Raise your hand if you know you should have more in your savings account.

Don’t worry, you’re not the only one.

Bankrate earlier reported that over 75% of Americans don’t have enough cash savings to cover their expenses for 6 months.

27% don’t have any savings at all!!


Before I got married, I had very little cash.   I was (and still am) a spender.

After my wife and I tied the knot I think we maybe had a whopping $500 cash in the bank.

52 Week Money Challenge

While I was deployed to Iraq we made a conscious goal to boost our savings.  Our 1st goal was $1,000 inspired by Dave Ramsey’s Baby Steps.

Our goal gradually increased where we eventually amassed up to 12 months of our expenses in cash.

Why Cash?

Many people don’t see the importance of having so much cash on hand.  In my book, I talk about having a FRAGO  (Financial Reserves and Goal Obligation) fund.

Because having cash on hand doesn’t just protect you from emergencies, it helps you achieve short-term and long-term goals.

When we built our dream home and I took a risk in starting my own firm, there’s no way we could have pulled it off had we not been diligent with our savings.

That didn’t happen over night.   It all started small when I was deployed.

Starting Small – The 52 Week Plan to Boost Your Savings

I can’t  take credit for this concept.  In fact, I’m not even sure who came up with it.  All I know is that I’ve seen the 52 Week Savings chart everywhere.

How does the 52 week challenge work?   It’s so freaking simple which makes it that much more awesome.

The 1st week you deposit $1 into your savings account.   The 2nd week you deposit $2 into your savings account.  The 3rd week you deposit $3.

You get the picture?

By the 52th week after you deposit $52 you’ll have accumulated $1,378.  And that’s not including interest!

If you have struggled having cash in your savings account, this challenge is for you!

But in case that isn’t much of an incentive to start saving, what if I offered you real cash?

That’s right: Cash Money!

Do I have your attention now?

If so, read on….

Double Your Savings Account

The wife and I are excited about getting people to really start saving. My deployment to Iraq was the catalyst that got our saving rolling.

We’re hoping this challenge is your catalyst. And for those that make the entire 52 weeks we want to reward one lucky person with an awesome prize.

We want to double what you’ve saved and match your $1,378.

That’s right. One super lucky person that personally saves $1,378 will be awarded the same amount.

Now are you inspired to save? WE hope so! :)

Want to know how excited we are?

This excited:

savings challenge

So excited that we took a selfie holding a piggy bank minutes before we were rushing to get our kids off to school.   :)

Rules of the Competition

First, you’re more than welcome to take on this challenge without following the below steps.   BUT….if you want to be eligible for the prize pool, this is how it will go down:

  • Step 1:  Leave a comment below announcing you’ve joined the challenge.
  • Step 2: Open a *FREE* brand new savings account with Capital One 360 (affiliate link).
  • Step 3: Coordinate with your current bank to facilitate the weekly transfers
  • Step 4: Winners must provide confirmation email showing the new account opened and a screenshot of the balance in their account after the 52 weeks


(Note:  we realize that people could take advantage of this situation and make it look like they completed the challenge. For that, we reserve the right to disqualify anyone that we feel is being dishonest. We may ask for additional info to verify you did complete the challenge.  Thanks for reader Anthony for suggesting that we add this).

That’s it! Taking on this challenge will finally get your savings account to a level it’s never been AND you have a chance to double it.

All for taking action right now.

A few questions you might have.

Why Capital One 360?   There are several online savings account you can choose from.  We just think they are one of the best.   It’ s free to setup and super easy to open.  Open an account today and see how easy it is.

Why does it have to be a new account?  We want this account to be separate from any other savings account you have so your less tempted to touch.  How many times have you started a savings account only to raid it for some purchase?  This will hopefully prevent that.

Can anyone sign up? Not quite.  You have to be at least 18 years of age and a U.S. Resident.

When’s the deadline to sign up?  You have until January 31, 2014 to get started.   You have plenty of time BUT don’t procrastinate!!

Want This Free Download?

I created this slick looking PDF to keep you inspired for the 52 Week Challenge.

Download the Free Worksheet and you’ll also get access to a ton of other free resources I’ve created directly for the GF¢ community.

52 Week Money Savings Worksheet

Share the love?

Inspire your friends, co-workers and family members to join this challenge with you.

I’ve joined the 52 Week Savings Challenge at GoodFinancialCents via @jjeffrose & @houseofrose Click HERE to Tweet

Make this YOUR year that you get your savings on track!


Get the Money Dominating Toolkit

  • 6 Tools to Get Your Money Back on Track
  • The Ultimate Goal Achiever Workbook
  • 2 Free Chapters to my Best Selling Book
  • 21 Days to Destroy Your Bad Habits Worksheet

Comments | 237 Responses

  1. Micki says

    Cha-Ching! I’m in and have signed up for this challenge. You will definitely see my screenshot at the end of the 52 weeks. Let’s Go! :-)

  2. Tawnya LaFave says

    Just made my second deposit and am so excited! I’m doing it in reverse (ex. $52 first deposit, $51 second deposit and so on) so I will see it grow quickly. I’m really encouraged by all the people joining the challenge, good job everyone!

  3. Rosemary says

    I was looking for an easy way to save on a regular basis. This will be fun every week seeing how my money grows. Will be opening up my account today.

  4. says

    Hey Jeff! I love Capital One 360–been with them (ING) for years and am getting my new account set up for the challenge. Question: to be eligible, does it have to be specifically $1, $2, $3….? I’d like to set it up this way: Week 1 $52, Week 2 $1, Week 3 $51, Week 4 $2, etc. It’ll be great to see the savings add up faster (interest too!)…what do you think?

  5. Sylvester Steele Jr. says

    I’m in on this challenge. Signed up on the website a few weeks ago, downloaded the 52-week “How to Successfully Save”, and opened a 360 account with $6 since this is the third week into the new year. Plus 360’s promotion for new accounts added a $50 bonus. But, at the end of the 52-weeks we can deduct the $50 and show transactional proof I was successful. These are hard times, especially being a disabled veteran and the government taking “earned benefits” promised, but this plan seems simple enough to follow, plus it keeps me from using the money to buy beer or something not needed. Cheers All!

    • Sylvester says

      Actually when I did the initial deposit amount before account verification I’d put $10 down, so I’ll not make another deposit until week 5.

  6. Sarah Sue says

    I just wanted to post an update. Setting up the automatic transfers has been so helpful. It is fun to see my savings grow over time. Thank you for the boost to get this started!

  7. Michelle says

    Still going strong. So far so good with the challenge! Despite some financial set backs lately I am keeping the weekly savings contributions going.

  8. Sylvia R says

    Yay we are over $100 this week! Sad to say, but I haven’t had that much in my savings account in a long time.

  9. Taru says

    Late but joined, love the concept and I think I will also start in reverse. Capital One 360 is not available in Canada and I have an account with ING so I will start with that.

    Thank you for the tip and I am looking forward to get some more tips. If you ever decide to get Canadians on board then please count me in.

  10. Dovey Wilson says

    Today is June 16, 2014, I am just viewing this website but I want to take the Challenge anyway!

  11. Kelsey says

    Just got an email from Capital One (I did the challenge backwards, to start with $52 and go down to $1)… and I’ve saved $1000!! It’s awesome! Thanks for the motivation!

  12. Tawnya LaFave says

    I am over the $1000 mark already! I started the challenge in reverse (ie. started with $52 deposit first week, $51 second week and so on). When I got down to depositing $35 I just kept it at the $35 deposit amount for each week. This challenge has helped me save more on a consistent basis than I have ever done. In addition, since this is a challenge, I am not tempted to “borrow” from this account. Even if I don’t win the challenge, I will still have a small victory in knowing I CAN save, even if it’s a small amount. Thank you Jeff!

  13. Ted says

    Happy Movember Everyone! I was wondering how everyone was doing in the home stretch for this challenge! We had a couple months in which it looked like I would have to dip into this fund for extreme emergencies, but we managed to tough it out and keep this sealed up. So far so good for the end of the year! Thanks to Jeff Rose for inspiring all of us to save this much for ourselves.

    • Anthony Sanchez says

      Hey Ted,

      Congratulations on keeping up with the challenge. I’m happy to report that I’m squared away for completing it on time and within the Jeff’s rules. Thankfully, we didn’t experience any trying times where we might have dipped into this fund and it was enjoyable forgetting about it (outside of making the deposits) and coming back to it here and there to see it grow. We’ll be doing this from here on out, year after year, but it reverse starting 2015. Thank you Jeff for the opportunity to participate and Good luck Ted on the outcome of the challenge!

  14. Mark says

    Hi Jeff, we did it! We actually decided to double down and do it with my wife’s income and my own!! Where do we send our PDF proof of the 52-weeks of savings that we have accomplished? Thanks so much for this idea and encouragement. We’re definitely going to continue with the program in 2015.

  15. Nicole says

    I’ve completed the challenge as well. Where do I send the screenshots confirming participation?

    Such a great program and am definitely doing it again in 2015!

    Thanks Jeff!

      • Ted says

        Thanks for the update Jeff! Is it safe to say, that if we haven’t been contacted for verification, then we haven’t been chosen as the winner?

        • says

          @Ted As of right now. I’ve contacted the winner but they’ve yet to respond. If I don’t hear from them soon we’ll then contact another winner at random. So there’s still a chance! :)

          • Mark says

            Hi Jeff, checking in on this contest again…maybe you could post the winner’s first name in case your email to them got filtered out somehow?

            I started saving anew in 2015 – what a great idea. Thank you!

  16. Ben says

    I took part in the challenge this year and can I say how excited I am to have saved over $1,300 rather effortlessly! Has the winner of this year’s challenge been announced yet? Will there be another challenge in 2015? I am planning to save again regardless, but may do it backwards this year (to make the challenge get easier as the year goes along and to take advantage of increased interest).

  17. says

    Congrats to Heather B. for winning the 52 Week Money Savings Challenge.

    Great job on everyone that took part and finished. If you didn’t finish, don’t stress! 2015 is your year. :)

  18. Ted says

    Congratulations to Heather! And thanks to Jeff and GFC for the inspiration. For the first time in a many years, my family did not incur any new debt in 2014 to be carried over into 2015. A big part of that was due to the money I saved during the challenge. Santa’s service fees will be paid off this month!!. Woot!! Good luck to everyone in 2015!

  19. Sue says

    Whats up with this Jeff? Have you chosen a winner? Does everyone that participated need to send in verification before you pick a winner?

  20. Heather says

    I just knew deep down in my soul I was going to win this but completely forgot to do the screen shot thing. I still wanted to thank you for the encouragement to do this. It really have been able to get into the habit of saving!


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