If you’re like most of us, locating and planning the vacation of your dreams—a Christian cruise to the Caribbean with your favorite singer or a Christian tour to the Holy Land with a world-renowned Bible teacher—isn’t the challenge. The most difficult part of it is paying for your trip. Why is it so hard for us to save money?
Economists and researchers say it’s because we tend to focus on urgent expenses rather than future priorities. As the saying goes, the squeaky wheel gets the grease. We’re far more likely to use that extra money to pay for something immediate, like new tires or a bigger TV, than we are to sock it away for a vacation one year from now. It’s not a lack of self-control, but rather a lack of attention that gets us.
There are a couple of ways to beat this impulse. One is automated savings: Schedule an automatic draft from your checking account into a savings account. Set it, then sit back and watch the savings pile up.
A second, more imaginative way is the 52-week money challenge, a clever plan that’s become popular online over the past year. Using this plan, you’ll see your savings grow to nearly $1,400 over the course of 12 months, just by making a small contribution every week.
Here’s how the plan works:
In the first week, save $1. That’s it. In week two of your plan, save $2. Save $3 in the third week and continue increasing the amount by one dollar each week until you’re depositing $52 of savings during Week 52. If you’ve kept up with each week’s amount, you’ll have set aside $1,378 by the end of the year. That’s definitely enough to join us on a cruise!
Saving money in huge, one-time amounts can feel painful. But committing to saving in small doses, week by week, can have amazing results. Take the 52-week money challenge and your dream vacation may be just a year away!