“By definition, saving requires us to not get things now so that we can get bigger ones later.” – Jean Chatzky
In personal finance, saving isn’t really the sexiest of activities. When I talk to people, many would rather skip this step and jump straight to the more exciting world of investing. So I thought of some ways to make saving fun.
52-week challenge. We always say that saving should be made a habit. It’s not just a one-time-big-time activity.
It should be done regularly. So why don’t you try the 52-week challenge by saving a fixed amount every week and set that aside in a jar or in the always reliable alkansya. Oh and don’t wait until the New Year before starting. Every day of not saving is a day wasted. So just start.
Save with a friend/support group. Sometimes it is no fun doing things on your own. So why not put the concept of teamwork into saving. What’s good about saving with someone you know is that you can be challenged. In case you get out of your saving habit, someone will be there to remind you and get you back in. Look for someone you are comfortable talking about money with. Usually it’s a sensitive topic and the last thing you want is to tiptoe your way out.
Save and reward. One of the reasons why it is so difficult for many to save is because the reward for saving is too far out. At times, you’ve tightened your budget too much that you forget to reward yourself from time to time. If you feel that way, try to save and reward. Think of something you want to reward yourself with after two to three weeks of saving. This reward should only be worth 5 to 10 percent of the total amount you will be saving in three weeks. While doing the 52-week challenge, reward yourself after every three weeks.
Save by the jar, don’t forget to blow it! When I attended The Millionaire Mind by T. Harv Eker, I learned about the jar system. This system allows you to segregate your savings into these categories or “jars”: necessities (55 percent), long-term savings for spending (10 percent), education (10 percent), financial freedom account (10 percent), giving (5 percent) and play (10 percent). What’s interesting and fun about this method is that the play jar should be consumed every month. As the facilitator would say, “You have to blow it!” However small the amount is, spend whatever’s in the play jar. Don’t spend it on something boring. Spend it on something really fun, however small it may be.
Saving is easy, but it can be tedious so it would be great to add some fun when we do it. However you do it, the most important thing is to start. As what the good author Simon Sinek recently shared, “Dream big, start small . . . But most of all . . . start.” Happy saving, everyone!
Jeremy Jessley Tan is a Registered Financial Planner of RFP Philippines. To learn more about personal financial planning, attend the 59th RFP program in January 2017. To register, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or text <name><e-mail><RFP> at 0917-9689774.
JEREMY JESSLEY TAN, RFP