To have $5000 in your bank account by the end of the year, it's a matter of putting aside a little bit every week and being disciplined about the process.  This is the way to do it.  

One of the worst New Year's resolutions to make is, "I want to save more money," because there's no definite plan behind it.  If there's no action plan it becomes a boat load full of wishful thinking and good intentions and that has a hard time panning out.  Don't we know it.

I've seen stories in several places this week about the 52-Week Money Challenge, and the amounts to save each week are clearly laid out so all we have to do is make the transfer of the funds over to a savings account and it will add up to $5000 at the end of the year.  It takes discipline and maybe a little sacrifice, but if we stick to the plan we'll have a bunch of money in the bank that's not there now.

You could probably tweak the weekly saving amounts to your liking, as long as the total amount saved adds up to $5000 at the end of the year.

One saving plan starts out by putting away $20 the first week of the year, and then $35 the next week, and $45 the third week of the year.

Another plan starts with a $50 transfer the first week of the year, $75 the second week, and $100 the third week.

Under both plans, there are some weeks where the saved amount is $110 or more, but there are plenty of weeks where the goal amount is a lot less than that.

Every week you're setting aside something, and if you have a week with an unexpected car repair or you get sick and need a pricey prescription, you could make up the savings later in the year.  The point is to transfer something each week, stay disciplined about it, and end up with a lot more at than end of the year than you have now.

Just like healthy eating and exercise, it takes commitment to do this even when it doesn't feel good and seems like the least-gratifying choice.  It sure is a lot more fun to spend $100 a week on coffee, jeans, and manicures!  But the hard work will pay off.

We're going to have big chances to win fun money again this year, along with tickets, trips, and big fat gift cards so you can stick to your saving plan and not have to sacrifice on the fun.  This will be a great year.