The 52 week money challenge is a very popular way to save money all around the world. It’s a model of small increments that makes sticking to the challenge easier and habit-forming. Often times than not, people tend to complete the challenge with very little effort. The only real problem comes towards the end of the challenge and we will discuss how to deal with it here.
I have modified the money challenge just a little bit to fit the habits and income of Nepali people so that you can take on the challenge without much hassle. I will also discuss some of the ways to help you deal with the challenge and become successful.
What is the 52 week money challenge?
The concept behind the challenge is quite simple: you start saving a small amount of money every week and increase the amount with every passing week. For the traditional version, people start with $1 and increase it by $1 every week. So in the second week you would save $2, in the third week you’d save $3, in the fourth week you’d save $4 and so on.
The average Nepali only earns around Rs 1 lakh 10 thousand annually. For readers of this blog, we could probably adjust that amount to an average of around Rs 2.5 lakhs per year (Rs 20,000 per month). If we follow the foreign model then the total amount challengers would have to save itself would be around Rs 1.7 lakh. This is highly impractical for the average Nepali. Hence, we will have to take a different approach
What would be an appropriate Nepali model?
For the Nepali version of the 52 week money challenge, we will start with Rs 100. We will then increase the amount by Rs 50 every week. This means you will save Rs 150 the second week, Rs 200 the third week and so on.
Now even with this model, we run into a problem. In the latter half of the challenge, we will have to save around Rs 6-10,000 per month. Again, this is a very high incidence of the average Nepali income (I’m assuming it to be Rs 20,000 per month). To tackle this, from the 7th month (25th week), we will start saving biweekly. So instead of saving and increasing the amount every week, we will increase the amount every two weeks.
Here is a total breakdown of savings
Phase 1 (Week 1 to 24)
Savings per week: 100 + 150 + 200 + 250 + 300 + 350 + 400 + 450 + 500 + 550 + 600 + 650 + 700 + 750 + 800 + 850 + 900 + 950 + 1000 + 1050 + 1100 + 1150 + 1200 + 1250
Total savings: 16200
Phase 2 (Week 25-52)
We will save every two weeks.
Savings per fortnight: 1300+ 1350 + 1400 + 1450 + 1500 + 1550 + 1600 + 1650 + 1700 + 1750 + 1800 + 1850 + 1900 + 1950
Total savings: 22750
GRAND TOTAL: 16200+22750= Rs 38,950
How to do the challenge
Use the cookie jar approach
Since we mostly use cash for transactions, you can use the cookie jar approach to saving in this money challenge. Just put in the amount to a small jar every week and deposit it on your bank and the end of the month. If you are thinking of keeping it in a Sahakari/ co-operative, then most of these co-operatives have their own 100 rs saving plans. You can ask them to modify that plan to suit your needs and a bank personnel will come to your doorstep to collect your money every week.
Keep a separate account
For this money challenge, it is a good idea to open a separate savings account. This will help you keep track of what you’ve saved and avoids confusion. A Sahakari account would be even better because they provide higher interest rates on savings than A class Banks. If you are insistent on A class Banks though, Nabil bank provides 4% interest rate on its GEN N account which is higher than the national average of 3%.
Keep a no-spend week each month
The hardest months on this challenge are the 5th (Rs 3900) and the 6th months (Rs 4700), so plan your finances in a way that you will have enough money on those months. A good way to save properly is to keep a week in every month when you won’t spend on anything except necessities. This way, you can even make up for some weeks in the money challenge that you may not be able to save the amount necessary.
The 52-week money challenge is a great way to save money while developing a saving habit, especially if you are an avid spender. You should also check out our article on why you should take on the 52- week savings challenge to give you a better idea of the benefits this offers.