How to save $2,018 in 2018 with the New Year’s money challenge

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How to save $2,018 in 2018 with the New Year’s money challenge
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If your New Year’s resolution is to save more and spend less, there’s an easy way to build your savings by $2,018 before the end of 2018 with Team Clark’s money challenge!

Think about it: What would you do with an extra $2,018 in your bank account?

RELATED: 5 New Year’s money challenges to save more in 2018

New Year’s money challenge: How to save $2,018 in 52 weeks 

Maybe you would use it to pay off an outstanding debt, take a vacation, contribute to a Roth IRA, spruce up your home, pay down the mortgage or add it to your new car fund.

There are so many ways to put that money to good use — and we’re going to be here every week to guide you.

Here’s the challenge: Transfer a specific amount to a savings account every week — starting with $18 — and watch it grow to $2,018 in 52 weeks.

By the end of the fourth week, you’ll already have $101 in the bank! How awesome is that?

We wanted to make sure this challenge was achievable, so the deposit amounts for three of the first eight weeks — when holiday bills start to roll in — are less than $20.

The amounts consistently increase from there, topping out at $63 during week 25.

For the final eight weeks of the year — when you’re faced with holiday expenses all over again — you have another three deposits for less than $20.

More than $1,500 of the $2,018 will be saved between March and October.

Follow 2 steps to get started 

Are you getting excited to save more in the new year? If you like what you see, follow these two steps to get started with our challenge:

  1. Print out the Save $2,018 in 52 weeks challenge and hang it up where you’ll see it often.
  2. Open a new savings account or designate an existing savings account to make the weekly deposits from your checking account.

RELATED: 5 online banks that offer lower fees, higher returns & better service

Funded $18 for the first week already! (Discover Bank)

5 ways to save money without making sacrifices

How exactly are you supposed to find $2,018 to save in the first place? That’s what Team Clark is here for.

For the past year, I’ve been writing a column for Clark.com called Michael Saves to provide quick and easy ways to save by putting various money-saving strategies to the test.

I’ve managed to reduce my spending by thousands of dollars without sacrificing quality of life.

For example, eliminating the daily trip to Starbucks saves about $500 a year, but many people just don’t want to make their coffee at home —and that’s okay if they can reduce spending elsewhere.

Here are five ways to save money that don’t involve taking something away:

1. Lower your monthly cell phone bill: If you haven’t looked for a cheaper cell phone plan in the last six weeks, you may be paying too much. I lowered mine to just $12 a month!

2. Negotiate a lower pay TV/internet rate: You don’t even need to pick up the phone. Trim is a digital assistant that negotiates with your cable and internet provider for a better rate.

RELATED: How I lowered my cable and internet bill 3 times this year

3. Switch insurance providers: Shop around to get the same auto and home insurance coverage for a lower price! Start with this list of the best providers and call up a few of them to compare quotes.

4. Get the best price on prescription drugs: Download free apps GoodRx and LowestMed to search pharmacies for discounts and coupons. You may find prices even lower than your insurance co-pay.

RELATED: The easiest way to save on prescription drugs

5. Change up your shopping routine: If your food spending is out of control, try a different grocery store! That’s one of the ways I cut my food spending by $1,200 in one year.

Managing your money the old-fashioned way

If you find yourself losing track of your money, you may want to consider budgeting with cash.

I’ve made a few tweaks to the old envelope method to make it easier to follow in a digital world, while still helping you reduce spending in the areas where money tends to slip away.

Follow my 7-step plan to make the cash envelope method work in 2018!

Keep up with the 52-week challenge on social media!

Team Clark will be here to help you stick with the New Year’s money challenge! We’ll share the deposit amount every week on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and in our email newsletter.

That way, even if you don’t print out the challenge, we’ll remind you of the weekly savings goal.

Another reason to follow us on social media is to learn the special meaning behind some of the deposit amounts — not all of them are random numbers!

Here’s how to stay connected with Team Clark:

Are you ready to save $2,018 in 2018? We invite you to join us and share this challenge with a friend. Let us know how you’re doing by using #clarksavingschallenge.

Team Clark’s guide to save more, spend less in 2018: 

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Michael Timmermann paid off his mortgage in two years. Now, he shares his money-saving tips on his blog, MichaelSaves.com.
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