Money Matters: The Right Personal Saving Technique

Saving money is a bummer. It is ideal but not always followed because our mindsets are fixed into the present, or to what makes things convenient now. However, if we would be sensitive enough as to what is happening around us, we would see that looking forward to securing ourselves financially is necessary. In order to encourage saving, different money saving techniques have been introduced and circulated online. Yes, they do look and sound good but on a personal level, they could be difficult to accomplish.

But, just to satisfy the thrifty persona in you, let us look into three of these techniques and discover which of them could really work for you.

The 52-Week Challenge

This was popularized in 2014 in different sites based in the US and then was adopted by different nations. It is reported that people who did this saved over $1,000 in a year. Great figure, right?

How it works:

Save in installment or rather, increments weekly. You first decide how much you want to save and then double that amount in the coming weeks.

So, if you decided you would save $1 now, next week that is $2, then $3, and so on. Basically, you just multiply the “base amount” which is “1” to 1-52.

To compute for weekly savings, use the arithmetic progression formula:

an = a1 + (n – 1) d

OK, relax. If you are not a mathematics person, let us jump to finding out your last week savings.

If you want to find out how much you would save after 52 weeks, we have another formula for that. First, since our base amount is 1, we multiply it by 52. We get “52” as the amount of our last weekly savings.

Here is the other formula for the annual, savings:

n (a1 + an)

Here’s the trick:

You replace “n” with “52” as it is the number of weeks you need to save. Then, “a1” with “1” as it is your base amount. After, “a” with “52” as it is your last weekly savings.

52 (1 + 52)

Add a1 and a2, multiply the answer to 52. Then divide the product by 2. The answer: $1, 378: this is your savings after 52 weeks.

Looks easy? Maybe not.


On a personal note, I have tried doing this and guess what, by week 20 (fourth month), I would have needed to save an amount that is above my monthly salary! In short, this is an ultimate fail for me. Impractical and impossible. Remember, this is a weekly savings challenge. In sum, you would be required to save accumulatively every week. In the first month alone that is about $10 already.

The Rub:

If you are a person earning a minimum wage, then this most definitely cannot apply to you. In some terms, it would require you to save more than you can afford. Nonetheless, if you are earning too high, then this might give you very low savings.

12 Month Saving Challenge

I have chanced upon an article wherein the writer, after seeing the flaws of the first challenge, was able to devise a new saving habit that aimed to be more practical. This one looks into how much you can save monthly.

How it works:

It still makes use of a base amount but with an easier formula:

Savings for the month = base amount + additional monthly savings

Savings for the month = base amount + (month % x monthly income)

Basically, this saving habit is highly reliant and considerate to and of your monthly salary.

Here is the trick:

Month % is the month number. So, January is 1%, February is 2% and so on.

The base amount is the fixed amount you will save all throughout the year. Let us say $1.

Multiply your monthly salary by the month percent and then add the base amount to the product. The sum will be your savings for that particular month.

Example: For February:

Base amount + (Salary x month percent)

1 + (500 x.02) = 11

By looking at this, you will understand that $11 dollars are your savings for the month of February. If you want to know how much for each month, you can just replace month% by the corresponding month number.

The Dilemma:

Just like the first one, I have personally tried this and guess what, though this is highly practical and doable, by the end of the year, I have saved an amount that is just a little over my monthly salary.

Yes, this is better than not saving at all right? So, the better solution if you want higher savings is to increase the base amount.

The Rub:

Honestly, there are times when I would forget that I am doing this challenge. And because the amount is pretty affordable, I tend to put off a month’s supposed savings to the other month and that defeats the purpose. But it is more of a personal problem than it is systematic, right? Nevertheless, by the end of the year, your savings just equals your monthly income. Not much, but quite OK.

The “Your Currency Certain Bill” Challenge

So far, this is the saving habit that works for me. This saving challenge does not require a formula.

So, what is it? I got this idea from browsing social media and was reinforced to me by my friend. For this one, allow me to explain using my country’s currency: the Philippine Peso.

In the country, we have these bills: Php20, Php50, Php100, Php200 Php500, and Php1000. Among these, the Php50 and Php200 bills are the rarest to chance upon.

How it works:

The idea is simple, you need to save the “rarest bills” you get every time you get them.

Why only the rarest? Well, just so you won’t end up putting all your money in your piggy bank, of course! And no cheating! No exchanging of other bills so you get Php50! The idea is to save the bill that is given to you as the change from transactions.

Here’s the trick:

I chose to save the Php50 bill. Why? Well, the Php200 bill, aside from a bit high, is so rare. Like, in the last six months, I think I have encountered it only once.

So, every time I get Php50 bill, I automatically put it aside and have set my mind that is no longer part of my budget.

Admittingly, I have only started this like a month ago but it has worked great for me. I was averaging about 4 pieces of Php50 bills in a week.

The Dilemma:

Now, since this has no guarantee as to the number of times the Php50 note will appear in my transactions, the more it became exciting for me. I do not know how much I will be getting after a year as I do not keep track of my weekly savings, too.

The Rub:

Just as mentioned, you do not know how many times it would appear during the week, right? Thus, it will surprise you at how much portion it occupies in your weekly budget. This week, I have got like 8 pieces! And then there is a week I have none. Therefore, the end result would definitely vary regardless of your salary or spending habits.

And this does not follow the general saving formula which is: Salary-Savings = Expense

In Sum

These are just three of the many habits available online, but these are what I have tried so far.

If you ask for suggestions as to which is best for you, that is up to you to decide.

Moreover, if you choose to save now, it is important that aside from the certain amount you wish to get is that you have another goal for it.

Like, what would you do with the amount you would have saved after a year? Because if you fail to plan for this, then your efforts would have gone to nothing.

A good idea is to invest these further for legit financial institutions, and remember, you cannot rely on just one source of income.

About Patricia Abrihan

Patricia has always been inspired by the witty yet innocent voice of Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird that she believes that writing is able to revolutionize ideas of society. She is a former college instructor from the Philippines and is currently a freelance writer and blogger managing her portfolio. She is open to collaboration and also loves reading and watching movies.

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