Cultivate a saving culture with the 52-week challenge

Most people struggle to save money, myself included. We live in a world where there are limited resources and unlimited wants.  We therefore find ourselves depleting our money reserves in the process of satisfying our wants sometimes, we even go ahead and take loans.

So tough is saving that when the 52-week challenge came about, Kenyans received the initiative with open arms, the proposition being, you get to save small amounts week on week, incrementally throughout the year, for 52 weeks.

Say you start with Sh50 in the first week of the challenge, you are meant to then save Sh100 in the second weed and Sh150 in the third week and so on. This is an increment of Sh50 per week on the previous weeks’ amount so that by the end of the 52 weeks, you will have save a total of Sh68,900. Not bad given you started with only Sh50.

However, we are our own worst enemies when it comes to spending and you have to make sure that you cannot easily access your savings.

Nowadays with mobile money services, a person can easily lock savings for a chosen period of time. [Photo: Courtesy]
The 52-week challenge makes saving easier, but what's even better is that nowadays with mobile money services, a person can lock up their savings, say on M-Shwari. M-Shwari ensures the saved amount is safe and that one can easily make their weekly deposits. In addition to that, savings increase your loan limit and the cream of the pie is that you get to earn a 6 per interest per annum on your savings

However, saving goes beyond deposit money on your mobile wallet. It requires discipline and an executable strategy. One sure strategy of using less money is cutting down on daily costs. For example, you can start carrying packed food to work as opposed to eating at a hotel which is costly. You can also prioritise your expenditures so that you only spend when it is absolutely necessary.

Why should you take part in the 52 week saving challenge?

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Well, apart from knowing that you have money set aside with a certain target, you get to acquire a new habit that you will carry long into your life. The 52-week challenge gives you an opportunity to start saving small and instils financial discipline. One day, when you will be saving thousands, or hundreds of thousand per week, you will be happy you gave it a shot.

Secondly, thousands of Kenyans are taking part in the challenge and you can always count on the online community to encourage you and give you tips when the going gets tough. You can follow the conversation on social media via #52WeekChallenge and engage with other savers.

Thirdly, after a hard year grinding at work and saving, it would only be fair that you take a nice and relaxing holiday of your choice without having to worry about money. What kind of holiday could Sh68,900 afford you? Or Sh137,800 in case you decide to start with the Sh100 plan. Just think about it.

People who started the challenge on the first week of the month are now on week 16. Meaning they are meant to save Ksh. 800 this week and the accumulated savings is Ksh. 6,800

Remember, it’s never too late to start now, so go ahead and open your M-shwari locked saving account and get saving. All the best.

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