Raysha Duncan, Financial Aid Administrator & Purdue Alumna
I’d be surprised if you hadn’t heard of this “Money Saving Challenge” yet! It seems to be one of the more popular “Money Challenges” circulating the internet right now. The idea is that you print off a chart (example chart seen below) telling you how much you need to be saving each week (e.g., $1 the first week, $2 the second week, etc.), and then tape it to a jar that you then fill with the cash that you’ve been saving.
This is a great idea, right?! And it’s an especially great idea for those of us who need a little help saving money because the steps are laid out for you on a piece of paper with the money. You don’t even have to remember how much to put in, just look at the sheet! And who doesn’t like checking things off a list? I know it makes me feel accomplished.
As one blogger pointed out though… You might not gain the motivation you need if you follow this particular chart. When you’re a full one month into the challenge, you’ll only have saved $10… so she has a valid point. Her suggestion is to flip it around backwards: Week One save $52, Week Two save $51, and onward. That way, after just one month you will have $202 saved! That’s a much nicer start than $10. Plus, if you start this around the beginning of the year, you won’t have to put as much into your savings jar during the holiday season. This is a great idea…but might be kind of challenging as a college student because money is already pretty tight and starting at $52 is a lot of money. Flipping it is just a way to jumpstart your progressive savings. The point of either challenge though is to progressively save as much as possible over your set period of time and to notice how much you are able to save.
While, where you’re storing your saved money is completely up to you though, this blogger also suggests putting this money into a savings account instead of a jar so your money can accrue interested (and so you avoid the temptation of spending it!). Some people like watching the actual, physical paper money build up in a jar and others prefer watching their money grow digitally through their online banking (again, while accruing some nice interest). Both are completely valid ways of building your savings because either way, you are saving! Because saving early is important for a secure future, whichever will keep you more motivated is the way you should go.
Are you up for a savings challenge like this? Have you tried one before? Let us know in the comments! And be sure to follow #ASW2015 on Twitter for more savings tips this week!