The Original 365-Day Saving Challenge was a Weekly Plan
Many of you would now have heard of the 52 week saving challenge. If you haven’t, it’s quite simple, so let me explain.
The idea behind the challenge is that you save an increasing amount per week for each week of the year. In week one you save £1, week two you save £2, three you save £3 until you’re saving £52 by the last week of the year.
Cool eh! In your first month, you'll put away £10 from your budget. (£1 in week 1 + £2 in week 2 + £3 in week 3 and finally £4 in the fourth week = £10 saved in your first month.)
The problem (the plans major flaw) comes later down the line. During the 12th month, you're expected to put away £49 in the 49th week, £50 in week 50, £51 in week 51 and finally during Xmas, another £52. A total of £202. That's a lot of disposable income to find during December.
The One Penny A Day Saving Challenge is similarly flawed.
Instead of saving £'s a week, this challenge see's you saving in multiples of pennies/day.
The premise: You start by saving a penny on day one, 2 pennies on day two and on towards £1 on day 100 and £3.65 on day 365. By increasing the amount by 1p each day you will end up with £667.95 at the end of the year.
How is it flawed
There are a couple of stumbling blocks. Firstly, the low starting amounts saved during that first couple of weeks.
You're expected to drop in a penny on the first day, then two pence on the second day, and so on. Are you really going to continue in this vain, where is the motivation to continue. At the end of the first week, you'd only have saved 28 pence. Easy right! Yeah, Too Easy. Another potential pit-fall is that during the last month of saving you'll be expected to save approximately £25 a week.
Week 49 £23.87
Week 50 £24.36
Week 51 £24.85
Week 52 £25.34
Total you'll be expected to put away for savings during December (including days 335, 336 and 337 (days 1,2 and 3 of December belong to week 48 which starts during November)) is £108.50.
If you're unemployed, or working and living month to month, can you honestly, hand on heart, say you're going to be in a position where you can put £108.50 into your savings jar during the hardest financial month of the year, hell no. The idiots creating these saving challenges aren't thinking these things through.
The Revised 365-Day Saving Challenge is just the above plan, in reverse. This revised plan wants you to start saving the higher amounts at the beginning of the year, working down to the lower savings as you progress through the year. The same flaw remains, only now you're hit with the mammoth saving challenge during January, the month after one of our most financially challenging months of the year.
Another (lesser) flaw I've seen with the above challenge, almost all of the web bloggers who push the above as a saving solution provide a 'printable' chart with the figures pre-printed. What happens when, for what ever reason, you fail to meet the amount printed for any particular month. If you fail to hit Aprils target saving, every printed amount for May forward, is now out of sync. Wave bye-bye to your motivation.
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The above calendar is for December and shows a breakdown of what's expected of you during the final days/weeks of the Penny A Day Saving Challenge (which by the way is a poorly worded title, saving a penny a day for 365 days will result in a piggy poor £3.65).
So above, you'll see the days in calendar form, days 1, 2 and 3 (which incidentally falls in week 48, which starts during November) of December, you'd put in your Savings Jar towards week 48. Total £10.08
Day 1, 2 & 3, £10.08
Days 4 to 10, another £23.87
Days 11 to 17, another £24.36
Days 18 to 24 (Whoop Whoop, Santa's coming) , another £24.85
and finally Days 25 to 31st Dec, another £25.34
Total pennies for December, a whopping £108.50