Save for a rainy day with the 52-week money challenge

A slow and steady saving plan spread over 52 weeks.

By Fonds de solidarité FTQ

Time really does fly! Even with four seasons, winter comes around much faster than we'd like. What if there was a way to make the most of those fleeting weeks to save some cash—all while barely lifting a finger? That's where the 52-week money challenge comes in!

If you want to feel like a brand-new you without having to spend 15 hours per week at the gym—get ready to dust off your piggy bank and get started!

What is the 52-week money challenge?

It's a way to put money aside without too much effort. Since you're saving gradually, you barely notice the dent in your bank account:

  • Week 1: Save $1. So far, so good! Nothing too complicated. If you never have cash on hand, simply set up a bank transfer to your savings account. Otherwise, drop your dollar in a container that's difficult to open so you aren't tempted to loot your savings, but transparent so you can see your progress. Set up a reminder on your phone every Monday so you don't miss a week.
  • Week 2: This time, save $2.
  • Week 3: You guessed it—save $3.
    • And so on. You get the idea! Speaking of saving, how about we “save” you the chore of reading through another 49 steps?

      In three months you'll have $91, and in six months you'll be delighted to see $351 in your savings account. And your savings will keep growing until you reach 12 months.

      What's the end goal?

      No matter when you start to save, you'll have a whopping $1,378 in your pocket once you reach week 52. Not bad considering you begin the challenge with a single loonie. Of course, saving gets more difficult as the weeks go by. At a certain point, you'll be putting aside more than $40 a week.

      But the gradual increase will show you that it's possible save without drastically changing your lifestyle.

      Why is this challenge perfect for you?

The 52-week money challenge is ideal if you're looking to build a small financial cushion to fall back on—in case your wobbly washing machine breaks down, for example. It’s also a dead-easy way to help you save. It could even be your ticket to that long-awaited vacation to the Icelandic fjords. With 52 weeks per year, the possibilities are endless! Well, maybe not endless . . . but you can always dream!

And that dream can be big or small. For example, you might find it encouraging to keep track of what you can afford as the weeks go by and your savings continue to grow.

After two and a half months: With $55 in your pocket, why not spend an evening laughing your head off? Buy a ticket to a comedy show! Whether you opt for improv or stand-up, it feels great to end the day with a good laugh.

After five months: $210. Okay, things are starting to get interesting! After those long days at the office or studying at the library, you deserve to relax and let yourself be pampered once in a while. Treat yourself to a full day at the spa, complete with a foot massage—unless you have ticklish toes!

After almost eight months: There's always someone in your group of friends who says, “Wouldn't it be fun if we all rented a cottage together?” But it never goes further than that. With $465 in your pocket, you could finally make it happen! This amount should cover the cost of your cottage, plus gas and food. And the bigger your group, the more money you save, since you'll be splitting the costs between all of you. As the saying goes, the more the merrier! Of course, you can't put a price on an incredible weekend in the woods with your pals.

After almost ten months: $820. Are your electronics ready for an upgrade? It might be the perfect time to shop for a brand-new tablet, or finally replace that cracked laptop screen.

After one year: When you see breathtaking travel photos on Instagram, do you wish you were exploring some faraway country? With $1,378, you could catch the next flight to Vietnam and make those other globetrotters green with envy!

Now you're ready to take control of your finances!

Take the next step with automatic savings

By the end of this challenge, saving will have become a reflex! It'll be just another part of your daily routine. And chances are, when you see how much you've saved, you'll have no trouble maintaining the habit. The logical next step after completing the 52-week challenge is to switch to automatic savings. By contributing a set amount every week, every two weeks, or every month, you'll be saving without even having to think about it. Automatic bank withdrawals allow you to modify the amount of your contributions according to your needs. The proof is in the data: automatic savings are a worthwhile long-term strategy!

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