Saturday, January 11, 2014

The "PROBLEM" with 52 Week Money Challenge


I started this challenge last August, 2013, see post here and four weeks later, I made the update here.
You can probably  tell in those posts that I was excited but I didn't stick to the challenge. Here's why:
  • Because the challenge isn't realistic

When I first encountered the challenge, I thought "Pfft, Chicken! I can do that blindfolded. Ha!" But when you take a closer look, you have to put a bigger amount of money at the later part or the later weeks of the year- which is the time of the year where you cant help but spend coz its the holidays.
Let's say you decided to do the Php 50:
Php 50- First Week
Php 100- Second Week
Php 200- Third Week and so on...
At first, it's easy and I am fully sure you can come up with that amount of money in the first few weeks. There is also a tendency to "reward" yourself coz "I already dropped money in this and I've been so good so I need to buy myself something" not realizing that last few weeks of the challenge you have to shell out:
Php 2,500- Fifty Week
Php 2,550- Fifty-one Week
Php 2,600- Fifty-two Week
In the whole month of December,2014, you have to save Php 10,050 and please don't forget that December is the month of giving thus, the month of spending.

My Advise:

If you are hell-bent on doing this challenge, why don't you reverse it?

Instead of doing Php 50 first, do Php 2,600 instead. Start from the bottom of the challenge and work your way up:

Php 2,600- First Week
Php 2,550- Second Week
Php 2,500- Third Week and so on..

And by the last four week of the challenge:

Php 200-  Forty-nine Week
Php 150- Fifty Week
Php 100- Fifty-one Week
Php 50- Fifty-two Week

By reversing the challenge, you are expected to save  Php 500 by December, 2014 instead of whooping  Php 10,050.  That's a big difference and by reversing the challenge, you have a wiggle room for some gift-giving for the holidays. Do you get my drift?

But my major advise?  Automatically save 10 percent of your income every month and increase it whenever possible- a saving advise that wont get old no matter how many saving hype that will come your way. Nothing beats building the habit of saving a percentage of your income every month. It'll become automatic. Nothing beats saving money automatically rather than consulting a chart every time you save.

  • Because I don't have concrete plan on where to use the fund.

I didn't pursue the challenge coz I don't have plan where to spend it. I already set up my emergency fund. My original plan was for it to be my "cheat fund" but honestly, I have a few wants and shopping isn't a habit coz the crowd, while shopping, drives me nuts.

Save realistically and save it your way, don't get into saving hype. After all, it's your money and it's your life.


  1. Hi,
    I also stop this challenge, I started it last year but was not able to continue doing it,i really can't commit.

    You are right, saving 10% automatically every month is much more easy than this kind of challenge.


    1. Hey Jing, thanks for leaving a comment.

      Yah, pareha ta. I didn't continue the challenge. I just don't get why I have to do the challenge when I have my own saving strategy.

    2. hi actually para mapadali ang challenge instead na mag wait ka pa ng next week kung meron ka na nung amount na iipunin why not advance mo na para mahaba ang iipunin for the next para d stressful

  2. that was the reason why I reduced it to 30 weeks. I knew then that I'll be having a difficulty after the 30th month. Although I finished the challenge, I won't do it again this year. You are right, nothing beats automatic saving.

    1. Yah, I think it's much more easier to have your own percentage of saving from your salary than cluttering your life with charts and whatnot.

      It's like dieting, don't fall on what's the trend. Just go old school. Calories in, calories out.

      Thanks for dropping by, Blah blah blog Chef

    2. Great article!!! Tama nga, it is a bit unrealistic. The first time i heard this saving techniques was early October last year. Naka set na yung mind ko na gagawin ko siya but tinimbang ko din yung consequences eh medyo di nga realistic if di consistent yung flow ng money.

      thanks for this post!!!

    3. Hey Clariza, thanks for dropping by.

      I know, it looks easy but I think it's unrealistic given the salary average pinoys and what if may emergency the next week? For me, I would stick to the "10 percent for saving from salary OR more" mantra

    4. Yes!!! Yes!!!! Yes!!! It's good only for one time spending eh, siguro it works if you want to buy a luxury bag as Christmas present for yourself or as a year end travel fund. Gusto ko yung tip mo... To do the reverse instead. :)

  3. Brilliant idea! It should be reversed since we're all on fire in the beginning of the year to save, why not save the larger amount at the start?

  4. I thought the same thing which is why my 52-week challenge is fully customized. :) Kasi I think even I do it the reverse way, I'd still have a hard time for the first few months.

    1. I know, right? I think there is no such thing as uniform amount to save. People have different salaries, different needs and different lifestyles.

      Save until it hurts.

  5. You should've thought out of the box. P50 is big, yes. You could've modified it and using the same principle, start with P20? by the end of the year you'll still have P23K.

    1. Hey, thanks for the input but, what I am trying to point out was how this challenge isn't realistic. You have to shell out big amount of money at the last few weeks of the challenge,and that last few weeks are in December which means it's Christmas- the time of the year which you can't help but spend

      First week- Php 20
      Second week- Php 40
      Third week- Php 60

      Seems easy enough, right? How about the last 3 weeks?

      50 week- Php 1,000
      51 week- Php 1,020
      52 week- Php 1,040

      That's why I suggest to reverse it. Start with the last week then work your way up.

      I am not against this challenge at all. I actually tried it out 2 years-ish ago but it didn't work for me (reasons stated in my posts)

      This is a good way to build your saving muscle, if you still don't have any but for us hardcore saver, sticking to basic, that is automatically saving percentage of our income or save until it hurts, is the way to go.

      No matter what way you are following to save money, just as long as you are saving money.. all is good, right?

  6. Idealism/Realism, it really depends on how you see it. That's why it became a fad for a lil while because it's feasible. I think it's a matter of how disciplined the person is. :) But of course, as long as you're saving money, it's always a good, thing.

  7. I already did this when I was in my second year in high school. I started in P10 every week and happy to see that I made it in 4-5 months but after that I cannot afford to save anymore because it is too big (imagine it only comes from my own baon - Lol)

    Now that I am in my 20's I wanted to try this again. I can't believe, ngayon nauuso ito.
    I agree with you medyo unrealistic nga itong way kasi kung 52 weeks you should get 5 jobs to fill those money. One is not enough but well, that depends also sa trabaho baka carry naman.

    Gusto ko yung idea mo na from big to small, now ko lang naisip yan. Ang galing mo talaga. Thumbs up for you sis

    - Anne

  8. I will start this 52 week challenge this year.. I hope I can achieved this year... break a leg!!


I'd love to hear from you. I read and appreciate all comments. :)