Want a really easy way to save at least £1,000 this year? The 52 week challenge

I’m taking the 52-Week Money Challenge, which gets a lot of interest online at this time of year.

This can be one of your New Year’s Resolutions!

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It’s very straightforward. You simply start by saving £5 in the first seven days in January (so, five days to go!) and you build up the savings by saving a larger or smaller amounts each seven days over the 52 weeks.  You can start with £52 the first week and then work down to £1 by December, when the festive season means money is a lot tighter.  I find the summer and autumn are best to do the bigger saving amounts.  The most you would have to put away in any week is £40, everything is less than that.

The variety in the saving pattern means that you can build up in a way that suits you!

To make it something everyone can take part in, why not make it a joint family goal.  Would be great to get comments on the tips for saving the amounts each week

… I’ve opened a ‘jam jar’ account with my local church Money Club…for my shoes and handbag fund … ssh, don’t tell hubby!

Here’s one way to do this weekly saving that makes it all a bit easier:

 

Week Number Dates         Weekly Amount Monthly Amount Saved So Far
1 1-7 Jan £5
2 8-14 Jan £4
3 15 – 21 Jan £3
4 22 – 28 Jan £2 £14
5 29Jan -4Feb £1 £15
6 5 – 11 Feb £10
7 12 – 18 Feb £9
8 19 – 25 Feb £8 £28
9 26Feb-4Mar £7 £49
10 5 – 11 Mar £6
11 12 – 18 Mar £20
12 19 – 25 Mar £19 £52
13 26Mar-1Apr £18 £112
14 2 – 8 Apr £17
15 9 – 15 Apr £16
16 16 – 22 Apr £15 £66
17 23 – 29 Apr £14 £174
18 30Apr-6May £13
19 7 – 13 May £12
20 14-20May £11 £50
21 21 – 27 May £30
22 28May-3Jun £29 £269
23 4 – 10 Jun £27
24 11 – 17 Jun £28 £114
25 18 – 24 Jun £26
26 25Jun – 1Jul £25 £375
27 2 – 8 Jul £24
28 9 – 15 Jul £23 £98
29 16 – 22 Jul £22
30 23 – 29 Jul £21
31 30Jul- 5Aug £35 £500
32 6 – 12 Aug £25 £103
33 13 – 19 Aug £25
34 20 – 26 Aug £25
35 27Aug-2Sep £25 £600
36 3 – 9 Sep £25 £100
37 10 – 16 Sep £25
38 17 – 23 Sep £25
39 24 – 30 Sep £25 £700
40 1 – 7 Oct £25 £100
41 8 – 14 Oct £40
42 15 – 21 Oct £39
43 22 – 28 Oct £38
44 29Oct-4Nov £37 £154 £879
45 5 – 11 Nov £36
46 12 – 18 Nov £35
47 19 – 25 Nov £20
48 26Nov-2Dec £10 £101 £980
49 3 – 9 Dec £10
50 10 – 16 Dec £5
51 17 – 23 Dec £5
52 24 – 31 Dec £5 £25 £1,005!

If you get your money once a month, the monthly saving target is also given to make it easier for you to keep a check on how you are progressing!

TOTAL: however frequently you save, it’s over £1,000 – simples!!

Try it out and let us know how you get on! Join me and let’s see how much we can all save in 2014…

Onwards and Upwards!

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Keeping your New Year’s Resolutions…this time

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Happy New Year!!

January is that time of year when we list our resolutions , hoping these will improve our lives in the year to come.  However studies show that only 8% of the population actually achieve New Year’s Resolutions!

The most common resolutions we make are about health and money, but whatever your plans, check out these tips to help you make 2015 an even better year for you financially.

Goals to Reduce Your Debt
This year write down your list of all the debt you owe – yes, this is a difficult one but should really take only 20 minutes at most.  Then, make a plan to pay off your debts using the priority of those with the highest interest rates first. Always try to pay more than the minimum monthly payment if you’re financially able to  do so. That way you will pay off that debt faster –  and save money on interest charges.

Goals to increase (or start!) Your Savings
Write down one short term goal – perhaps for this year’s holiday or to start an emergency fund to cover unexpected expenses.  Then write down a medium term goal – perhaps it;s that dream vacation, or a deposit on a home. Next, decide on a realistic deadline to achieve these goals – and list the regular action you will need to do within that time to accomplish your goal.

Goals to Improve (or Develop!)  Your Spending Plan
Your Spending Plan is the most powerful tool to help you succeed this year. your new “budget,” it may help you to think of it as a spending plan instead. By planning out your food, entertainment, education, and other expenditures, you’ll have a better understanding of where you’re allocating your income and how much is available to spend on each activity.

Review your credit report
You are entitled to one free report a year from each of the three major credit-reporting agencies—Equifax, Transunion, and Experian. Go online to request your credit report at the beginning of the year (or request one at a time in the year that suits you). Review the info and raise any disputes regarding any incorrect information you find in the report.

Further your financial knowledge in 2015
One of the easiest ways to boost your finances is to first write down your financial goals and then learn more about the finance topics that interest you and will help towards achieving your goal/s.

You only need a few resolutions to help improve your overall financial health.

What’s your resolution for 2015?
Best wishes and Happy New Year!

“SMARTER Finances” Spring Seminar at Milton Keynes (Bletchley) SDA Church

The 2014 series of “SMARTER Finances” seminars continues with the one-day Stewardship Youth programme at Bletchley church.  Attended by over 40 youth and adults, the morning session covered the basics, drawing on the bible-based principles.

The afternoon was a fun interactive session looking at personal and church financial goals and the best ways to achieve them.

The results of the straw poll (sample 20 members) above has been added to the total responses so far.  To see the results as at March 2014 click here.

Get support for you and your church on your financial journey!

About the FREE  “SMARTER Finance” Seminars – These are  bible-based seminars and are delivered in your local church. As part of the Stewardship of our knowledge, member’s have supported other church groups by running these seminars annually since 2004.

Start-up a locla MONEYCLUB a training and learning  workshops and practical support sessions for members. From June to December run these as weekend, or one-day church based seminars.

A number of local church groups in England already use these sessions for basic financial literacy in a Stewardship Day programme whilst others use the weekend workshops or one-day seminar services for both the church and local community outreach.

If your church has never participated or held one of these sessions, ask your Treasurer and your Stewardship Co-ordinator to arrange a session this year.

“SMARTER Finances” Kick off with Spring Seminar at Stevenage SDA Church

Stevenage April 2014

The 2014 series of “SMARTER Finances” seminars started with the one-day Stewardship programme at Stevenage church.  Attended by over 60 people, the morning session covered the basics, drawing on the bible-based principles.

The afternoon was an intense session with 30 members looking at personal, family and church financial goals and the best ways to achieve them.

The results of the straw poll (sample 20 members) below has been added to the total responses so far.  To see the results as at March 2014 click here.

Get support for you and your church on your financial journey!

About the FREE  “SMARTER Finance” Seminars – These are  bible-based seminars and are delivered in your local church. As part of the Stewardship of our knowledge, member’s have supported other church groups by running these seminars annually since 2004.

The first quarter, from January to March, is used for workshops and practical support sessions for members new to the programmes. From April to December we then run the weekend, or one-day church based seminars.

A number of local church groups in England already this session for basic financial literacy as a Stewardship Day whilst others use the weekend workshops or one-day seminar services for both the church and local community outreach.  If your church has never participated or held one of these sessions, ask your Treasurer and your Stewardship Co-ordinator to arrange a session this year.

So, who’s ‘in the black’? 2014 1st Quarter results just in…

 Total “SMARTER Finances” Survey Responses – 1st Quarter (Mar ’14)

Juan Carlos Patrick, keynote speaker at the SEC Expo on 12 January 2014 challenged delegates to be fishermen rather than keepers of the aquarium.  

We also started to do the quarterly report on the views UK Seventh-day Adventist church members have about finances and money.  

Here is the quarterly update on responses received so far!

What do you think the result show? Please share your views and comment!

2014 1st Quarter Survey results

“SMARTER FINANCES” – WHO’s REPRESENTED?

The results now include the Stevenage SDA Church responses (5 April 2014)

A big ‘Thank You’ to all the churches that have taken part so far.  Results are still coming in so don’t stop commenting and responding!

 

1. Balham 11. London Ghana
2. Bracknell 12. Hanwell
3. Basingstoke* 13. Holloway
4. Central London 14. Ipswich
5. Cheltenham 15. Lewisham
6. Clacton 16. Norbury
7. Clapton 17. Northolt
8. Edmonton Central 18. Plaistow
9. Edmonton (Cuckoo Hall Lane) 19. Reading Central
10. Elephant & Castle 20. Stevenage

* –   also won the 2014 SEC Expo £5 Challenge!!

If you haven’t yet see our  ‘7 Days’ tips for starting off the New Year –  click on any of the  links below to recap on the day’s messages:

Day 1 – the one about developing your Spending Plan
Day 2 – the one about Reducing your Debts
Day 3 – the one about Increasing your Savings
Day 4 – the one about gaining more Financial Knowledge
Day 5 – the one about checking your Credit Report/ Rating
Day 6 – the one about having ‘the Talk’ about Finances
Day 7 – the one about making adjustments for life’s ‘big changes’

From April 2014 all UK Churches are invited to host a FREE  “SMARTER Finance” Seminars to get support for you on your financial journey – These are  bible-based seminars and are delivered in your local church. As part of the Stewardship of our knowledge, member’s have supported other church groups by running these seminars annually since 2004.

Exposed! The ‘Secret Millionaires’ amongst us

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Did you know that during 2014 there are secret millionaires steadily building up their wealth through the national MoneyClub community?

The local church MoneyClubs are financial stewardship communities set up and operated for the benefit of local church members.

Each month, the MoneyClub holds seminars and training to help members build their savings.  Most of the members are also signed up to the ‘Save over £1,000 in one year’ challenge.

With over 1,000 local members participating, that will amount to over £1,000,000 saved in 2014 alone.

How do you think these MoneyClubs can help the local communities during this year?

If you are a member and regular attendee of any Seventh-day Adventist church  within the UK (England, Wales, Ireland, Scotland and Northern Ireland) and you would like to get more information about setting up or joining your local  MoneyClub let us know by posting a comment below.

Don’t be shy, share your thoughts!

52-Week Savings Challenge

We’re doing the challenge here in the UK as well! Some really good tips on ways to do this for children as well. Also best not to keep the cash jam jars at home… a bonanza for burglars!

Fi's Mutterings

I keep seeing this challenge on blogs and websites this week, mainly US ones I’ll admit.  The idea is to save $1 in week 1 and build up to $52 in week 52 so that you end up with $1,378 at the end of the year.  In my case it will be £1 to £52, for a total of £1,378 at the end of the year.  For the rest of this blog I’m going to be talking in £s, I’m in the UK it makes more sense to me than $.

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There are a couple of blogs out there which suggest it may be easier to start with £52 in week 1 (January) and work down to £1 at the end of the year (December) when we have a larger expenditure anyway.  That is great, in theory, but January is the month when we are paying off the bills from…

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Get £1,000 in one year: Jan update now in!

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We’ve updated the blog about an easy way to save £1,000 in one year….

Remember, if you haven’t started this challenge yet, it’s never too late – start now!

Here’s how some of us got on in January:

HoneyBea – Decided to do this as a monthly amount to match the timing of income – thanks for updating the helpful chart  – it suggests how much you can put aside monthly now!  So I’ve done the January amount – it’s only £15 so that was easy.  Am a bit worried about how I will keep my hands of the larger amounts suggested to save over later months so I might put a bit more aside now… this is exciting!!!!

Copperz – £125  : I’m still going with the large lumps every month.  I’ll probably save  £100 each month until November – this money is going to be presents for the family and a holiday next year. I don’t think I need to do thisby standing order – I do mobile banking … and I never forget things like this.

Kate – £60 so far: I’m retired but I want to do this challenge and so I’m saving £20 each week

Anonymous Pete – I still think this savings method is fundamentally flawed and should be adjusted…. I haven’t saved anything yet – I’m looking at different options on savings that are out there

Anonymous 2 – I saved some money but the kids need shoes and I’ve bought a few things for the house and then I loaned some to a friend at work – hopefully I’ll get it back next month…

How would you do this challenge?  

The best comment each month gets a free gift*!

*Free gift is only available to persons over age 18. Must be living in the UK. Must be a member of a Seventh-Day Adventist church within the British Union Conference. Gift is not transferable. New competition opens each month and closes at midnight on the last day of the month British Standard Time

JACKPOT!

Anyone got Ideas about what they would do if they won £million in 2014?

thesubtlelessons

jackpot

What would you do if you won a MILLION dollars today?

Would the money still be around tomorrow, a week from now, a year from now, or even 5 years on? Most (A Google search suggests 50-70%) lottery winners remain broke or become worse off.

The FINANCIAL education of a person plays a BIG role here. Knowing how to EARN money is just a small portion of the education, learning to PRESERVE and EXPAND your wealth is the KEY.

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You couldn’t make this up…!

“Give a man a fish, and you have fed him once. Teach him how to fish and HE IS FED for a lifetime.”

Guest blogger takes a look back at the 2014 SEC Expo SMARTER Finances session

“I need £600….”

Delegate: I need £600…
Presenter: OK…  What’s the money for?
Delegate: It’s for my to use for my church department. I want to go to a conference in Geneva this year and need this amount..
Presenter: Have you asked for a grant from your church or from the SEC Department that helps local church activities? 
Delegate: No, not at all.  I know all that but I’ve not done it, it’s such work!
 Presenter: Do you want me to help you find ways of raising the money?
Delegate: No,   I was in your session and just thought that since you know about money you must have some going spare  – so you should give me  – so I’m asking can you give me the £600…

…Banks may have branches… but money doesn’t grow on trees!

What would YOU do?

70/30 Budget Rule:

This is similar to the 80/20 rule – the savings amount is included in the 80%. This is good if you are able to save, but if you on a course of paying down your debts then the savings/ emergency fund may be something you look to build at a later stage. Good post!

Debt Free Sisters

I found this technique a great roadmap for successful budgeting.

 

1. Pay yourself 10% of your take home pay. It would be wise to use a separate checking account and debit card for this 10% which includes your “play money”, dining out, extra-curricular activities or you can put away 5% for that special piece of jewelry.

2. Give away 10%; this could be your tithe, charitable contributions or any particular cause you are interesting in.

3. Save 10% of your take home pay each month; this should be outside of your 401K or retirement saving, but can be part of your emergency fund. Can also include saving for vacation, investments, business start-up money, savings for a special purchase/occasion.

4. The 70% of your income is the lifeline of your budget and should be managed very strategically so that you can make sure the 30% happens. Everyday living expenses include:

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