My 2016 Savings Challenge

I’m sure you’re familiar with the 52 week challenge. If you’re not familiar, the basic premise is to save an increasing amount every week (Week 1-save $1, Week 2-save $2, etc.). The ending total is $1,378. Pretty much everyone has made a printable to track it so there are plenty of options if you want to stick with the original.
There are now several variations of this challenge, including the reversal, bi-weekly, monthly, modified/save-as-you-can, double, etc. There are many advantages to these savings plans, particularly if you’re new to saving. It’s nice to ease into savings with small amounts and increase over time. The typical argument for this is “I was able to save $20 last week so I can save $21 this week.” This is a really motivating strategy.
While I love the idea of the weekly challenge, I prefer to use weekly averages to allow for automated savings. I’ve developed a savings plan that both challenges and encourages me. I have come to think of saving money as an enjoyable experience. I like to think of it as a game.
My current strategy involves a variation of two savings challenges: the Mega Savings Challenge and the Penny Challenge. I use the Penny Challenge as it’s listed but lump the totals for each week then calculated the weekly average of $12.85. For the Mega Savings challenge, I calculated the average weekly savings amount is $132.50. That makes the weekly average $145.35. I know that’s a lot for a weekly average but I struggle with the idea of trying to save over $1,000 in December. With the weekly average, it drops to $530 during December (and every other month for that matter).
This is a pretty ambition challenge however there are some ways I’ve made it a bit easier on myself. I’ve had an automated savings plan for years and have increased it over the years. I currently have it set to withdrawal $50 weekly which drops my weekly average to $95.35. This is still a lot but I try to push myself to save as much as possible. Here’s a little view of my current savings tracker:
I like to keep a running track of any changes to the weekly average if I make an additional deposit. Some weeks I have additional costs that impede my ability to meet the weekly average and I like having the flexibility to have lower contributions. You might not want or need these columns for your tracker and can easily be deleted.
Download your own tracker here.
What are some ways you challenge yourself to save?

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