The first few days of 2015, my social media news feed were riddled with New Year’s resolutions and various ways to achieve them. Second only to loosing weight/healthier living, is saving up.
When I was still on a 9 to 5 job, I used to put some bills inside the payslips I get every 15th and 30th. Until they converted to online payslips. So I decided to open an account and deposit a fixed amount every payday. The tempting, terrible consequence to having an ATM card tied with your savings is that the funds are always available to you. Hah!
Most of my savings were wiped after my unplanned, but highly contemplated, immediate resignation. I haven’t had the heart to start saving again, until this year. The slew of posts I saw on facebook made me feel all funny inside.
Before we start saving milllliiiieeeennnnssss. Hahaha! Let’s first make a vital part of the 52-week savings challenge, the piggy bank.
What you’ll need:
- A big water bottle or can or any item big enough to use as a piggy bank
- Marker, color pens or any other decorative materials, to make it fun
- A ton of creativity and determination =)
I used a water bottle as my piggy bank and placed a bag of silica gel (those tiny packets that come with your new bags or shoes) inside to absorb moisture. I like how you can see through the bottle and see it filling up. To give it a bit of pizzazz, I used color pens for the design.
Paste a copy of the weekly deposit to the piggy bank. This is crucial, as you will need to cross out the date and amount every time you make a deposit. I think this is what makes the 52-week savings challenge so engaging, you get to really see your progress.
The DIY piggy bank also adds a personal touch, instead of having a regular store-bought one or an ATM card. I didn’t include a photo of my piggy bank, it’s too blah! Hahaha!
Out of the many suggested ways of saving that I saw online, the 52-week savings challenge piqued my interest. Familiar with SMART goal setting? That’s how the 52-week savings challenge struck me.
The idea is to save in increments, say 20 pesos, every week and adding 20 pesos every week from the amount that you deposited the week before. Did that make sense? The table below would probably do a better job at explaining the concept.
I used to set aside a certain percentage of my salary every payday, in accordance to what most financial advisers would suggest. But now that I do freelance work, my income changes every time. Yes, I can still opt to save a fixed amount, but isn’t this method more… uhm… fun? :P
With this method, you’ll breeze through the first few months. But by the last quarter of the year, you’ll have to dig a bit deeper into your pockets to meet your goal. Some suggested to reverse the method by having the bigger amounts at the start of the year, using bonuses and 13th month pay to cover them. Though from experience, those funds doesn’t really extend beyond the holidays. Hahaha!
One of the few downsides to being a freelance worker is that I don’t get a 13th month pay. So I needed to make modifications to the 52-week savings challenge for it to work for me. And so I did!
Being a bit OC and having the tendency to always want to inject a little bit of my own personality into things I do, I decided to modify the 52-week savings challenge to suit my wants and needs.
Apart from availability of funds, other quirks that I have with the original method is that by end of January you’ve only got a measly amount in your savings. Not the most encouraging thing, I think. I need something that would boost my ego. That I’m actually saving! Check the table below to see my modifications. This might also work for you. :)
As you can see, I alternated the highest and lowest amount every week. This evens out the amount that you need to save throughout and making it less of a burden towards the end of the year. Also, you get to see a more significant amount even after just the first few months.
I also altered how the weeks are counted. My week starts on a Sunday. I also don’t want a week to overlap between two months. This is crucial as you need to make sure that you do not miss a deposit. So to make it less confusing, for me at least, I count the weeks of the month as you’d see it on a calendar. So even if the week only has 3 days, it’s still counted as one, making for more than 52 weeks in the entire year. Equating to more savings!
Whatever you’re saving for, be it a new designer bag, a pair of fabulous shoes, your next big trip, or maybe just want some extra cash to spend by end of the year; Remember, like many things in life, for the 52-week savings challenge to work, consistency and discipline is key. You can modify things to whatever end to better suit your needs, but without these two, it’s never going to work. This is more a reminder to myself than an advise. Haha!
For those who decide to start their own 52-week savings challenge, I hope you were able to get a couple of ideas here. Good luck!
Download the 52-week savings challenge rainbowjournal method.
I can no longer find the original article where I first read about the 52-week savings challenge. I’ll happily link back as soon as I stumble upon you again. :)