Savings Challenge

Many South Africans face challenges with saving money, especially amid rising living costs and persistent debt. While the immediate solution might seem to be increasing income, it’s not always feasible to rely on windfalls like lottery wins or unexpected inheritances. It’s crucial to learn how to save regardless of income level. The savings challenge offers an effective starting point, making saving achievable for everyone.

Key Takeaways

  1. Savings Challenges Simplify Saving: Initiatives like the 52-week money-saving challenge break large goals into smaller, manageable steps, injecting a sense of fun and celebration into the saving process.
  2. Daily Habits for Savings: Incorporating practical daily habits such as reviewing grocery lists, switching brands, cancelling unused subscriptions, packing lunches, and avoiding impulse purchases can significantly reduce expenses and boost savings.
  3. Avoiding Savings Pitfalls: It’s important to steer clear of common money-saving mistakes, including overspending on non-essentials, lacking clear saving goals, failing to automate savings, accruing high-interest debt, and neglecting to track or adjust spending and budgets.

How Can Savings Challenges Make Saving More Fun?

Ever faced a daunting task and wondered, “How will I ever manage that?” Savings challenges transform the seemingly impossible into achievable feats. By breaking down a significant savings goal into smaller, manageable mini-goals, you create more opportunities for celebration—and who doesn’t love celebrating?

For instance, saving R25,000 for an emergency fund might appear overwhelming at first. However, a savings challenge can divide this hefty goal into five smaller chunks of R5,000 each. Through the 52-week money-saving challenge, you can conquer the first two R5,000 milestones in less than a year—an achievement worth celebrating. And it all begins with just R1.

Taking on a savings challenge can sometimes feel overwhelming, but managing stress is key to success. We give you tips for handling financial stress and valuable advice to keep you calm and focused, helping you stay on track without feeling overwhelmed.

People doing Savings Challenge

Money-Saving Challenges to Supercharge Your Savings

52-Week Money Saving Challenge

The 52-week money-saving challenge offers a straightforward yet effective method to boost your savings. Begin by saving R10 in the first week, then incrementally increase your savings by R10 each subsequent week. By adhering to this plan, you’ll accumulate a significant sum by the end of the year.

Here’s how it looks:


The traditional savings challenge can pose difficulties, particularly during months with higher expenses like December. To address this, let’s adopt a more flexible approach.

Save What You Can, When You Can: Each week, save whatever amount you can afford. Deposit this amount into a designated savings account separate from your current one to minimize temptation.

Track Your Progress: Utilize a “money challenge” spreadsheet to monitor your savings. For instance, if you save R130 one week, mark off week 13’s value on the spreadsheet. If you save R220 another week, mark off week 22’s value. This method allows for tackling higher amounts when feasible and saving lower amounts during tighter weeks.

By the end of the year, you should have saved R13,780. This flexible plan alleviates the pressure of saving set amounts and promotes consistent saving.

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Biweekly Money-saving Challenge

Alternatively, if you’re paid biweekly, consider a variation of the 52-week challenge. Instead of saving weekly, transfer money to savings on payday every other week.

Here is the table in a bi-weekly plan format for 52 weeks of saving:

TOTAL R16640

The bi-weekly savings plan involves starting with R20 and increasing by R20 every two weeks. Over 52 weeks, this method gradually accumulates a total of R16,640. Consistently adhering to this plan demonstrates the effectiveness of incremental saving and financial discipline, resulting in a substantial savings fund.

For those inclined towards a more extreme approach, a no-spend challenge might be appealing. In a no-spend challenge, you commit to significantly reducing your spending for a set period, such as a month or three months. This could involve limiting expenses to essential daily needs or eliminating specific spending categories, like takeout meals or clothing purchases.

At the end of the designated period, the money saved from the challenge can be transferred into your savings account, showcasing the impact of self-discipline on achieving financial goals. Well done on successfully completing the challenge!

For those looking to save with a view to future investments or business ventures, the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the DTIC) offers extensive resources.

7 Ways to Save Every Day

Review the Grocery List

Review the Grocery List

Creating a grocery list and sticking to it can help manage expenses. Plan meals in advance to avoid unnecessary purchases, and consider shopping online to save time and money while steering clear of impulse buys.

Switch Brands

Switch Brands

Research alternative brands or private labels for products you regularly purchase. Saving on combined prices can easily cover savings goals for the week.


Rethink Subscriptions

Cancel unused or unnecessary subscriptions, such as retail, magazine, music, or video streaming services, to save money that can contribute to your savings goals.

Pack a Lunch

Pack a Lunch

Opting for a homemade lunch over dining out can result in significant savings. Consider starting a brown-bag challenge with coworkers to share recipes and save together.

Mobile Plans

Review Mobile Plans

Assess your mobile phone bill for unnecessary expenses and explore switching to a more cost-effective plan or provider to save money.

Host Friends at Home

Host Friends at Home

Instead of frequenting bars or restaurants, invite friends over for gatherings at home. Enjoying quality time together without the expense of dining out can lead to substantial savings.

Avoid Impulse Spending

Avoid Impulse Spending

Refrain from indulging in “therapy” spending by finding alternative activities, such as outdoor excursions or leisurely walks. Utilize the 24-hour rule for online shopping to prevent impulse buys and ensure thoughtful purchases.

Adopting a frugal lifestyle can significantly boost your savings efforts. Explore our guide to frugal living to discover innovative ways to cut costs and maximise your savings without sacrificing your quality of life. Small changes can lead to big savings!

Money Mistakes to Avoid

Money Mistakes to Avoid When Trying to Save Money

Saving money is a crucial part of achieving financial stability and independence. However, many people struggle to save effectively due to common money mistakes. Here are some key pitfalls to avoid when trying to save money:


Saving money doesn’t have to be an overwhelming hurdle. By embracing savings challenges, incorporating practical daily habits, and steering clear of common financial traps, you can manage your finances effectively and lay the groundwork for a stable future. Whether you begin with small, gradual savings or opt for substantial lifestyle adjustments, each step toward saving matters. With perseverance and effective strategies, everyone can reach their financial objectives, regardless of their income level.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I initiate a savings challenge?

To kick off a savings challenge, select a specific objective and a designated timeframe. Divide the total amount you wish to save into smaller, manageable sums. For instance, in the 52-week savings challenge, commence by stashing away a modest amount in the first week and gradually increase it each subsequent week. Keep track of your progress regularly and celebrate milestones to maintain motivation.

How much can I save with the 52-week savings challenge?

By adhering to the 52-week savings challenge, you’ll accumulate R13,780 by the year’s end. This challenge begins with saving R10 in the initial week and incrementally raising the amount by R10 each week.

What are some effective daily habits for saving money?

Productive daily habits for saving money encompass adhering to and reviewing your grocery list, transitioning to more economical brands, cancelling redundant subscriptions, packing homemade lunches instead of dining out, reassessing and adjusting your mobile plan, entertaining guests at home rather than going out, and steering clear of impulsive purchases.

How can I steer clear of typical errors when striving to save money?

Evade common saving blunders by establishing precise saving objectives, automating your savings, prioritizing the repayment of high-interest debt, monitoring your expenditure, trimming non-essential expenses, and routinely reviewing and tweaking your budget to accommodate changes in your financial circumstances.

What is a no-spend challenge and how does it function?

A no-spend challenge entails selecting a defined duration, such as a month, during which you drastically restrict your expenditure to essential outlays exclusively. You can also opt to eliminate specific categories, like takeout meals or new attire. The funds conserved throughout this period can be transferred to your savings account, facilitating the swift accumulation of savings through disciplined spending practices.

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