Week 1 Results for the 52 Week Save Money Challenge

The first week of my attempt for the 2014 52 week save money challenge this year had a slow start, but the good news is that it did begin. I decided to do this challenge from scratch, so I won’t be using money that was in the process of being saved before beginning this challenge. If I had done this, I could have crossed off a much larger number, but I believe doing it this way is more realistic to someone who is just beginning this type of challenge.

I did three things from my initial preparation list to get things started. Even though I didn’t save a lot of money, I did begin to build that foundation which should allow me to knock off the larger amounts in the weeks to come. Here’s how I got the ball rolling.

Start a Money Jar

save change when coming home
I created my money jar where I empty my coin change each day when I come home. While I did set this up (I placed a white container into which I empty my change in my room), I didn’t have a lot of change this week as I didn’t do much shopping. The total of the change came to $1.12. I will move $1.00 to the challenge account

I also found a nice tin which I’ll be using as my money account until I open up a new bank account for this challenge.

money account tin
Since the $0.12 doesn’t make a complete dollar, I’ll leave it in the jar to add to anything I accumulate the next week.

Saved: $1.00

Pay to Use My Car

I set up the “pay to use” system in my car. I decided to pay $1.00 each time I used my car, knowing that having to pay when I drive will make me drive less and save money. The first thing I needed to do was create an area where I could easily pay each time I got into my car. I ended up emptying out a compartment in the front of the car, and then labeled it “Pay A Buck” so it was staring me right in the face each time I got into the car. This way I wouldn’t “accidentally” forget to pay. It’s not pretty, but it does what it’s supposed to do, and it’s definitely the first thing I notice each time I climb into the driver’s seat. I probably won’t leave that up the entire year, but I will leave it until I’ve firmly formed the habit of paying each time I sit down in the car.

pay to drive
This method worked quite well this week. There were two instances where I decided to wait to drive until I had something else that also needed to get done. ┬áIn one instance, I decided I didn’t really need to drive at all, and I opted once to walk instead of drive. In all, I ended up driving four times this week to put another $4.00 toward the challenge.

car challenge money
I would estimate my change in driving habits from this ended up saving at least $4.00 in gas, and probably quite a bit more. That means that it did exactly what it was supposed to do and I count that as a major win.

Saved: $4.00

Found Money

found money
I actually found my first coins of the year on New Year’s day in the parking lot at the beach. It was only two pennies, but those will be added the $0.12 being held over so that I’ll have a total of $0.14 in the jar starting week two.

Saved: $0.00

That gives me a total of $5.00 saved for this first week to cross off and put into the saved column.

While this certainly isn’t the $52.00 that would have been great to cross off the list, I don’t feel bad at all about the amount. With the limited time I had (it was a busy week), I managed to put into place 2 savings methods that I will continue to use throughout the rest of the year. The most important aspect of this challenge was to begin, and I accomplished that, so I’m happy.

Total Saved Week 1: $5.00

Goals for the Coming Week

My one main goal for the coming week will be to look through my old documents to see if I can locate all my bills for the last 12 months. If I can get these, then I have a base with which to compare what I pay for these utilities this year. This will allow me to determine if the methods I do to try to reduce my utilities work. I’m really not looking forward to searching for these as I don’t keep the neatest of records, but it’s important information to have, so it’ll be at the top of my list.

For those of you who are also doing this challenge, what was your first week savings amount? How are you feeling about the challenge thus far? If you blogged about your first week, please share the link.

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One Response to Week 1 Results for the 52 Week Save Money Challenge

  1. Felicity says:

    I also started the challenge this week and got my husband on board with his own challenge also. I do occasional baby/pet sitting so my goal is to fund the saving through that. I started with putting $50 away this week after having a puppy here all weekend. My husband just did $4 from money he found laying around the house. We started putting the money into our TFSA. Very excited about this challenge.
    Good luck everyone.

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