Success: Triad Woman Saves $1,400 With 52-Week Money Challenge

12:27 AM, Jan 1, 2014   |    comments
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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Making a New Year's Resolution is the easy part -- but actually keeping it is a different story.

Last year - 40-percent of Americans made resolutions but by the end of the first week of January - 25-percent of those people already broke their resolutions!

So what's the trick? 

WFMY News 2's Morgan Hightower spoke to a woman who saved nearly $1,400 in just 52 weeks.

"I've not always been a saver, so I've been determined to change that and this was a simple tool and a simple way for me to get started," explained Shelly Acuff.

After learning about the 52-week money challenge on WFMY News 2, Shelly Acuff decided to give it a shot.

"Of course the first week was simple, went to lunch one day, had some change, I put a dollar in an envelope in my desk," she explained.

READ: 52-Week Money Challenge

Then, the next week she added $2 and $3 the week after that.

Last week, she made her fifty-second deposit. It was for $52.

"If you hang in there, it's worth it. At the end of the year, you have $1,378 if you stick to the plan," said Acuff.

To take away the temptations of spending all that saved money, Acuff opened a separate savings account.

She also made the savings a part of her budget in January.

She says the toughest months were in November and December because she had to set aside nearly $400.

"I'm not saying it won't get difficult, you know but even if you can only make it through week 40, that is still a good chunk of change, that's still you getting in the habit just try."

Shelly has not spent all that money. She's saving it and will do the 52-week challenge again in 2014.

READ: Your Money: 13 Money-Saving Tips

Mike Sullivan, chief education and operations officer of non-profit credit-counseling agency Take Charge America recommends the following money-saving tips:

-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.

WFMY News 2

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