Tim Dehring

Just a random guy with a website

52 Week Savings Challenge

Disclaimer: I am in no way a financial planner nor adviser. The following post is purely informational, and should only be used as such.

Intro

I am a terrible saver when it comes to money. I’ve tried everything that’s been recommended: direct deposit into a savings account from my paycheck, automatic transfers (weekly or monthly) from checking to savings, or even the old-fashioned way — you know, where I have to go inside a physical bank and hand the teller my money, only to earn very little, if any, interest on my money.

Which leads me to my next topic: interest rates. They suck. I hate the fact that banks (local as well as national) pay you very, very little for basically storing your money so they can lend it out to others at high interest rates. It’s not fair, and quite frankly, I don’t blame anyone who doesn’t use a bank for anything other than a way to access their paycheck.

I can’t do anything about interest rates, unfortunately. But I can discipline myself enough to save money if I make it fun, or at the very least, interesting.

Let’s Play A Game, Shall We?

So, in order to get off my ass and start saving, I took an idea that I found online elsewhere called the 52 Week Challenge. It sounds like a diet plan almost, and in a sense, it sort of is.

The basic idea for this challenge is that for 52 weeks, you set aside a dollar amount that corresponds to the week #. For instance, week 1 will have $1 saved, week 2 will have $2 saved, and so on.

The plan is pretty simple and straightforward, and while it may not seem like a lot at first, by the time the challenge is over, my savings account will have $1,378 deposited into it, not including interest earned, as seen below in the screenshot I took of a spreadsheet I created to help myself save.
52 Week Savings Spreadsheet Overview
It’s simple enough: Starting with the month of October 2019, I set up the spreadsheet accordingly so I could keep track of the money I deposited, as well as interest earned. I chose an online savings account through Marcus by Goldman Sachs due to them having a pretty nice interest rate (1.9% APY at the time of this post), although there are others out there with comparative rates, if not a little higher.

I chose an online account for 2 reasons:

  • The interest rate is way higher than what is seen at local banks. Last time I looked, I believe the banks in my area were giving a “generous” 0.1% (yes, one-tenth of a percent) interest rate. Screw that. At this time, Marcus provides 1.9% interest on deposits.
  • Having an online savings account separate from my checking account prevents me from easily transferring the money back into my checking account and using it. It’s all about discipline, and I’m ok with having a transfer take up to 2 business days to complete.

As you can see above, I broke each month down as to what should be in the account by the end of each month. This allows me to keep track of what’s in savings vs. what should be in savings. Since I would rather not have to play catch up, at the beginning of each month, I will set up a schedule to transfer the money so that it’s one less hassle I have to worry about.

Ending Thoughts

There is no right or wrong time to start this challenge. I chose October because the challenge for me will end in September, and will be perfect timing to start shopping for the holidays. Plus, for our family, birthdays fall into this timeline as well so it works out to have the extra money to spend on gifts.

There are many goals to set though, not just the holidays. Vacations, weddings, anything you want to save towards with this challenge can be accomplished. Just remember that it’s a year-long challenge when setting a goal. I wouldn’t recommend trying to complete this sooner than that, otherwise it kind of defeats the purpose of the challenge.

I will more than likely share my progress throughout the year regarding this challenge, even if it’s just for myself to show that I can be disciplined enough to save.

At the time of this writing, I was already into week #2, hence the $3 balance. Winning!

Hello, October

And just like that, it’s October 1st, 2019.

A little over 2 months ago, I commented on how fast summer flew by, as well as 2019 in general.

I’m not complaining, really. October brings with it the first full month of Fall (Autumn), it brings festivals like our local Apple Festival to celebrate harvests, and of course, it brings Halloween.

Last of all, it brings out colors in nature. Around here its the 3rd week of October when the season is in full bloom (is that the word, considering the leaves are dead?). So, I’ll close this with a beautiful pic of the season.

Autumn in Ohio

Today finally kicks off the first calendar day of Autumn, and I couldn’t be happier. Cooler weather, leaves changing color, shorter days, Halloween…all of these things make it my favorite season. It doesn’t hurt that I was also born in the fall but that’s neither here nor there.

Although, judging from summer (and the rest of the year to be honest), this season will be over before we know it.

Enjoy it while it lasts!

One-Hit Wonders, MLB Style

MLB One-Hit Wonder

I only wish that baseball card packs still cost 5¢…

In modern Major League history, 154 position players finished their professional careers with just one plate appearance in the Major Leagues, their careers distilled down to a single stint or, in the famous case of Eddie Gaedel, a single stunt.

Of those 154, just 16 ripped a hit.

Of those 16, only five are living.

They are baseball’s one-hit wonders. One walk from the on-deck circle to the batter’s box. One trip down the first-base line. One story to tell.

These are their stories.

MLB – MLB Ultimate One-Hit Wonders

I really enjoyed the stories from the living players and had no idea that there was a player as current as 2008 on this list.

Not sure how I’d feel, really: having a 1.000 batting average for my career stat, or the fact that I only had 1 hit, 1 at-bat as my career stat also.

Reminds me of the first time I ever played golf. Ended up getting a hole-in-one on my second hole and never played again.

The Life and Death of Geauga Lake Amusement Park

Abandoned Geauga Lake

Do you have time for a tale? Sit back, relax, and dive into the interesting and timeless case of Geauga Lake, a tiny family park that started humbly enough, before rocketing overnight into international headlines by combining with a full-sized SeaWorld to create the world’s largest Six Flags.

A gargantuan park of mega-coasters, killer whales, dizzying flat rides, a Batman water ski show, dolphins, log flumes, Hurricane Harbor, and motion simulators for one price, Six Flags Worlds of Adventure was conceptually prepared to become the best theme park on Earth.

Theme Park Tourist

I’ll admit: I visited Sea World with my family in the early 90s as a pre-teen, and so I don’t recall much about Geauga Lake. However, I was aware of Six Flags Worlds of Adventure while in college but never visited. I didn’t realize that it was the world’s largest amusement park for a short time. Even worse, I’m ashamed to admit that even as an Ohio citizen, I never knew it closed down over 12 years ago until reading this article.

Sit back, grab a drink, and read the incredible history of Geauga Lake Amusement Park. Side note: I despise the conglomerate known as Cedar Fair Entertainment Company.

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