A new year brings a fresh start for us all and a chance to forget the usual “My NYE resolution for 2015 is to accomplish the goals of 2014, which I should have done in 2013, because I made a promise in 2012 and planned in 2011,” type attitude and to really do something.
Even if you don't fancy yourself as someone who is particularly determined or possesses better saving skills compared to the average Joe, a strategic money saving resolution is always a good idea. Below I've described one such method which I particularly like on account of the fact that it only requires very small weekly deposits initially. This not only eases you very gently into the saving process, but also means you'll be more likely to stick with it. Additionally, it follows a powerful accumulative approach to ensure that once complete, you end up with more than just chump change in your pocket. In fact, you will have saved close to $1,400, another key factor in helping savers remain motivated right the way through to completion with this plan.
The 52 Week Saver's Program
The table below maps out the 52-week saving challenge for the next 12 months, with an easy to follow schedule that gradually eases you into the saving process. Week one for example only requires a $1 deposit, making it easy to get started after an expensive festive period. Even after the the first two months, you would have only had to part with $36 in total. So by no means are you being stretched to make this work.
The beauty of this approach is that by the time your weekly deposits have grown to more significant amounts, your monthly spending habits will have become very accustomed to these savings so the impact of putting money will be minimal. This is in contrast to many saving programs that require more substantial deposits from day 1, making it harder to people to adapt and commit to over a period of time.
What's likely to encourage most people to at least give this approach a try is that at the end of it all you'll end up with just under $1,400 (or $1378 to be exact). Reminding yourself of this is another great way to stay motivated right through to the end. So go ahead and print off this table, then affix it to a jar or some other container within which to begin inserting your weekly deposits. Remember to place the container somewhere visible!
Stay Motivated With a Particular Reward in Mind
Personally, I've found one of the best ways to stick to a savings plan is to have a specific idea in mind of exactly what I'd like to buy at the end of it. If you think this may help you too, then I recommend choosing a particular product or service that you really want but can't afford to purchase right now. You could always change your mind once you have the money in your hand, but keeping your mind fixated on a particular goal often makes the whole process a lot easier. And with close to $1,400 at your disposal once you complete this savings plan, you should have no problem coming up with ideas of what you'd like to put that money towards.
To put things into perspective, let's look at a few examples of popular items we see deals for on Buckscoop. One option could be to purchase one of the latest (much talked about) 4K UHD TV's such as this Sony 55” Smart TV for $1,588. For any gamers out there, you'd be able to get a less expensive but still impressive Sony 60” Smart TV ($998), plus a PlayStation 3 bundle including 2 controllers, an HDMI cable and 4 games ($399).
However, not everyone likes technology like me and possibly travelling is more your sort of thing. A quick scan online shows round-trip flights to New York are within this budget at around $1,371 to $1,440 during the first quarter of 2015 (departing from Sydney Airport).
Alternatively, 2015 may mean you now have more time to dedicate to improving your home with some much needed DIY Improvements. Otherwise with summer now in full force, other incentives for the home that you could put your savings towards could include the new Charbroil stainless steel BBQ for $398, new outdoor furniture for $558 and a wine cooler for $299.
Whatever item/s you decide to choose as your final goal, the 52 Week Saver's Program no doubt offers an easy route to achieving this. For some, it may even end up forming the basis of an ongoing savings plan helping them achieve other longer term buying objectives.