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Top 5 Savings Challenges to Try Out in 2023

One of the most common goals set for the new year is to save more money. But, YouGov found that after a year, just 31% of us are still committed to all of our resolutions.

To help you stay motivated and on track with your savings goals this year, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most popular money-saving challenges.

Pursuing a challenge may be your New Year’s resolution for 2023, or it could help you get closer to a more lofty savings target, like a down payment on a house. 

Regular savings can open a world of possibilities in the future: it will increase your disposable income and allow you to budget for the things you want most – whether it’s all the cute clothes you saw on LAYAWAY, or that investment plan you were hoping to join on EASYInvest. 

Read on to learn more about the best savings challenges for 2023. 


The 52-Week Savings Challenge

For the 52-week money challenge, put in R10 the first week, R20 the next, R30 the next, and so on. 

You will have saved close to R10 000 by the 52nd week. That’s plenty to get you started on an emergency savings or to pay for next year’s holiday shopping or a splurge outright instead of going into debt.

There’s also another fun way to approach this challenge if you have a bit more money to spare thanks to a holiday gift, or if you’re just getting started on the challenge. 

In this instance, the 52-week money challenge can be done backwards: The first week of the challenge has you setting aside R520, the second week R510, and each subsequent week the amount you set aside will be tenRand less. After the challenge, your savings will remain unchanged.


The No-Spend Saving Challenge

Although the no-spend saving challenge can be tailored to suit individual needs, the basic rules are as follows. 

You’ll make saving an interesting test by imposing limits on your spending, allowing yourself to buy just necessities like rent, utilities, and food. You will test your saver’s endurance by staying in and cooking most of your meals, as well as by taking advantage of the many free activities available in your area. Then use that sum towards long-term goals like paying off debt or starting a business.

Recognize that it is challenging to live with the bare minimum, and think about easing into it with a no-spend weekend. You can try to go without spending for a week, and the most dedicated savers can aim for a month without spending anything at all.


The Financial Minimalist Challenge

Have you thought about how adopting minimalist practises could improve your financial situation, but you’re not sure if you could pull it off? Then participate in a money minimalism challenge and attempt to livel with as little as possible for a week or perhaps a month.

Think about how little you need to live comfortably rather than how much you can spend. To save money, you can eat in more often or attend free events instead of paying for entertainment. Second-hand stores and Buy Nothing groups are great places to find items you actually do need, like clothing and cooking utensils.


The Money Mistake Jar

Mistakes can be made with money. What if, instead of beating yourself up about spending money in ways you vowed you wouldn’t, you instead put R5 in a jar every time you gave in to temptation?

The challenge is straightforward. Put R5 (or whatever amount is convenient) in the jar if you planned to pack your lunch every day this week but broke your own rule by buying lunch elsewhere. 

Donate a buck to the jar if you’ve ever made an impulsive online purchase that went over your spending limit.

If you go over your budget, will those extra funds be enough to make up for it? No way. But gamifying your financial blunders can help you reinforce the healthy behaviours you want to keep and unlearn the bad ones you don’t.


The No Dining Out Challenge

How much money would you save per month if you stopped eating out entirely? Quite a lot, especially if you frequently eat at restaurants or place orders for delivery. While this might seem like a challenge without many guidelines, it could prove extra difficult for those of us that dine out more often than we realise. 

You could choose to take on your challenge gradually, perhaps over a weekend or a week. Try to avoid eating out at all costs during that period. If you want to make it more of a challenge, try eating everything in your pantry as well. 

You’ll have to put in some extra effort to succeed at this challenge: Find some simple evening dinner recipes online, then go shopping for the ingredients. On hectic weeknights, you may want to plan and prepare meals that can be reheated.

This will also give you a chance to move your weekly food budget into a savings account. Now is a great time to pull out your bank or credit card accounts and figure out how much you typically spend on eating out each week – the answer could be surprising!


Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, buying goods on layby are a great way to budget for the items you want most without breaking the bank. When you use platforms like LAYAWAY, you can even use special savings accounts to save for purchases and future events.

Investments are a great way to grow your wealth, but they’re often made by those with higher levels of disposable income. Platforms like EASYInvest allow you to invest in a unit trust with no threshold, and you don’t even need a bank account, as your investment can be added by using an OTT Voucher. 

You can invest on the EASYInvest platform using cash when you add to your investment using an OTT Voucher. 

Saving money can be a difficult challenge, particularly in today’s economic climate. However, with a good savings plan or strategy, you will be able to gradually grow your savings over time without breaking your monthly budget. 

Many people overspend regularly. The best course of action is to refocus on your savings plan and practice healthy spending habits going forward. 

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