KPNX -- You can save almost $1,400 this year. It's called the 52-week money challenge and it's getting a lot of likes on Facebook.
The concept is simple. Each week, you deposit the number of that week into a savings plan. For example, the first week of 2013, you would deposit $1; the second week, $2; and so on and so on. By the end of the year, you will have saved close to $1,400.
Download: 52-Week Money Challenge Chart
These days, financial experts advise people to save six months to a year of their annual income. That sounds like a tall order, but it's a necessary one in this rocky economy. Saving that amount can be overwhelming for a lot of Americans who don't by nature save money for the future. The 52-week savings plan is less intimidating and seems fairly easy to do. Besides, everyone loves a challenge, right?
Here are some other savings tips you might want to consider, courtesy of Mike Sullivan, chief education and operations officer of non-profit credit-counseling agency Take Charge America:
- When recording expenditures in your check register, round up to the next whole dollar (i.e. $ 42.55 gets entered as $43, and you have 45 cents extra). When you accumulate $50, move it to your savings account. Also, it is easier to balance your checkbook.
- Never spend change. Each day put the coins in a jar. When the jar is full, wrap the coins and deposit them in your savings account. Save more by wrapping them yourself or find a financial institution that does it for free. Do not use a pay machine at the grocery store.
- Get a cash-back credit card and deposit the cash into a savings account.
- Always consider half of all "extra money" as savings. Half of all tax refunds, gifts, payouts from class-action lawsuits, etc., should be deposited into a savings account.
- Most important: Always have something direct deposited into a savings account from your paycheck, even if it is only $5 a payday.