In 2019, I started a savings challenge in an effort to rebuild my emergency fund. Essentially, the challenge was to save money on an incremental basis, starting with a small amount and slowly increasing it. I started with increments of R200. In 2020, I increased it to R250.
In the two years, now going onto three years, I managed to save R35,100. It helped me immensely when I got married in 2020. It also helped me build a wall at my house. Proud moments indeed.
The feedback I received from other people who participated in the challenge were similar. Some fixed their houses, built emergency funds, and paid off debt, just to mention a few.
The premise of the challenge is to start it off easy, and increase the challenge throughout the year. This year, I’ve decided to switch it up a bit: I’m starting with the hard part, i.e. working the challenge backwards.
The reverse method comes with two advantages that I quite like. The interest is higher and it gets easier instead of getting harder.
Starting with the higher amounts means that the interest earned is on the higher amount and for longer. It also gets easier which could make a huge psychological difference in staying with the challenge.
However, I will still run updates on both challenges (the easy-to-challenging format, and the challenging-to-easy format). I’m also maintaining the annual R50 increment. For 2021, I’m working with R300.
So I’m starting with R3,600 and work my way down until I get to R300 in December.
If you wish to participate, save a copy of the savings challenge spreadsheet and just change the “Increment multiplier” to suit your personal goals and savings capacity. Use the hashtag #SavingsChallengeWithNjabs to share your journey.
Njabulo Nsibande is a Just One Lap user-turned-contributor and a founding member of an investment club. His “Cash Club” blog details his experiences balancing the financial obligations of a young parent with his investment aspirations.
Follow Njabulo’s journey here every month. You can also follow his trading journey by listening to his Village Trader podcast.
Find him on Twitter: @njabulo_goje.