Total Saved to date: $10
Balance in ING Savings Account: $10
We are now finishing week #4 for this challenge and things haven’t seemed too difficult, have they? Have you been able to keep up with putting the funds into your account? This month was relatively easy, only $10 for an entire month; That’s less than a coffee a day. February is going to be the first big challenge. Four weeks and $26 in a month. Not crazy, but almost a dollar each day needs to be saved. Will you save the loose change you receive each day in a jar and put that into your account? Will you use another method?
Since I have started talking about this idea, I have heard and discussed a number of ways that you can implement this challenge into your life. Here are some of the methods that I have heard about, so far:
Method #1 – The Standard Method – This method is pretty straight forward. You follow the chart, as set out in my last two posts. Week #1 is the first week of January and week #52 is the last week of the year. Straightforward and easy to remember. It does have flaws, as Justin pointed out. This method has you saving $202 and just under 15% (14.6%) of the goal in December, when savings is not usually a priority.
Method #2 – The Reverse Method – This method is the same as Method #1, but instead of counting up the weeks, you count them down. That means you start with week #52 in the first week of January and end with week #1 at the end of December. This brings the heavy savings to the start of the year (and also gives you interest on a larger balance as the year progresses) and requires you to save a total of $10 or just less than 1% (0.72%) in December. That’s seems more manageable around Christmas. I really think this method holds a lot of merit given that January and February tend to be “quieter” social months due to the weather.
Method #3 – The Knock Out or Random Method – I tend to like this one too, although it does involve a bit of crystal ball thinking. I feel it gives you the ultimate control to be successful. In this method you list the weeks out and then select what you will save each week. That way, if you get a bonus and have some extra money, get week #52 out-of-the-way. If you have a sudden car repair and money is short, get one of the weeks between #1 and 10 out-of-the-way. Knock them down so that the savings matches your life and what you have happening. At the end of the day, just save each of the weeks. The sooner the “Big” weeks are in the account the more interest you will earn, as well. I really like this method and I may convert my attempt to this plan, just because it will help me be successful and that’s the key; To be successful in this effort.
Method #4 – The “What I Have” Method – Instead of letting the list tell you what to save each week, you can use a variation on Method #3, where you look at how much you have to save at the end of a week. If the amount is $15, then you can either “check off” week #15 or week #7 & 8 or week #5, 4, 3, 2 & 1. This way you are checking your wallet at the end of each week and instead of just blowing the money you have left at the end of the week, you are putting it into your goal for savings.
What method are you using and how is it going? Let me know on Twitter or leave me a comment below. Please feel free to share these posts and ideas with your friends and encourage their comments.