The 52-Week Money Challenge Explained

September 7th, 2020

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Saving money is easier said than done, and that’s particularly true if you don’t have a strategy to guide you.

Fortunately, there’s more than one way to make progress. That’s where the 52-week money challenge comes into play.

It sounds complicated on the surface, but once you understand how it works you’ll find yourself in a position to take advantage and hopefully boost your financial well-being in the process.

So, What is the 52-Week Money Challenge?

A quick Google search for “52-Week Money Challenge” will turn up all the information you need, along with plenty of first-hand stories, advice, strategies, and more.

We’re here to break everything down for you, as to ensure that you’re able to take advantage should you be interested in doing so.

Remember above when we said that there’s nothing complicated about this challenge? Let’s dive into that.

Here’s all you need to know: for each week in the challenge, you save that amount of money. For example:

  • Week 1: $1
  • Week 2: $2
  • Week 3: $3

You’ll eventually find yourself at week 52, during which time you’ll save $52. If you’re successful in making it to the end, you’ll have $1,378 to show for it.

Why Does it Work?

The first thing you’ll notice about the 52-week money challenge is the ability to start small. You only need $1 in week one to kick things off.

With this approach, you’ll find yourself gaining momentum as the weeks go by. And as this happens, your balance will grow and you’ll become more confident in your ability to successfully reach the end of the challenge.

Another reason it works so well is the structure and organization. When you don’t have a plan guiding you - but instead do nothing more than set an end goal - it’s easy to stray.

But with the structure of the 52-week money challenge, you know exactly what you need to do. You can even take this to the next level by transferring or withdrawing the applicable amount on the same day each week. This will help you build good saving habits.

Tips for Success

By now, you should have confidence that you can successfully complete the 52-week money challenge. But don’t let that fool you. There are sure to be challenges along the way, any one of which can stop you dead in your tracks.

Here are some tips for success:

1. Automate Your Savings

If you leave it up to yourself to save the appropriate amount of money each week, you may soon find yourself falling behind. Sure, you can always catch up down the line, but that’s not the point of the challenge.

The best way to protect against this is by automating your savings. For example, you have set it up for the money to be transferred from one account to another on a specific day of the week.

With automation in place, you no longer have to worry about forgetting or putting off your savings. Everything is done for you.

2. Track Everything

If you don’t track your savings, there’s a greater chance of something going wrong along the way. The last thing you want to find at the end of the challenge is that you missed a week here or there. That’s disappointing.

Here’s a basic chart that can help you track every week of savings:

With this, all you have to do is check off each week as you go. If you don’t save the money, you don’t get a checkmark. And if you miss a checkmark, you fail the challenge.

That should be all the motivation you need to stay the course. There’s no better feeling than putting that final checkmark in the week 52 box.

3. Change the Rules

Overall, you want to stick with the basic rules of the 52-week money challenge. However, there’s no saying you can’t put your own spin on it.

For example, you may find that saving money every week is too time-consuming (even though automatic contributions are possible).

In this case, you could change it from the 52-week money challenge to the 12-month challenge. The rules stay the same, with the only thing changing is how often you save.

Here’s an example: start at $100 in month one and boost your savings by $5 each month. With this approach, you’ll end up with $1,530 after 12 months.

If you want to save more money, increase the amount that you save each week. Instead of an amount equal to the week (such as $5 for week five), consider doubling it. Doing so will double the amount that you save. It’s that easy.

Common Challenges in the 52-Week Money Challenge

You have everything you need to start the 52-week money challenge, but there’s something you’re not accounting for: challenges that you’ll face along the way.

Here are a few that you should prepare for:

  • Forgetting to save during a particular week
  • Deciding that putting money aside each week is too time-consuming
  • Getting antsy and breaking the strategy in hopes of saving faster
  • Neglecting to track your savings

When you have a plan in place for preventing these challenges, it’s much easier to reach your goal.

If you happen to run into a challenge, take a step back to assess the situation and decide how to rectify any concerns.

Final Thoughts on the 52-Week Money Challenge

So, there you have it. That’s everything you need to know about the 52-week money challenge. As you can see, it’s not complicated. Everything is spelled out for you. All you have to do is get started.

Final tip: you don’t have to start the 52-week money challenge at the beginning of the year (January 1). Start whenever you want, and after 52 weeks you’ll be at the end of the road.

Have you ever taken on the 52-week money challenge? Were you successful or did you fall short? Share your experience with us at

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