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Kick a Financial Field Goal with the 52-Week Money Challenge!

Kick a Financial Field Goal with the 52-Week Money Challenge!

We don’t know about you; but, we’re still going gaga over that epic Super bowl Sunday comeback (see what we did there?!) and the fact that football season has come to a close for another year. All of that on-field action certainly has ignited our competitive spirits.

But, since there will be no more inner-office fantasy football league action until next year, we’re going to try to channel some of that energy into one of our goals for the year – kicking a financial field goal and saving some major money in 2017!

To build up the best possible offense for this financial play, we are turning to a savings plan that has become quite popular over the last few years, the 52-week money challenge.

The 52-week what?!

Since there are 52 weeks in a year, the challenge is a money-savings program designed for a long-term build-up of your finances – you know, in case you’ve got future goals like building or buying a home, taking a trip or sending your children off to college.

However, unlike a 52-yard field goal, which may be difficult for even the most talented professionals, the 52-week money challenge can be completed by practically anyone!

Here’s how easily it works:

Beginning with any week in the year, you set a weekly savings goal. If you haven’t had much luck with saving money in the past, be sure to start small, because this targeted savings goal amount will increase for the remaining 51 weeks of the program!

For example, start by saving $1 during the first week of the challenge. Save $2 during week 2; save $3 during week three… are you starting to get the picture? You’ll continue to increase your weekly savings goal until you reach week 52, where you’ll save $52.

It may not sound like much, but if you start by contributing only $1 during week one of the 52-week money challenge, you would save $1,378 after one year!

If you’ve got loftier savings goals and can afford to contribute more each week, chip in an extra dollar for each person in your family. A family of four could save $5,512 in a year’s time!

In theory, the 52-week money challenge sounds easy enough, right? But, there are a few ways to tackle it to ensure you don’t end up falling just short of the goal posts at the end of the challenge:

1. Don’t Force Yourself to Have Cash. If you don’t typically carry cash around, you probably won’t start doing so just for the sake of the challenge. Instead of worrying about having the money in hand, transfer your weekly savings amount electronically.

2. Make it Difficult to Access Your Savings. Since you’ve already cracked open the piggy bank that your grandmother got you when you were 10-years-old, move your weekly savings into a bank account that is difficult to withdraw from. Depending on the type of account you choose, you may be able to make additional funds off of interest that accrues over the year.

3. Create an Anticlimactic Challenge. If you have concerns about building up to that daunting 52nd week, where you’ll need to contribute the most toward your savings, start out big and decrease your contributions throughout the year. If you’re planning to start now, you’ll be much more relieved once the holiday season rolls around next year and you’re contributing on the lower end of the savings spectrum each week, rather than more toward the maximum amount.

Whether you’re able to save $1,378, $5,512 or hit another personal savings goal, the 52-week money challenge is a great way to keep your savings goals in the front of your mind for an entire year. Now, go be a 52-week money challenge MVP and tackle what you might do with all of your savings!

This post is sponsored by PA Preferred Mortgage:

Pennsylvania Preferred Mortgage is a full service mortgage banker and is a member of the Prosperity Home Mortgage, LLC family. Specializing in residential and refinance loans, Pennsylvania Preferred Mortgage offers a wide range of mortgage products, including fixed and adjustable rate mortgages, jumbo loans, Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and Veterans Affairs (VA) loans, and renovation financing. Learn more at www.papreferredmortgage.com.