This is my first BLOG, My name is Michael James Oetting, and I am a lifelong coffee enthusiast in the process of starting my first coffee shop. It has not been easy but being successful is NOT a passive activity. It takes time and effort, as well as the wisdom to seek wise council. You can find me @expressomax1 , or my company @ThatCoffeePlace both on Twitter.
There is nothing more depressing than endless toil without some boon at the end. I’ve worked very hard to attain my current level of wealth, and I do enjoy rewarding myself with a great vacation. Sadly, many of my friends cannot afford vacations, and I want to share something which may help them to help themselves so they can earn their own rewarding vacation.
A powerful tool that I discovered a few years ago is something called the FIFTY-TWO WEEK CHALLENGE.
I did NOT create this idea. It is referenced on blogs and in articles all over the internet and there are many variations. It was first dreamed up by a woman named Kassondra Perry-Moreland in 2012.
The beauty of this simple saving plan is that it can be customizable to fit various lifestyles, but the only thing that it requires to succeed is for you to be committed to the plan. Now what is this FIFTY-TWO WEEK CHALLENGE you might ask? Simple. Every week for 52 weeks you stash away $25.00
Now I’ve been told by a few people that they don’t have this kind of money, and sometimes it does require a bit of thinking outside the box creativity, and this challenge can be customized to fit various situations.
The first thing we have to usually admit to ourselves is that each and every one of us has something, some vice, guilty pleasure, or waste of money that a small sacrifice every now and then can help us to achieve this goal of the weekly $25. Imagine if Monday through Friday on your way to work you stop at your favorite coffee shop for a $5 large Iced Latte. Giving this up just ONE day gets you 20% of the way to your goal. Make coffee at home, it saves money! This is just ONE example. What can you cut back on or eliminate entirely to achieve a goal that will give you far more pleasure and happiness?
I just had an amazing vacation! I went jet skiing, stayed at a posh suite at the shore, and ate at fine restaurants. Most of my friends could not afford this luxury, and honestly a mere decade ago it would have been tough, BUT NOT IMPOSSIBLE for myself as well, but I started taking steps back in 2002 to get my finances in order, and now I look forward to amazing vacations year after year.
Now let’s get back to this $25 a week saving idea. If you can follow through with this each week for an entire year, at the end of 52 weeks you will have stashed aside a whopping $1350.00! Does that sound like enough to have an awesome vacation with to you? It sure does to me. That’s about what I just spent for my awesome vacation. Please don’t misunderstand me my friend, I’m not bragging. I’m encouraging you to unlock the potential you have stored within yourself to enjoy the same awesome getaway that I just did. I want to delight in your success. I want you to be as happy as I am, and then you can encourage others to do the same by proving to them that it IS POSSIBLE! I did it, and you can too! I BELIEVE IN YOU!
Now the simplest way to do the FIFTY-TWO WEEK CHALLENGE is just to put aside $25 each week. I would probably put this away someplace safe, like in a savings account to avoid the temptation of spending it. Some people are fine with putting it in a coffee can in the kitchen, or in a box in their dresser, but let me reiterate, a bank is a great safe place for it to be out of sight, and out of mind.
Method ONE -Same amount every week
$25 a week, every week, for 52 weeks =$1350
Does your income level change during the year due to season employment or school? Try:
Method TWO -Interval Variations
$45 for 10 weeks, $35 for 10 weeks, $25 for 12 weeks, $15 for 10 weeks, $10 for 10 weeks =$1350
This is a little bit complicated, and requires you to decide what your saving level is going to be for that week depending on your income situation. You can mix and match from the pool, but once you use a particular week, it’s gone. It’s best to try to get the 20 highest weeks out of the pool ASAP. Save the $15 and $10 weeks for bad weeks when ‘life’ happened.
For 52 weeks straight, starting at $52 a week, decreasing each weeks savings by $1 =$1378
This assumes that you can save a lot at the beginning, for people that will see their income decrease six months out due to seasonal work or overtime stoppage. So the first week you put $52 in savings, the 2nd $51 in savings, the 3rd $50 and so on. It’s brutal at the beginning, but gets easier as you go on.
For 52 weeks straight, starting at $1 a week, increasing each weeks savings by $1 =$1378
This is the reverse of the prior method, and assumes you’re going to be making more money at the end of the year. JUST REMEMBER this will become harder once you get half-way through the year, and brutal at the end. First week $1, 2nd week $2, 3rd week $3 and so on.
Method FIVE- Fifty Two Pick Up
For 52 weeks straight, choose each weeks savings from a card deck marked from $1 through $52 =$1378
This is the most complicated of all the ways to accomplished the challenge, but gives you the most control over your weekly savings. Maybe you have an old deck of cards lying about the house, and a Sharpie marker. Get them! Now mark each of these cards (or any 52 suitable slips of paper) starting at $1 and increasing in value until you reach $52 on the final card. Now each week as you go through the year, you will pick the amount you plan to save that week from the deck of 52 cards. Once a card is drawn it is discarded, so it pays to try to get the ‘high cards’ like $52 out of the way and save the low cards for the end. Is it your Birthday and you got extra cash from relatives? Grab that $52 card and play it. Got a speeding ticket on the way to work? Play a low card. Like to gamble? Shuffle the cards, cut and whatever you draw is what you save that week. Just remember to discard each card once it’s been played.
I wish you all the luck and success with the FIFTY-TWO WEEK CHALLENGE and whichever method you decide best suits your situation. Stick with it and a year from now you will be able to have an Amazing Vacation, or be able to enjoy the money anyway you see fit! Success!