If you find it hard to accumulate savings, then you might be interested to hear about the 52 week savings challenge. This is a small and easy way to save money that relies on the ‘snowball’ effect – i.e., the more money you start to save, the more you feel motivated to save, and so the pot grows. Often, saving money is hard to start off. But, once you get going, you will find it easier and more encouraging as you watch the figures multiply in your account. Also, save what is relative to your household – what is right for you might not be the same for someone else so bear this in mind.
There will likely be many reasons why you find it hard to save, and you won’t be the only one. Common reasons for struggling with savings include:
1. You don’t stick to a budget - Budgeting is a necessity for any household. If you stick to a budget, you are more likely to find the extra cash to save away. You can do this quickly and easily online with a budget template.
2. You Have overwhelming debt – If you have a lot of debt, you may find any leftover money at the end of each month is used up repaying this debt. If interest rates are high, this can be particularly troublesome. Debt can linger for a long time if you don’t get a handle on it.
3. You are overpaying on house payments – If you are putting more than 25% of your monthly income toward a rent payment or mortgage, and you can’t seem to save any money, then you probably need to consider downsizing or finding extra income as you will not ever be able to save with this amount going out each month.
4. Overspending on things you don’t need – It is easy to impulsively spend especially on the internet, and especially when you are bored during a lockdown! Before making a purchase, consider whether you really do need it.
So, with this in mind, we move on to talk about the 52 week challenge. Wonga explains this challenge in detail here but the general gist of it is...
This challenge starts with multiplying every value by 10 so that your savings challenge looks like this:
- In week one, you put R10 in a savings account
- In week two, you then deposit R20
- In week three, you put R30
- In week four, you deposit R40
- And so on,
- Until, in week 52, you deposit R520
You’ll need to bear in mind that in some months, like December, it is harder to save money. So, every week, you need to save the most money you can and at the end of the week, put this extra money into a savings account. Then, download a money challenge spreadsheet from the internet. There are plenty of free ones you can simply download online and then pin this up in your house. Cross off the value you have managed to save on your spreadsheet. For instance, in one week, you might save R430, so you can then cross off week 43’s value; and so on.
By the end of the year, you will have crossed off every single value and should have saved R13780. This is a quick, easy and manageable way to save money and as it is a slight challenge some weeks, you might be able to commit to it more as you will really feel like you are getting to grips with the challenge. Get your whole household involved and then you will have a team effort!
The bottom line
Saving money is always going to be a little painful, but the 52 week savings challenge is a relatively quick and manageable way to learn the habit of saving money dressed up in a sustainable challenge format that gives you the best chance for success. Take our advice, start small and get a month or two of wins under your belt to help you commit fully to the challenge. Get your whole household involved and then you will have a team effort!