Alex is a Civil Engineering Technology student who has personal finance and frugal living down to a science.
So You Want to Save Over $1000 In A Year?
I don't want to make this all sound too easy, because it is going to require some self-discipline on your part. You have to make sure that you have money to deposit each week, or this whole plan falls apart. But nevertheless, determine which of these options (or make your own!) works best for you, and if you stick to it I guarantee you can save over $1000 in a year, $1378 to be exact.
I started this plan for a couple of reason, so it has become my multipurpose savings, in a manner of speaking. My first and foremost reason was to have an emergency fund in case something happened and to make sure I have enough money to cover rent and my other bills. Another reason I wanted to start saving was to start saving early for retirement so that I can leverage compound interest for the long term. Finally, another savings goal of mine is that once I have enough for a safe emergency fund I would like to dip my toes into the world of investing! Whatever your reason for saving is, this savings plan is an excellent means to start working towards your own goals and I hope you get some excellent ideas on how to put this plan to use in your own life.
"You must gain control over your money or the lack of it will forever control you."
— Dave Ramsey
1. The High-to-Low Method
This option involves starting at the high end of the table by depositing $52 the first week and working backward until you deposit $1 on your last week. This strategy has many benefits discussed below which just might make it the best option for you!
Why Choose "High-to-Low"?
There are a few benefits to choosing this strategy:
- You start to see your savings grow very quickly from the start. This can be great motivation to help you stick with this plan!
- You get the large deposits out of the way first so that if you fall into financial hardship later you've gotten those out of the way already. However, if you do not have enough money to be making these larger deposits at the beginning, then this strategy may not be the best for you.
- Finally, due to the higher balance you acquire from the larger deposits, given you have chosen a proper savings account for this savings plan, you have the added bonus of compound interest working for you! Compound interest is your best friend as a saver!
2. The Low-to-High Method
This option involves starting by depositing $1 the first week and ending by depositing $52 with each week corresponding to the deposit amount. This option, while opposite to the "High to Low" plan, has its advantages as well and may be better suited to the beginner saver.
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Why choose "Low-to-High"?
Here's the lowdown on the "Low to High":
- The small weekly deposits help you to develop a habit of saving without the stress of taking those larger initial chunks from your main bank account.
- By starting small and developing into larger deposits you may feel more inclined to follow through with the entire program. However, you miss out on the bigger initial boost of compound interest with this method.
- The biggest advantage of this method for the plan is that you can start this way if you do not have the means to devote larger amounts of money to savings at first. Once you get the hang of things and how to live a little more frugal you can progress into being a savings master!
"...don't let perfectionism become an excuse for never getting started."
— Marilu Henner
Option #3: Roll the Dice!
This method doesn't follow any particular pattern and adds more spontaneity and fun to your savings plan. This is actually how I do it! I use an app called "Pretty Random" by Steven Burnett, I set the range up to 52 and I roll the dice to get my deposit for that week.
- Pretty Random - Random Number Generator on the App Store
- Pretty Random - Random Number Generator on the Play Store
Why Choose to "Roll the Dice"?
There are a few reasons why "Roll the Dice" is my option of choice:
- It allows for some flexibility in your deposit amounts for those "extra tight" weeks. Just simply roll the app again until you get a number that fits your situation a little better!
- Your savings account can still grow at a faster rate than the "Low to High" option while giving some stability to your deposit amounts from week to week.
- Finally, I think it is simply more fun to it this way, the less structured random approach makes saving money more like a game than a chore. You are more likely to stick with something if you enjoy it!
With this option, it is important to keep track of which numbers you have deposited to make sure each week you are depositing a new amount and getting closer to your goal of all 52! I did this by creating a list on my phone and checking off whichever amount I deposit each week. Feel free to do this in whatever way you feel best, be it a note book or on your calendar, I just found that using my phone is what worked best for me!
I am a firm believer in this plan! In just half a year now I was able to save $842 in my savings account, with the help of some extra money I was lucky enough to have come into. However, the vast majority of the funds in this account come directly from following the plan I have just explained to all of you. Regardless of which plan you pick, if you can stick with it you will undoubtedly reach your goal of over $1000 in a year! I believe in all of you. Happy Saving!
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.