52 Week Money Challenge: A Reflection After Completion

Today marks the 39th Week of the 52 Week Money Challenge. And this also marks the end of the challenge for me. I managed to save in advance the months of October, November and December. Every payday I would save up a specific week so that I could be able to finish the challenge faster and even more to get rid of those heavier amounts. I still vow to save an extra 1,100 next week so I would be able to save up 70,000 all in all.

Let me tell you that the challenge was not a walk in the park. Well it was in the first few weeks when you can just totally save a few hundred. However, as the amount increases, so is the burden of saving. I never imagined it can be tough. I will not sugar-coat this post as there were weeks when I failed to save or I have used up all my expenses money already. And I don’t want to touch my savings money just for the challenge. I have two separate savings in the process, one for my usual savings pool and the other one for the 52 Week Money Challenge. That is why I tend to pass the week without saving the required amount and instead save next week hoping to cover the previous week and the current week. There were times when I want to satisfy my wants and there were times when I really need to cringe on my expenses in order to save up for the week.

No wonder it is called a challenge in the first place. It was never easy and the process alone is tough. However, let me stress and highlight three points that I learned while doing the challenge.

Delaying Gratification

When we talk about savings, it always highlights delaying gratification. And in the book The Road Less Traveled, delaying gratification was one of the first items discussed in the first chapter. This relatively makes sense. If you want to achieve a greater goal, you need to delay and resist temptations that would come your way that will tend to topple you in your objective. Yes you can spend on immediate rewards and things along the way, however it can leech you of what your end goal of the challenge would be. With the challenge, I was able to resist small wants as I progress. Because I know, I will have a much larger reward in the end of the 52 weeks. I could have easily surrendered when the going gets tough, but I’m glad I didn’t. And now that I have the amount, I couldn’t be happier and prouder. Simply imagine the little temptations that life would give me in the process. I know for sure, I can be able to shove them away with the end goal in mind. Discipline also comes into play here.

Forming the Habit

Indeed doing it 21 times can really form a habit. In the challenge, it might take 21 weeks to form the habit of savings but it was already a paradigm embedded in my system. Even when I know I am done with the challenge, I know I will always set aside a specific amount each week because it is already a habit to do so. With that in mind, I am already thinking of doing another 52 Week Money Challenge by October. I know I have been a saver before but the challenge makes me a disciplined saver. And this is something I know I would carry for the rest of my life. That is why I’m thankful that I did accept the challenge.

A New Me

When I presented the challenge earlier this year and doing it because I wanted to buy a designer bag, I got mix reactions from people with regards to that goal in mind. It was an awakening in the process and I’m glad that varied individuals shared their inputs with regards to the use of my money. With that, it dawned on me that why struggle for 52 weeks when in the end you would be buying just that. It opened me greater opportunities on how I can use that money and build something bigger and greater out of it. Now, my money perspective change. Although there is still that hint of satisfying my wants, I know deep inside that I could not waste such money over a designer bag.

The 52 Week Money Challenge was long. However, I’m not glad that it is over, hence I’m starting another one next month. I think the process of saving has been glued to my system already and I feel uneasy every single time I won’t be able to save. Even more, it shows me varied ways on how I can maximize the money that I saved in the process. And again, I’m thankful I did and accepted it. Until my next money challenge!

P.S. To those doing the 52 Week Money Challenge and 52 Week Money Challenge Version 2, it is Week 39 already! Did you deposit the next amount yet?

P.P.S Want to know more about investing, savings, stock market and more, check out my reference here. You can download free ebooks and resources too.