2016 will be my third year doing the 52 Week Money Challenge. Rather than repeat what this is for the third year in a row, you can read about my first year here and my second year here. What it boils down to is sticking money into a jar and getting in the habit of saving.
I use the 52 Week Money Challenge Plan (this link has the chart I tape to my jar), but that plan doesn't work for everyone. I don't go in order myself, but jump around depending on what extra money we have that week.
The good news is many variations on this kind of savings plan exist. If you're interested in saving, but need something different or with lesser amounts, google is your friend! Just do a search and see what comes up. You can find lots of different kinds of charts, too. I like check boxes so that's why I use the one in my link!
After starting savings jar in 2014 and 2015, I can't imagine not doing one. Savings, no matter how much or how little you end up with, are a good thing to have. It doesn't matter if you complete the form or complete two of them (at least one of you did that!) or have to raid your jar. Any amount of savings can come in handy.
I raided my jars both years. In 2014, I used the money to pay bills. The jar that had been full was now empty, but oh, what a relief to have had that money to use. A true blessing. In 2015, I used some of the jar money for bills and other expenses that weren't in our monthly budget . As I watched my jar cash dwindle in the fall (this is the season when I always have to raid my jar for some reason), I didn't let that stop me from saving. I kept going even if it was only a dollar here or there. I'm so glad I did because by the time December arrived, I'd saved $1000. That paid for Christmas presents, winter clothes, and end of the year expenses! Needless to say, I'm excited to start again.
A dear friend recently told me about another savings plan. This one is called the 365 Day Money Plan. There's that article if you want to know more, as well as this one. The first link has both an explanation as well as a really cut chart (if that matters to you,) but I also like the explanation in the second link so wanted to share that, too! The amounts for the 365 Day Plan are lower than the 52 Week Plan and might work better for those with tighter budgets/less disposable income. If you stick to the plan, you'll end up with $667.95. If that's still a little steep, only mark off every other box.
For those who just can't do either of those plans, but would still like to save, I'll tell you what a couple of you did last year. They got a jar and stuck their spare change in it. You may find yourself surprised at how much you've saved by the end of the year.
So who wants to join me and save money in 2016?