Every New Year, most Filipinos make a resolution to save more money in the hopes of growing their savings for the year that’s coming.
A recent trend that has dominated social media involve the “money challenges” that people can use to motivate themselves to save more. Some money challenge takers even broadcast their efforts in their accounts to be accountable for what they started. Examples of these money challenges are the 52-Week Money Challenge made popular by Rhea Mocorro of www.kuripotpinay.com and the Uber Frugal Month Challenge by the authors of www.frugalwoods.com. The challenges come as incremental savings like adding P20.00 up to P100.00 per week or minimizing one’s expenses to the bare minimum to avoid unnecessary spending for one month.
As what Floi Wycoco, founder of The Global Filipino Investors, said in a live interview session with Mocorro, “It will not be easy to enter a money challenge. By the name itself, it’s not even called a money-saving strategy but a challenge. Most of the time, these money challenges are just hyped at the start of the year and pursued until the first month. After that, it’s not pursued further by most people.”
“The increments pile up at the end of the year. The P500.00 per week that you’re saving for the first week can reach up to P10,100.00 in the last week of the challenge,” said Mocorro in the same interview. The amount may be small at the start of the challenge but towards the end, it will be tougher.
With total savings that can range from P1,378.00 up to P137,800.00 by the end of the year, the reward can be worth the sacrifices you make. But how do you follow through with a money challenge that you want to be part of?
Set a goal on where you will store or spend your savings by the end of the year. Some challengers allocate their savings to a designer bag, a trip to the Maldives, investment products or their emergency fund. All of us will have varying motives on why we want to take part in the challenge. But the common ground is we can use this as our motivation for the succeeding months when the increments get higher and tougher to set aside.
Determine which money challenge is sustainable based on your income, lifestyle and goal. Do your research and see if you can sustain what you need to do to finish the challenge. Planning ahead is a key to success.
Sacrifice what you must so you can sustain your momentum for the money challenge. Use budget tracking apps such as Wally and Expensify to list down your spending and see where you can cut your spending to continue the money challenge.
Plot a schedule for setting aside your money for the challenge. Have prompts on your phone and email, and plot it in your planner if you must. This will leave no excuse for failing to set aside the amount assigned for the week.
Make your money less accessible. Ask a trusted family member or friend to keep your money. You could also open a bank account that you cannot use for online shopping, and lock the ATM card away.
As what Mocorro said, “Pursue the challenge and finish it strong.” What you start this first week of 2017 will reap big savings by the end of the year with the determination to finish your chosen money challenge.
Kristel Silang is the content manager of MoneyMax.ph, a financial comparison website aiming to help Filipinos save money through diligent comparisons of financial products.