The new year is a good time to start creating new habits since you’re still inspired and excited by the idea of turning over a new leaf. And while most of us often falter with #balikalindog resolutions, a financial shift has benefits that you’ll surely reap by the end of the year—because admit it, the thought of having extra cash is often enough to make you stick to the plan.
So if you’re looking for money-saving ideas that will give you that extra windfall after a certain amount of time, here are a few that you can start with. To succeed, you’ll need to think of your chosen challenge as paying yourself rather than a chore, so feel free to tweak them depending on your budget. You shouldn’t be stressing out about the amount you need to put in the pot.
1. The 365-Day Mini Money Challenge
This is pretty straight-forward: give yourself an amount that you know you’ll be able to set aside on a daily basis. Make sure it’s small—like P5 or P10, then do it religiously. So that you won’t forget, make it a part of your morning habit or place your jar of money by the door. Soon, it’ll be automatic for you to “deposit” your money. By the end of the year, if you decided to save P5 a day, you’ll end up with P1,825. If you decided to go for P10, you’ll have P3,650. It may be a small amount, but at least you’ve already created the habit of saving. You can increase the amount once you feel comfortable to do so.
2. The Save-Your-Barya Challenge
Similar to the 365-Day Mini Money Challenge, you set aside money daily, only this time, there’s no fixed amount. For as long as you get lose change, you put it in the jar. You can tweak it so that you still have barya for commuting, but other than that, all coins go to savings. You’ll be surprised at how much you can actually set aside in a year.
3. The Reverse 52-Week Money Challenge
A refresher: the 52-Week Money Challenge entails you to pin a specific amount to start with, which you’re comfortable padding on to every week. For example, you decide have a pinned amount of P10. That’s what you save for Week 1. For Week 2, you add P10 to get P20, which will become your new pinned amount, so that by Week 3, you’re putting in P40.
This is a fairly difficult challenge, because if you’re going with P10, you’ll need to be putting in P520 by the last week of the year to get a total savings of P13,780.
The Reverse 52-Week Challenge, however, makes you save P520 at the start of the year (if you managed to save your 13th month pay, then this will be easier for you), making you set aside only your P10 by next December. You’ll still get P13,780, but it’s a bit easier to think of it this way, isn’t it?
4. The 30-Day No Credit/Debit Card Challenge
Every time you go out to shop, only buy things that the cash in your wallet can cover. That means you can’t swipe your credit card or charge any amount to your debit or payroll card. The upside of this is that you'll be shaving off unnecessary expenses, plus you won’t feel too stressed about your upcoming bank bills because aside from services you’ve subscribed your card/s to, you don’t really have that much to pay.
5. The No Shopping Challenge
You’ve probably read articles by individuals who have sworn off unnecessary shopping for a year—you basically do with the necessities you currently have, no “must-have’s” or “holy grails.” Of course you still buy your groceries and you still pay your bills, but for the most part, you swear off items that you can honestly live without (how many pairs of white sneakers do you already have, anyway?).
If this seems too hard, try it for a month first. Then two. Before you realize it, you’ve gone half a year without buying anything unnecessary (yes, that expensive cup of coffee counts). So why not push it to an entire year and see how much money you save can save for things and experiences that truly matter?
6. The Investment-Insurance Challenge
This challenge will not only encourage you to save, but also give you peace of mind. Investment-insurance packages allow you to have a financial safety net in case (knock on wood) something happens, and you’ll also have cash you can pull out during times of need. These earn more than your regular savings accounts, too. There are monthly, quarterly, yearly, and even one-time payment schemes, so ask a reliable institution about which product is more suitable to your budget and lifestyle.