The 26 Bi-Weekly Money Challenge

52 week money challenge bi-weekly
I received several requests from readers asking if there was a better way to do the 52 week money challenge when they are paid on a bi-weekly basis. They mentioned that it tends to be easier to save the money for the week when they get paid, but more difficult to do it the second week when no income is coming in. For those who get paid bi-weekly, they may want to follow this bi-weekly chart.

26 Bi-Weekly Money Challenge (click on image to print)


The concept is exactly the same as the 52 week challenge, where you’re adding a single dollar for each week of the year. The only difference is that instead of making the payment each week, you combine two weekly payments into one, and make it every other week. There is no difference in the amount of money that is saved. At the end of the year you’ll still have saved $1378. The only difference is that you’ll be making 26 payments during the year, corresponding to your paychecks, which should make the challenge easier to accomplish.

With the standard 26 week version, you would make a payment of $3 ($1 for week one and $2 for week two) for the first bi-weekly payment, $7 ($3 for week three and $4 for week four) the second bi-weekly payment, $11 ($5 for week five and $6 for week six) for the third bi-weekly payment until you reach the 26th payment which would be $103 ($51 for week fifty-one and $52 for week fifty-two). While straight-forward and simple, there is a major drawback. As with the standard 52 week version, this can make if difficult to save money toward the end of the year with the high payments during the holiday season, and why we created an alternate version.

Alternate Version (click on image to print)

The alternative version gives you more flexibility while still sticking with the 26 bi-weekly option. With this version, you still make the same payments throughout the year, but you get to choose which one you make for each bi-weekly payment. The goal is to pay the highest amount from the options at the bottom of the chart that you can make, then cross out that number. That allows you to pay off the higher numbers when it makes the most sense as the year progresses, rather than at the end of the year when money might be the tightest. It takes into account that a steady increase in payments over the year doesn’t always correspond with the reality of life, and for that reason it’s nice to have some flexibility in the amount when making the payment.

As with most things that pertain to finances, it’s important for individuals to find what works best for them. The 26 week bi-weekly challenge is simply another variation that might make it a little easier for some to save the money than the standard 52 week money challenge. It’s certainly an option worth considering if you are paid on a bi-weekly basis, and you know that you’ll find yourself short on funds when it’s time for the next paycheck to arrive. As with all savings plans, they tend to be much more effective if you pay yourself first rather than at the end when there often isn’t any money left to save.

If you’re still looking for the right challenge to fit your personality, here are a few other variations that might be worth taking a look at:

365 Days
52 Week Standard
52 Week Variation
52 Week Make Money
52 Week Kids
Twice a Month (Bi-Monthly)

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