Saving Money For Travel (Or Whatever) with the 52 Week Money Challenge


At the beginning of the year, the 52 Week Money Challenge graphic went viral.  That graphic was everywhere.  If you were on social media shortly after the holidays it was hard to miss.  I tried to figure out exactly where the graphic came from to no avail.

The idea is that each on Week 1 of the year, you will put one $1 in a jar, an envelope or the bank.  On Week 2, you put $2 in the jar.  On Week 52, you put $52 in the jar.  By the end of the year, you should have saved $1378 assuming you don’t miss a week.

I liked the idea and in addition to our other savings techniques, I thought that this would be a fun way to save for travel.  I am currently dropping the money into four different accounts.  It has added up VERY quickly.  We just finished up Week 19.  In four accounts, we have saved an extra $760.  Almost $1000 in about half a year with just a dollar here and a dollar there.

We recently realized that we are only a half a day’s drive away from Utah and Arches National Park.  For as long as I have known my husband, he has wanted to see Utah and its otherworldly landscape.  We had a long weekend that we could squeeze it in but we could we squeeze it into the budget?  We decided that we could since we have the extra money set aside.  We are staying in a camping cabin for $50 a night and the cost of our activities will be minimal since we are mostly visiting national and state parks.

I love that we are putting away money without even really realizing that it is gone.  Every payday, I move the money over to each account and we forget about it.  I move it before we go out, pay for extra curricular activities or get that extra cup of coffee at Starbucks.

Do I think that I can keep it up?  I would like to but I am also going to be realistic.  During the month of December, I would need to be ready to put the following away if I was still keeping up with four accounts: Week 49 ($196) Week 50 ($200) Week 51 ($204) Week 52 ($208).  That is a grand total of $808.  That is probably not going to be possible with holiday travel, gifts, and other obligations.  That being said, I will try to keep it up with at least one of the accounts for the entire year.

How do you save for vacation?

This post is part of Travel Tips Tuesday with Suitcases and Sippy Cups and Walkingon Travels.


  1. 1

    I saw this method around new years and i LOVE it! We really need to do it. Such small little bits that add up quick.

    • 2

      I was amazed when I realized how much we had put away at this point. It is great how much you can put away each week without thinking about it. By putting it away as soon as we get it, I am able to make sure it doesn’t get frittered away on meals out (my biggest weakness!).

  2. 3

    This is an interesting idea, but yes in reality December would break us! We have a set amount each month we put aside and will shift other spending habits around before we impede on it. We LOVE to travel. Maybe I can try to do this next year as an extra!

    • 4

      I agree about December not really working for us either. This year, we are giving the gift of travel and will be skiing during the holidays. I figure any extra money that month will go to that trip. I think as the numbers increase each week, we will have to start to back off until I am only putting the money into one account. It has been great to have the little bit of extra.

  3. 5

    My husband and I thought about starting backwards- that way we’d be saving more after Christmas when we aren’t as likely to have high expenses. Notice I said we thought about it? 🙂

  4. 6

    Great idea, we should do this. We find that our change over time, when we just throw it in a jar, adds up!

  5. 7

    Love the idea! It is always hard to save money with kids around! but definitely will give it a try! I opened an account for both of my kids and I add to it here and there, so I know I can save!

  6. 8
    Marissa says:

    I bet you’ll be surprised at how much you’ll be able to do in December. We paid off our debt in a similar way. It practically became a game to us to see how much money we could NOT spend in other places to be able to put towards the debt. It’s the same idea and since you are slowly working up to it you won’t be going into shock about it. It’s the money saving snowball…once it starts, you better not step in front of it! YOU CAN DO IT!!!

  7. 9

    I am so going to try this!! I hate using my Credit Cards, this is something I will be doing soon!