With car payments, groceries, rent, and social outings, it’s hard for a lot of people to stash away some money for savings.
Related: 25 Ways You’re Throwing Away Money Every Year to make sure you’re not wasting money on unnecessary things.
Now that you’re properly versed on how not to waste your hard-earned money, read about this one easy trick that can help you create an emergency fund of $1,300 annually (or more!). The best part about this is that you won’t even feel like you’re putting aside extra money once you’re accustomed to this activity. Be sure to stick to this trick and you’ll have racked up $1,300 by the end of the year. All you will need is a mason jar and the 52 Week Money Challenge outline below!
Basically, each week of the year, you save $1 more than you did the previous week. So in the first week, you put away $1. In the second week, you put away $2, etc.). Since it’s already March, you can set aside the money you would have added if you had started at the beginning of the year. Or you can mark your calendar to end in March 2016.
Here are the steps to achieving this awesome money-saving challenge.
Step 1: Get a mason jar (or any jar really).
Snag a mason jar (or any kind of similar receptacle) from a dollar store or thrift store. You’ll be able to get it for super cheap – and you might even have one lying around the house.
Step 2: Print out your 52-week sheet – or a plan of your own, like the one above!
Decide how much money you’d like to set aside each week, and print out the corresponding template. You don’t absolutely need one if you think you can remember how much money you need to add each week, but it could help keep you organized.
If you don’t think your finances could manage the regular template, you can always save in 50 cent increments instead, which will still end up netting you more than $650 in a year. If 50 cents is still too much, you can even try doing 25 cent increments (for a total of $344.50 in a year). The best part is that you can decide for yourself the best plan for your money. Aside from the challenge, we also recommend using at least one top-rated personal finance app to help you track your expenses and bills so you know where your money is going.
Step 3: Start saving.
Each week, make sure to add the allotted funds to the mason jar to keep up with your savings. Although it might seem difficult at first to stock the money away, just think of how exciting it will be when you have all that money to use for whatever you want (a vacation, new clothes, the latest iPhone, paying off debt).
Need ideas for how to come up with the extra savings? Try skipping your daily Starbucks latte, bring your lunch to work instead of going out, and consider clipping coupons for your weekly shopping trips.
Recommended for you: 10 Ways to Become an Extreme Couponer and you could save thousands per year. Every little bit helps, and you’ll be able to see the savings pile up quickly inside your mason jar!
The most important step is that you make sure you don’t miss a week or fall behind in your planning. It’s absolutely crucial that you stick to the plan if you want to save up the full amount! So, follow these steps, and start watching the savings add up.
P.S. Before you start this challenge, check out 5 Easy Hacks to the 52-Week Money Challenge!