Hello again! In yesterday’s post, Envelope Budgeting, I talked about my budgeting strategy and how it’s worked for me over the past few years. In it I mentioned the 52 week challenge envelope. This envelope has been my Christmas money fund for the past 3 years because it’s money you hardly notice is missing but it ends up being a substantial amount in the end. The concept behind it is simple and the timing is perfect with the new year starting tomorrow.
Get another envelope for this money, deposit it into an account you don’t really use, put it in your safe, whatever you prefer. The first week of the year, you’re going to set aside $1. The next week, deposit $2, then $3, and so on. Every week you’ll add an extra dollar to what you’re setting aside, but the most you ever take from your income/budget is $52 in one week. (Don’t worry, there’s a visual at the end of this post.) This adds up to almost $1400 in savings!!!!
Now, I waitress so my income fluctuates. The system that has worked best for me has been to get my envelope and write out the numbers 1-52 on the outside. If I have a really good week at work, I put one of the higher amounts into my envelope and check the amount off as I go. For weeks that don’t turn out as well, that’s what I save the lower amounts are for. I also start my envelope the week after Black Friday so that it’s complete by the following Black Friday and I’m ready to start my Christmas shopping. You can tweak the system in whatever way benefits you.
You can also use this system for anything. Planning a vacation and don’t want to max out the credit card with your spending money? 52 week challenge. Planning a renovation? 52 week challenge. Just want to save $1378 without thinking about it? 52 week challenge. This envelope can be used towards whatever you personally need to save for. It’s just a simple, great way for you to consistently add money to savings with an end date of when you can use it. That way you’re not borrowing from it throughout the year.
Especially since I dropped down to part time, this money saving technique has been a lifesaver for me around Christmas time. I refuse to max out the credit cards to keep up with the latest and greatest toy craze of the year. The one thing I have to work on is making my Christmas list for everyone and budgeting how much I spend on each person. That has been my weakness up until now.
That’s all for today. I hope you enjoyed this post and this system works for you. Feel free to comment and let me know what strategy you’re using. I love learning new money saving techniques.