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Viral Saving Hacks: The New Ways to Reach Your Savings Goals

Looking at the Hacks Going Viral

There’s no shortage of viral hacks to choose from once your budget and motivation have been established. One popular approach is known as the “52-week” challenge in which you start out saving $1 in week one, followed by $2 in week two, and so on through the year’s final week. Assuming you start this week you’ll have an extra $1,378 handy by spring break next year.

A more complicated plan is known as “weather Wednesday,” in which you save the amount equal to whatever the midweek temperature is where you live. There’s also the “100 envelope challenge,” with envelopes numbered 1 through 100 chosen at random — and you match the amount in cash each day. At the end of the week, you put those savings into an interest-earning account.

There are several “beginner” options included among some of the savings hacks going viral. One involves keeping the change from every cash transaction involving a $1 or $5 bill and setting it aside. There’s also the “no-spend challenge” which involves eating solely from your groceries at home and only enjoying free entertainment options for a designated period of time.

Making a Budget Is Step One

Determining the reason or motivation behind your savings plan is important in order to stick with it. Perhaps you’re planning a vacation or a visit to see family that lives far away. For many people, big one-time purchases like a home, car, or even a laptop require saving beforehand.

Advisors note that even the structure of saving motivates people differently. Some report a higher level of satisfaction after making a large deposit into their account, while others enjoy the daily affirmation that comes with micro-savings and the “keep the change” approach.

What’s Your Motivation?

Investment managers often counsel that evaluating one’s budget is the best starting place for any savings plan. Spotting ways to trim expenses is important, because extra cash means flexibility and wiggle room when saving.

Plus, evaluating the coming and going of your money brings things into focus: what’s motivating you to save? Saving is all about having a plan and sticking to it — with perhaps a bit of competitive spirit involved.

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ABOUT Meg Richardson Meg Richardson is a writer specializing in markets, technology, and personal finance. She loves breaking down seemingly complex ideas and making them readable and interesting for everyone. She holds an MFA in writing from Columbia University. When she is not writing about finance, she enjoys running in Central Park and drawing cartoons.

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