A few years ago I put together a 52 Week Money Challenge. In the midst of rebranding and revamping my blog I accidentally trashed the post! Yeah tragic. The WORST part is it was my most popular pin with almost 300,000 views. So I decided to recreate a new one and I hope you guys like it! In this post I am going to mention a few ways to save $10k faster than you would expect. The real key to this challenge is getting yourself into the habit of placing this money into your rainy day fund. I am also going to include a few things you can use the money from your challenge for. And just so we are clear, 52 weeks is a year 🙂
Raises (Tip #1)
Did you know the quickest way to a raise is through taking a look at your current expenses and eliminating what you DON’T need. For example, if you are spending $20/wk. at Starbucks, that adds up to $80.00/mo. There are tons of recipes on Pinterest to put together your own tasty coffee treat from home. So let’s take it a step further. If you eliminate your expensive coffee habit ON TOP OF getting an annual raise of around $500.00/mo then you now have $600.00 extra to place into your 52 Week Money Challenge.
Five Week Pay Months (Tip #2)
There are a few weeks in the month where we receive extra pay. Take the money from these weeks and stash it into your account where you plan to stash the money for your 52 Week Challenge. When I was in the Corporate World one of my employers would pay us weekly. This made it easier during those 5 Week pay months to contribute to saving $10,000.00.
Tax Refunds (Tip #3)
If you need some cash to jump start your savings habit then use the money from your Tax Refund. I would still advise starting the Challenge out ASAP and when your refund comes in making the necessary adjustments. Doing it this way means you are taking less of your money on a weekly basis to contribute to your $10k money journey.
Side Hustle (Tip #4)
If you aren’t at the point financially where you can spare any extra money towards the $10k in 52 weeks then grab you a side hustle. A side hustle is a job you work outside of your normal place of employment. You can also use this just to jump start your savings account until you are able to contribute from your normal place of employment. In today’s digital world I have read about a few online side hustles to make extra cash. I have not tried any of them myself so make sure you do your research before jumping right in!
A Side Hustle that is (present tense) turning into full time income for me is Blogging! If you have a passion for writing and giving out advice then this side hustle is for you! Check out this post How To Start Blogging to get started today!
Use a Cash Back Option (Tip #5)
If you are a person who enjoys shopping in store, an app I would highly recommend is Ibotta. Ibotta rewards you for items you already plan to buy in store. Download their App in the App store, find your items, add them to your cart, shop, and scan your receipt. Ibotta will pay you cash for using their app. Use my referral code HERE to get started! It’s super easy!
Budget (Tip #6)
Understand where your money is going. The only way to see this is by creating a budget on a weekly or monthly basis. In one of our accounts there is a tool where we can export your income vs what is being spent in your account and they provide a 30 Day Analysis. One month I printed ours off and (old school style) took a highlighter and went through EVERY expense that we did not include in our budget. Talk about an eye opening experience! I was able to see we were spending around $357.00 that was not in money we discussed at the beginning of the month. Did it hurt? Heck yeah! But imagine what would have happened if we continued to be wreckless with our money. Creating a budget allowed us to have a vision for our financial goals and begin planning for the future.
As always, the internet has a lot of budgeting templates you can download to get started. There are even some on Google if that’s more your cup of tea.
Checking Account (Tip #7)
Set aside a different checking account that is not easily accessible for your challenge. What I mean by this is an account with an online bank like Ally. I like using Ally because in an emergency if I need my funds I can transfer them within 24 hours. But I do not have an ATM card so my funds are readily available for me to withdraw.
What to Do With $10,000.00
This is going to be my favorite part of this post because I love brainstorming ways to use money after working hard to save it.
- Continue to contribute to your $10k fund and watch it grow.
- Plan for that vacation you’ve always wanted.
- Use it to jump start your retirement account.
- As a downpayment on your home.
- To purchase a vehicle outright.
- Contribute to your children’s 529 Plan.
- Start your 8 month emergency fund.
- Pay off your mortgage.
- Pay off your car.
- Home renovations instead of taking out a loan.
- Investing in the Business you’ve always wanted to start.
- Inspecting your Credit Report and cleaning it up.
- Pay off a credit card.
- Pay off other debts.
- Investment Opportunities.
As you can see there are numerous things you can do with $10,000.00 in your savings account. The tips I provided are just to get you started and your creative juices flowing. As always, you are more than welcome to use my 52 Week Challenge Checklist but make sure you alter the plan (if needed) to fit your own Financial Standards.
I hope you found these tips to be helpful! Let me know below if you have ever tried a challenge like this and how it turned out for you. I would love to hear your responses!
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