at the moment my expenses are limited and I can suck up not eating out for six months lol.
    Sam Bear recently posted..Things I wish I knew when I was 18My Profile

    1. Tine

      It’s a great way of saving! That’s how we do it too; decide on a budget for the holiday (incl. flights, accommodation, food, shopping, accidentals, etc) and divide the months up on how much to save per month leading to the holiday. 🙂

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