There are several ways to build a savings account. A popular one is the 52-week challenge. The way it works is you save $1 the first week, $2 the second week, $3 the third week, and so on for 52 weeks. We like this because it starts small to get you started.

A variation of the 52-week challenge is an ingenious chart we found at MediumSizedFamily.com that gives you a little more control – just pick an amount that you can save that week and cross it off the chart. There’s even a $0 block if you need a free pass one week. Print out the chart, stick it on the fridge, get a pretty color marker and get started this week. Download the printable PDF.

We recommend keeping your savings separate from your everyday account so you’re not tempted to spend what you’ve worked so hard to save. (We have several options for savings accounts, btw.) Lastly, only save what you can afford. Pay your bills first, then you can watch your savings grow.