You might be reading this because you are worried about how little you save money. Perhaps you don’t spend any money at all, or maybe you do save but quickly spend it on something. Setting up long-term savings is a good idea, as it can protect you and your future, and allows you to have a fall-back should you ever need it. It is a healthy way to manage your money, rather than living paycheck to paycheck.
However, getting started with saving money isn’t always easy. If you have very little left over at the end of the month, after all your bills, rent and other commitments, there may not be a whole lot left to save. Do not despair – you are not the only one who feels like this.
In fact, online loans provider ‘Wonga’ see saving difficulties at the top of the list of their customers’ worries. They recently blogged about the annual savings challenge, which could help you to get your savings on the right track. They say, “The 52-week savings challenge is an excellent way to slowly grow your commitment to saving, which is something that doesn’t come naturally to us all. Following this challenge provides South Africans with a realistic and achievable way to save money, even in our tough economy and at the leanest times of year.”
Other outlets also praise the 52 week saving challenge. Money blog ‘The Balance’ explains the pros and cons simply, “You start by saving just $1 the first week of the challenge. Pop it in a jar on your counter without a second thought. The next week, put away $2, and the next, $3. You get the idea. By the end of the challenge, you are saving more than $50 a week, bringing your total amount saved to just under $1,400 by the end of the year.” Of course, it can be difficult when you get to the larger values, which is why some people decide to do the 52-Week Money Challenge in reverse, e.g. they save $52 in week 1, $51 in week 2, and so on.
Some people may also suggest just saving a fixed amount every month. However, this can prove difficult. Some months, after an unexpected bill, you might not have the money to put a larger amount away in your savings. Alternatively, others like setting up direct debits to automatically take the money at the start of the money so that there is no way out of putting some extra aside. Dedicating a specific savings account, which you do not touch is an ideal way of saving money that you don’t feel tempted to dig into!
Remember also that you can make small sacrifices in your daily life to help the savings challenge. What about cutting out that daily cup of coffee that you buy; the money you save can really add up. Equally, try to cut down on areas of spending at home, like turning off plugs and electric sockets that you don’t need.