Recently, a long-time supporter of D.R.E.A.M. emailed me and informed me about a new movement that was sweeping through social media, the 52 Week Challenge. (This person is actually the source of ideas for topics in previous posts...big shout out to them!)
Like most things on Facebook and Twitter, I thought it was just a fad, a new year’s resolution gimmick that would quickly fade. (Such as all those new workout plans and diets that are "must do's" every year.) However, I decided to explore it a little more and see what the hype was about. I was excited to discover that a fabulous African-American woman, Kassondra Perry-Moreland, created the challenge as a new year’s resolution to save more money.
(Kossandra Perry-Moreland pictured above)
The challenge is quite simple, each week you deposit money into your savings account with the amount growing each week. (For example, on week one you save $1. Week 2, you would save $2 and so on.) The total saved at the end of the 52 weeks is $1,378. The challenge was originally meant to coincide with the calendar year, so the largest deposit is $52 which is made during the last week in December 2013. (There are 52 weeks in a year)
Building upon Kossandra’s idea I have developed the D.R.E.A.M. 52 Week Challenge that kicks-off on February 13th, 2013.* What I love most about the 52 Week Challenge is that it’s an easy way to hold yourself accountable to see if you are actually following through on your financial goals and plans. It’s also very E-A-S-Y! Here are some rules, guidelines, and tips for the D.R.E.A.M. 52 Week Challenge:
1. Save the money in a savings account at a FDIC insured institution. This is safest place to keep your money and protect it.
2. Save the money in an account that earns interest! This is VERY important and will help you increase your overall savings amount in the end. Even if the interest rate is low, every little bit helps. Think of interest as a savings boost.
3. Do not mix your 52 Week Challenge savings with other savings you may already have. Set up a unique account, this will help you easily monitor your progress and should help you avoid using the money for unintended purposed or emergencies.
4. Set up an automatic deposit for your savings. This way you don’t have to think about it and the money is automatically deducted from your paycheck or checking account weekly.
5. For weeks 24 – 28 and 44 – 48, save double. (Yes, twice the amount you are supposed to save). This means cutting back spending in other areas of your life (that little word called “sacrifice”). It will provide an extra “boost” to your savings and you’ll be happy you did it in the end.
6. Get your friends involved! The more support you have during the 52 weeks, the more likely you are to complete the challenge.
Check out the Facebook page for Kassondra’s 52 Week Challenge. Also, post pictures of your piggy banks, savings jars, and excel spreadsheets tracking your savings on our D.R.E.A.M. Facebook page. We look forward to seeing your inspiring pictures!
*For those of us who are religiously affiliated, February 13th, 2013 also happens to be the first day of Lent. D.R.E.A.M. and the “D.R.E.A.M. 52 Week Challenge” are not religiously affiliated.
- Your Chief Savings Officer
About the Author: Femi Faoye is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of D.R.E.A.M. He’s a staunch and passionate financial literacy education advocate.
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