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The 3 Best savings challenges in South Africa (try it out)

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Happy family doing a saving challenge saving money in a piggy bank at home.

Are you up for a challenge?

Good! We’ll explain the rules in a sec.

At the end of one of these savings challenges, you’ll have one of the best rewards… a lump sum of cash! 

So, stick with it. It’ll be worth it. Here’s what you need to know.

 

Savings challenges in South Africa

Savings challenges like the 52-week, 12-month savings, or envelope challenges can make it easier and even enjoyable to save money. These challenges are popular in South Africa and give you an easy to follow plan (and a bit of a challenge).

It’ll help build the habit and put some extra money in the bank. 

No matter what you’re saving for, a savings challenge is a great way to start.

 

Struggling to keep up with your debt?

Our team can help make your debt affordable once again.

We help thousands of South Africans to reduce their monthly debt repayments, protect them from legal action, and keep their assets — our team can help you too.

 

What is a savings challenge?

A savings challenge is a fun budgeting activity where people save money. Set up as a challenge, it involves a savings target and a timeframe or frequency. In South Africa, popular savings challenges include the 12-month savings challenge, the 52-week savings challenge, and the 100-envelope challenge.

Each its own method and benefits.

Let’s see how the challenges work.

Related content:

 

Weekly and monthly savings challenges

There are three popular savings challenges you could try.

Here’s the list:

  • 52-Week Savings Challenge
  • 12-Month Savings Challenge 
  • 100-Envelope Challenge

 

52-Week Savings Challenge

The 52-week savings challenge is a popular way to save money. You start by saving a small amount. For example, R10, in the first week. Each week, you save a bit more, adding another R10. By the end of 52 weeks, you can save over R13,000.

There are different ways to do this challenge. You could:

  • Start with a bigger amount like R20 or R50.
  • Increase the amount you save each week by more than R10.
  • Start with the biggest amount first and save less each week.

 

 This lets you adjust the challenge to fit your own financial situation and goals.

 

12-Month Savings Challenge

In this challenge, you save a fixed amount each month. This makes it easier to manage your monthly expenses and plan out. For example, you could save R500 every month. By the end of the year, you would have saved R6,000, or R2,000 every month for a total of R24,000.

Because it’s steady and predictable, this savings plan is perfect for people who get paid monthly and like a consistent approach to saving. While keeping the challenge of seeing whether you can stick with it for 12 full months.

Again, there are no hard-rules. Make it your own.

 

100-Envelope Challenge

The envelope challenge is a fun and effective way to save money with physical cash. You start by labelling 100 envelopes with different amounts, from R10 to R500 (as an example). Each week, you pick an envelope at random and save the amount written on it. By the end of the challenge, you could save over R25,000 (or more if you use a different range).

The surprise element makes the envelope challenge fun. It makes saving more exciting and engaging.

🦸 Pro-tip:

  • Ziplock bags from Mambos are cheaper than envelopes.
  • Mix it up and try a 12-month envelope challenge if you’d like. Use bigger amounts like R200 – R3,000. Open the envelope on pay day. And commit to saving the cash no matter what.

 

Here’s an example of how the savings can build over time.

 

Savings challenge summary table:

Challenge Time Frame Amount Saved (R) Total Saved (R)
52 Week Savings Challenge Week 1 R10 R10
Week 2 R20 R30
Week 3 R30 R60
Week 4-51 Increasing by R10/week R13,260
Week 52 R520 R13,780
12 Month Savings Challenge Month 1 R500 R500
Month 2 R500 R1,000
Week 3-11 R500/month R5,500
Month 12 R500 R6,000
Envelope Challenge Envelope 1 R10 R10
Envelope 2 R50 R60
Envelope 3-99 Various amounts R24,440
Envelope 100 R500 R25,000+

 

Tips for sticking with a savings plan

  • Save before you spend
  • Set clear goals
  • Automate savings
  • Track your progress
  • Reward yourself
  • Stay flexible

 

Save before you spend: Save as soon as you get paid. Don’t start spending and try to save the remainder. It’s easier to put the money aside at the start and adjust your spending to your remaining budget.

Set clear goals: Start by defining what you’re saving for and how much you need (or want to save). Having clear targets will keep you motivated.

Automate savings: Set up automatic transfers to your savings account (you can use this for the 12-month challenge). It’ll guarantee that you stay consistent and will reduce the temptation to spend before you save.

🦸 Pro-tip: Use a high interest savings account to make your savings grow on its own.

Track your progress: Regularly check your savings progress. Seeing your savings grow can be highly motivating.

Reward yourself: Celebrate small milestones along the way. This can keep you motivated and make the process enjoyable.

Stay flexible: Life happens. If you miss a week or month, don’t get discouraged. Adjust your plan and keep going.

 

Struggling to keep up with your debt?

Our team can help make your debt affordable once again.

We help thousands of South Africans to reduce their monthly debt repayments, protect them from legal action, and keep their assets — our team can help you too.

 

In summary

Who doesn’t like a challenge?

Challenges are fun. And recurring savings challenges are great for building habits.

Pick your favourite. One that suits your goals and budget. And get started.

If you have lots of debt, then it may be best to start by paying off your debt first. Why? Because the high interest rates make debt that much more expensive.

If you want to talk to someone about managing your debt, we can help. Try our online assessment at My Debt Hero to see if you qualify to reduce your debt.

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