“Hon, what exactly do you do with your allowance?”
“Well, that’s my business.”
“Yeah, but, you work from home…”
“Hey, we made an agreement a long time ago that we each get the same amount of cash each week to blow as we see fit. No questions asked, remember?”
“Yeah, but, what?”
“You’re right, forget I mentioned it.” Kiss kiss.
Throughout 2014 this exchange between me and the Hubs reared its little head a few times. In each instance, I managed to dodge the conversation. And for good reason. I was up to something. I know, shocking.
Image provided courtesy of https://www.flickr.com/photos/digitalartform/3470826111/
I’m a thrifty person. As some of you know, I love DIY challenges and I’m not above digging through a neighbor’s trash to rescue furniture cast-offs. When I was young, my thriftiness was out of necessity. However, sitting here today in the middle-aged cheap seats I find that my propensity to save a buck is just part of who I am. Hello, my name is Kimba, and I’m frugal.
Back in the beginning of 2014 I wondered just how penny-wise I could be. I came across this savings plan called the 52 Week Money Challenge. The concept is fairly simple: each week you put a set amount of money in an envelope. For the first week in January, you contribute $1. In the second week, it’s $2. This goes on each week throughout the year until you reach week 52 at the end of December, when you contribute $52 and the total in the envelope is a whopping $1,378!
I’m happy to report that I successfully completed the challenge. Hoorah for moi! Here are a few lessons learned along the way:
Have a goal. Your motivation will be helped along if you have a goal for the money you are saving each week. Perhaps a down payment for a car, or a graduation trip for your daughter, or maybe new furniture for the living room. I decided I wouldn’t tell the Hubs about my little savings experiment. Instead, I used the challenge results as his Christmas present – with the caveat that we will use the money to take a little vacation break in the middle of winter 2015. Every time I put money in the envelope, I smiled and imagined the surprised look on Hubby’s face Christmas morning. Nailed it.
It’s tempting to borrow from the envelope – don’t. The yardman needs to be paid. You need money for pizza delivery. The Cub Scouts are back at the front door selling popcorn. Do not use money in the challenge envelope to supplement daily expenses. The envelope has to be held sacred. No dipping.
Don’t skip a week. Consistency is key. I made it a habit to put money in the envelope every Friday morning. Pick what works for you and stick with it.
It’s easy in the beginning. The first fifteen or so weeks are not particularly painful. Taking a few bucks out of my cash allowance and tucking them away in the envelope was effortless. However, those last two months were not as easy, especially during the holidays when spending is already at a critical mass. One suggestion is to do the challenge in reverse, so the easiest months are at the end. If anyone has tried the challenge in reverse, I’d love to hear how it turned out for you.
Want more suggestions and support? Go to The Today Show 52 Week Savings Challenge for additional ideas.
Would I do the 52 Week Money Challenge again? Maybe. I would need a new creative goal for motivation. You know, I have been thinking about a boob job…
We’ve got $1,378 to spend. Where should the Hubs and I travel in March? Has to be some place warm – suggestions?
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