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Start the new year right with a 52-week savings challenge!

Start the new year right with a 52-week savings challenge!
Image source: Getty Images.

According to recent research, a significant number of Brits don’t have enough savings to get them through an emergency. If you’re one of the many people struggling to save, the 52-week challenge can be a good way to start.

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One of the most common reasons people don’t save is that setting money aside when there are bills to pay can be difficult. The beauty of a savings challenge split over 52 weeks is that you won’t feel it as much. You save little by little and build up your savings over an entire year.

How the 52-week challenge works

This simple challenge could add over £1,300 to your savings account by the time December rolls around – and it all starts with £1.

To achieve that, you need to set aside a certain amount every week matching the week of the year. So in week one of the year, you should save £1, then £2 in week two and so on. While the challenge is very easy to begin with, it gets harder later in the year, when you have to save £40 to £50 a week.

If this sounds too hard, just print a table showing the amounts for all the weeks in the year. Then mix things up and cross out the appropriate week depending on how much you can afford to save. For example, save £1 in week one, then save the amount for week 10 (£10) in week two, then move on to week 25 and so on.

This approach will avoid you having all the big amounts together in the last few months, which can be especially hard during November and December, as you’re shopping for the holidays.

Other ways to save 

An emergency fund is an important part of any financial plan. It can not only help with unplanned expenses, but it can also keep you from getting into debt. While experts recommend having three months worth of living expenses saved up, this can be an intimidating amount for many people.

Starting with a challenge to build a reserve of £1,000 can be a great first step. And the 52-week challenge is a great way to get you there without even feeling it.

Want to push your savings even further? You can save money even if you’re low-income. A good way to push your savings is to add the penny challenge, where you save one penny on day one, two pennies on day two and so on.

By the last day of the year, you’ll save £3.65 on one day. This challenge gets you an extra £668 in your savings account in one year. And since you’re saving pennies, the chances are you won’t even miss them.

Automate your savings

If you need help putting money aside, the Plum Easy Access Interest Pocket can help. This smart money management app by Plum offers a number of ways to help you save, including smart savings, a chance to invest part of what you save and an option to round up transactions to the nearest pound and save the difference.

Plum Pro subscribers can also take advantage of the 52-week challenge, which will automatically save the correct amount per week so you can have £1,378 in your savings account by the end of December.

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