RSS Email

Trying the 52 Week Money Challenge

For the last week I saw this image floating around Facebook and blogs. I looked at it but I didn’t pay much attention to it. I understood that you had to set aside money but thought it was daily and knew that would’ve been impossible.
52 week money challengeHere is a downloadable/printable version from my frugal friend Lisa Lightner from her Easy Savings post.

On Friday I took an extra moment to REALLY read about it and figured this was something we could definitely do. Right now finances are tough but we can definitely gather the $1, $2, $3 and $4 to put away. The 52 Week Money Challenge is a simple way to force yourself to save money each week. Will it make you rich? NO! But at the end of the year you’ll have a nice chunk of money to go towards a vacation, room makeover, new car, tuition or whatever you want.

Rob and I instantly gathered up the change in my wallet and an archaic container to hold each weeks deposit. The crafty mama in me cringes as I look at it but I knew if I didn’t put that money away instantly we’d quickly lose interest and forget.

So I superglued a Chinese Wonton Soup container closed, cut a slit in the top and with a Sharpie wrote down the weeks that have been deposited. I have $6 in my wallet so it all went in. I also wrote down 1, 2, 3 so we’d know where we were during the process.
saving money, 52 week money challenge
Right now adding a couple bucks doesn’t seem hard but when it comes to October-December, close to the holidays it will get harder. We’ll find excuses not to put money in it but we have to be determined to get to $1378. The system can be switched to start with $52 deposit this week working your way to $1. Right now I don’t have those funds so we’re gonna do it this way.

Don’t think that you HAVE to physically add dollar bills to a piggy bank. You can set up  new savings account through your bank and arrange direct deposit so that it can be done online.  I thought it would benefit us if we could actually SEE the money being stashed away, like an encouragement.  It it works against us then we will be moving it to a financial institution.

Crossing our fingers!

Tips for Budgeting as a Family

Starting a family can be expensive – particularly if you don’t properly keep tabs on your money.
Budgeting should start from the early stages of pregnancy and deciding on baby names in order to make sure you’re prepared for the huge change in circumstances that comes with having a child.

Putting a budget in place, though, requires a strategic approach, so here are a few suggestions on getting started.

Do the Basics First
Before you can start saving money you need to work out where your money is going at present if you don’t know already. For instance, do you know how
you much you spend on food every month? If not, why not? Break your budget down in different subcategories like entertainment, accommodation, pets, children and food, detailing all your outgoings and incomings. And try and do budget forecasts months in advance to factor in upcoming costs.

budgeting for a family

photo courtesy 401(K) 2012 via Flickr

Identify How You Can Save Money
With the state of your finances laid bare on a spreadsheet, it should be easy to spot which areas you’ll be able to make savings. You spot that you’re spending far too much money on, say, takeaways, so straight away you can either cut down or cut it out completely. Set yourself a target for saving yourself a certain amount each week, month and year.

Plan, Plan and Plan Some for the Imminent Arrival
Take advantage of bulk-buy discounts on products that may come in handy once your little one arrives as you may not have the funds to afford them further down the line. Kitting out a nursery can cost a small fortune, so ask around amongst friends and family to see if you can borrow items instead of having to buy them outright.

Carry on Saving After the Birth
Keeping a tight control of your finances following the birth of your child is important or you may risk running into debt. Search online for discount codes and money-off vouchers on everything from your shopping to vacations to ensure you get more for your money.

Stop those Impulse Buys
Unless money is no option then you can no longer afford to splash the cash as and when you like on impulse buys. Instead, you should shop round to make sure you get a good deal or wait for the price of particular items to drop over time.



Get $25 from PASS from American Express

She’s spending more time with friends shopping, eating, hanging out on Main Street. She’s got her phone, her iPod and now her own PASS Card from American ExpressSM. All she needs is her license and car and she won’t need Mommy and Daddy anymore; that is until she runs out of money on her PASS Card.

The PASS Card is PREPAID reloadable “credit” card. It’s safer than cash, convenient to monitor, easy to add funds and risk-free of overdraft. The program is geared to teens and young adults as a way to teach financial responsibility. We can send our kids to the mall or movies with a little peace of mind that they will only spend a certain dollar amount. This can teach them how to balance shopping for the things they need versus they things they want, shopping on price rather than just fashion and how to track how much money is spent on things like their half caf grande soy vanilla chai skinny latte no foam habit.

What I like best about this program is the no-chance-of-losing-the-money-I-just-handed-you concept. Sabreena is a great student, super sweet, responsible, caring and smart. That being said she’s sometimes a bit scatter-brained. This lets me hand her the card and know it’s safe if she drops it, leaves it in another pair jeans or worse, leaves it at a store. If the PASS is lost or stolen the cardholder isn’t responsible for fraudulent charges AND AMEX will replace the funds.

Find out for yourself the convenience and ease of the PASS card by signing up for yourself. If you do before April 25th you’ll receive and an additional FREE $25 by using code SS25 when you order a $25 card. Start your kids off on the right financial foot. Start talking budgets, limits and responsibility with them today so they make smart decisions in the future.

This is a sponsored post courtesy of SheSpeaks but the opinions and descriptions presented belong solely to LookWhatMomFound…and Dad too! Your experiences and reactions may differ from ours.