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The easiest way to save more than $1,370 a year

The 52-week money-saving challenge is ridiculously effortless — it starts with just a dollar per week.

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woman holding a piggy bank, money

Saving money comes easily to some people; they shop within budget, pay their bills on time, and make sure a portion of their paycheque always goes straight into their savings account. If you’re not one of those people, however, and haven’t been staying on top of your finances, not to worry — you’re about to embark on a challenge that will change your entire relationship with money. Sound like it’s going to be a lot of effort? Well, it’s not.

The concept that’s been spreading like wildfire is so simple: start with a dollar a week and increase your savings by one dollar every week for 52 weeks. It goes something like this:

Week 1: $1, Account balance: $1

Week 2: $2, Account balance: $3

Week 3: $3, Account balance: $6

By 52 weeks, you’ll have saved $1,378! Why it works: You’re starting off small and working on building the habit of saving, rather than thinking about the amount itself. As time progresses, the act of saving will become effortless and your monetary achievement will be the reward to look forward to. Tip: if you keep your funds in a high-interest savings account, you’ll collect even more than $1, 378 by week 52.

The most you’ll ever need to put away is $52 in one week. You may feel like your purse strings are already pulled too tight — but there’s bound to be some wiggle room for more saving. Exercise those creative juices and come up with new ways to cut back, like reducing your grocery bill or buying second-hand items.

Do you have extra cash now? If so, do the 52-week money challenge in reverse. Start by putting $52 into your savings account and work backwards: week 2 would be $51, week 3 would be $50 and so on. Here’s a handy chart to keep you on track. By December, you’ll be saving dollars per week and will have over $1,370 added to your savings account — just in time for the holidays.

Originally published January 2014. Updated January 2017.