Shortly after the launch of the NEW “next generation” consoles I wrote an article titled “How the 52 Week Money Saving Challenge Got Me an Xbox One AND a PS4“. This was simply an article about my last years New Years Resolution and how it got me both new systems at Launch. Since being a gamer is a costly hobbie any extra money you can save is extremely useful.
Since it is officially 1/1/2014 and everyone is planning their 2014 New Years Resolutions I figured it was time to revisit the 52 Week Money Saving Challenge. As well as give you guys some of my own personal tips to achieving your goals.
So I guess we should start with what exactly the 52 week money saving challenge is? It is actually super simple. Each week you will save the same amount of money that corresponds to the number of that week. So for Week 1 you will save $1, giving you a total of 1$ saved. For week 2 you will save $2, giving you a total of $3 saved. As you continue to do this through out the year the amount gets higher and higher until you reach week 52 were you will save 52$ giving you a grand total of $1,378.00 saved. And even though looking at week 52 you will likely think trying to save 52$ will be impossible, having a goal will make it so much easier. Hence my motivation last year of getting the “Next Gen” Consoles.
There are plenty of charts online that you can print as a way to keep track of your savings, but the one I have posted above is my favourite. The reason I like this chart the best is because the amounts you save are all on the left side and do NOT correspond to one DATE. This leaves you the flexibility to choose when to save what amount of money you want. You simply choose your amount, say $25, you cross off the 25 and write it next to which ever week it is and then keep adding up your total amount.
You can start by saving all the large amounts first to get them out of the way. Or you could start with the smaller amounts and work your way up. Or just save whatever you are most comfortable with saving each week. AND even though the dates still say 2013 it still works. The dates are only 1 off from last year and you can put the money in whichever day that week you want. Or if you really want just white the dates out and enter in the date that you put aside the money. I personally like to put my money aside on Friday right after I get paid. That way I’m putting the money away immediately and I am less likely to spend it.
Keep in mind nothing here is set in stone. AND is all completely subjective to what you want. Which is perfect! Don’t want to save 50$ on week 50? No big deal save what you can, or make your own amounts. I personally chose to make a 20$ a week minimum. That way I always saved at least 20$ but if I couldn’t afford more than 20$ I didn’t feel guilty. The other nice thing is you will have extra money. Lets say week 33 your car breaks down, well now that you have been doing the money saving challenge you have at least $500.00 already put aside. And if absolutely necessary you can take the money from there instead of directly out of your pocket. I have found this super useful as I am no longer pinching pennies as much when something comes up out of the blue. And if you can, later on you can always just put back whatever you had previously taken out.
The big thing I want to point out is the cost of video games and systems. Since one game is usually 60$ this can hit your pocket pretty hard when a new game comes out. Not to mention on a week when there is 2 or 3 big releases at once. I often find myself choosing the one I want the most or waiting until I have a bigger pay check to get my games. But since doing the money saving challenge I always have the extra money saved if I can’t afford to get the new release I want.
The other option you have, if doing the money saving challenge is out of the question, is pre-ordering your games. I do this in addition to the money saving challenge. Some people think it is tupid to run out and pre-order a game in advance but in all actuality if funds are tight it is a really great idea. I am not to sure how other stores work as I only get my gaming stuff from Gamestop. At Gamestop you only have to put down 5$ for a game . This guratees you a copy on release for up to 48hrs after its launch. And if you pre-order a game early enough you can go in every couple of weeks and put 5$ down until its paid in full. When it finally releases and you go in to pick it up it’s like getting a BRAND NEW game for free. In reality it isn’t free, but paying 5$ every week over a stretch of 3 months doesn’t feel like anything. Smokers spend at least that a day on cigerattes. What’s 5$ a week for that awesome new game you want?
Just like last year I will be doing the 52 Week Money saving Challenge and here at IRB Gamer we are curious how many of you will too.