New Undebt.it+ Feature: 52 Week Savings Challenge
I’m excited to announce a new Undebt.it+ feature to start out the new year – a 52 week savings challenge payment manager. For those who aren’t familiar with the challenge, it’s a popular way to incrementally save a small amount each week into a savings account. The idea is to start out small and work your way up. The basic plan is this: starting on the first week, save $1 in a savings account. The next week, save $2 and so on. At the end of the year, your last payment of $52 will give you a grand total of $1,378 in your savings account. The idea is that you’ll be able to easily adjust to saving more and more as the weeks go by. The small payment increments help ease the expenses into your budget.
Of course, I like having lots of options so there are different ways to use the challenge that may better suite your needs.
- You can go backwards – largest to smallest (the $52 payment first so it’s easier on your budget in December). December is usually a very spendy month, so this may be a good option.
- You can change the increment from $1/week to whatever you like. For example, if you change the amount to $2/week you’ll end up with over $2,750 at the end of the year.
- You can use a fixed amount each week. Not quite as exciting as bumping up the payment each week, but this option works for those who like operating on a fixed monthly budget. Saving $26.50 each week will net you the same amount at the end of the year.
- You can change the increment from weekly to monthly if you want to reduce the number of transactions.
Undebt.it’s 52 week savings challenge supports all of these options so you can choose which one works best for your situation. The savings challenge is integrated into the bill management module of Undebt.it+ so it will work seamlessly with your other bills. You can even have more than one 52 week challenge if you like.
Setting Up a Savings Challenge Account
I’ll go over the setup of a “standard” savings challenge plan – starting at $1/week, adding $1/week. The first step is to create a new bill account and choose the “52 Week Savings Challenge” as the account type. You can also change an existing account if you like. For a standard plan, enter $1 as the default amount.
Next, we’ll go to the bill details page for the newly created account and you’ll notice some new and changed fields. These fields only show up for saving challenge accounts.
- Plan Type: This is where you choose the type of savings plan you’d like to use. The default is “standard – small to large” ($1 the first week to $52 the last week). The other choices are “backwards – large to small” ($52 the first week) and “fixed amount” (same payment amount each week).
- Starting Amount: This is the amount of the first week. If you’re on the standard plan, this amount should be $1.00.
- Increase Payment By: This is the amount that the payment will increase by each week. The default is $1.00.
- Current Amount: This is the amount of the payment for the current week, so week 3 will show $3 on a standard plan.
- Current Week #: This shows your the current week that you are on. This will update automatically so there is no need to change it.
- The Repeat and Autopay options will put your plan on cruise control and create each payment entry for you so you don’t have to do it manually.
- You can change the frequency of the bills from weekly to monthly if you like. The default is weekly.
Tracking Your Progress
It’s easy to track your progress and see exactly how far along you are on your plan. Located on the bill details page, you’ll see a payment table that shows the plan information. In the example below, you can see that this plan started on 12/25/2015 and the bold text shows I have already made the first two payments. You can also see your balance at any given week
Changing Your Savings Challenge Account
If you would like to change your savings challenge account to one of the other two options, just follow these steps:
- Go to the bill details page for your savings challenge account and choose one of the other two plan options. Save the changes.
- Go to the bill dashboard page or menu sidebar and click on the bill name to edit the bill account.
- If you are changing to the backwards plan, change the “starting amount” to $52.00. Save the changes.
- If you are changing to the fixed amount plan, change the “starting amount” to $26.50. The “increase payment by” field will be ignored.
Remember that all of the Undebt.it+ premium features can be tried out for free with a no obligation 30-day trial membership. If you have already used your free trial, just use the contact form on the main site and I can reset it for you. As always, thanks for sharing on social media!