Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Math is Real Life - Janunary 2014 Edition

Happy New Year!
I hope everyone is recovering nicely from their New Years Eve celebrations. We spent ours at home (we are still under extreme cold weather conditions up here in Winnipeg, so going out had zero appeal), ordered Greek take out, and because I am a wonderful sister, babysat my 2 nephews. It was my son's first sleepover and they were very excited!
So welcome to 2014! What better way to start off, then with a "Math is Real Life Post"!!

 I am happy to once again join up with the fabulous linky hosted by Miss Math Dork, 4mulafun, The Teacher Studio, and Teaching to Inspire in 5th! 
So here we are, the first day of 2014 and also the first Wednesday of January, and I am willing to bet that a lot of people are in the same boat. Your bank accounts are a little emptier and your credit card statements are a little higher.

This is the norm for this time of year, and I know for me, that paycheck at the end of January can't come soon enough. So here I am wondering how I can avoid this feeling next year. There are already several things I do to try and save money year-round - I coupon, I pay attention to sales, I try to buy presents throughout the year when I see a good deal, and the one I find the hardest, I try to stick to a budget for Christmas shopping. I think I am fairly good at sticking to a budget, but my husband is not, and seeing that I have to let him run free to do his shopping I have no say in the matter. I know I shouldn't complain, he got me some great gifts this year, but...the money all comes from the same place, and unfortunately there are these things in life called bills!

So, while I was browsing Facebook one day, I came across this post, labeled 52 day challenge. Within the comments, people had mentioned that after completing this challenge they were able to buy all their Christmas presents in cash, and not rack up their credit cards bills. Sounds good to me, so I checked it out.

Seems pretty easy. For each week of the year you put aside, the amount of money corresponding to that week. So, week one you put away $1, week 2 - $2, and so on until week 52 you put away $52. If you follow this routine, you will have saved just under $1400 by the end of the year. What you decide to do with that money at the end of the year is up to you - buy your Christmas presents, save up for a trip, down payment on a car, or the not-so-exciting pay off some debt.

So I decided that I am going to try this challenge. I read a few more comments and found a few alternatives that might work better for some people.

Option A - Follow the chart above.
Option B - Work backwards. You are likely a lot more gung-ho to save money at the beginning of the year, then in December, so start with week 52 and end with week 1.
Option C - Cut the above chart into strips and place in a jar. Each week you draw a strip and put aside that amount of money. Print out an extra list, so you can check off the amount you put aside and keep track of how much you are saving.

I really like option C, as it spreads out the money a little, making it a little more manageable to save. It's easy to put aside $10 one month, but might not be so easy to put aside $202 another month. Plus, I like the element of surprise! :)

So, here I am putting my resolution in writing, and showing you the jars as evidence. This is my plan, and I am sticking to it!

Money to be Saved

My Checklist to keep track of my progress

Money Saved

So far, I have saved...{drum roll please}...$21

Hopefully I can follow up this post in December 2014, with a success story...hopefully writing it from somewhere a heck of a lot warmer!

I would love to hear your money saving tips, or if you are going to join me in the 52 week challenge. Who's with me?

Need a quick problem solving activity for the first week back, while teaching your students the importance of saving money? Here is one from my Rate Centers package. Enjoy!

Happy New Year! Wishing you all the best in 2014!


  1. LOVE this idea,Kim! I think I'm going to do the jar of random as well! Thanks so much for linking up with us this month; we always enjoy having you!

    Mathematically yours,
    Jamie aka MissMathDork!

    1. I look forward to it every month Jamie!

  2. I've seen this chart on Pinterest a few times, but had forgotten about it. I really want to do this! I'm going to do this!

    Keep Calm and Hoot On

    1. I hope you do Rissa! I'll check back in with you at the end of the year and see how you did. :)