F is for Frugal

Recycled glass jarsMy Facebook feed has been flooded with all things related to numbers. The Number Game where one can speak something about you without shame and judgement and the 52 Week Money Challenge.

The latter caught my eye and I was totally turning on a new leaf this year, money-wise. 

I have been in the BPO industry for quite sometime and saving is a habit I should really stick to. Now that I have big plans for travelling outside the Philippines before I turn 30 and before I die from burn out.

So we went to Colon and looked for the merchant that sells recycled bottles and plastic containers. There is always that someone who sells these in any market. The jug to the left is a cleaned Carlo Rossi glass sold at Php100 while the one to the right is a large jar of what once contained mayonnaise, this is sold at Php200. We opted for the glass kind cause it's more fun to break your savings a year from now. You may use any form of container, an old 2L Sprite PET bottle or a cardboard box. Anything will do as long as you keep this safe and secure it at all cost.

52 week challenge template pesoI would like to note that this is not a literal Php50 per week savings. It is a Php50 increment savings per week. On your first week, you drop Php50 on your container and on the next it would increase to Php100, then Php150 and so on until you end the year accumulating Php68,900. More of you use the Php100 increment savings. Lesser of course if you want the lesser amounts.

Here is the original template from Minimum Compliance. The good thing about this is that the template is just a guide. Should in any case you will get more than what you expect on your salary say due to Tax Returns/Monetary Bonus or Incentive, you can directly drop it in and cover the total number of weeks the amount is worth.

For example, for the Php50/week amount, say you get your salary today at Php10,000. Deducting all forms of bills and a bit of luxury, you have an extra Php2000. According to the template, this week Jan 6th to Jan 12th you will drop Php100. You can drop the Php2000 and crash out 3 weeks worth of savings. Or to make it rather easier for not-so-Math-wizards like myself, you can crash out Week 20th May 12th to May 18th where you are suppose to contribute Php2000.

I'd like to acknowledge as well that on the second half of the challenge, the amount gets rather bigger and it may be an obstacle to face when this happens. You have the liberty to slide down on the amount you save. Say, less Php1000 and just make up until the next payday. You have all autonomy to do this at your own pace. The template is just a guide.

Here are a few templates you can download and print. I created a Php20, Php30, Php40, Php50 and for the ambitious Php100 increment savings template for you to use. Also, I made a separate template file with decreasing deposits that way it's feasible for you to continue midway throughout the year.

Template One: FTW! Blog - 52 Week Money Challenge (Increasing Deposits)
Template Two: FTW! Blog - 52 Week Money Challenge (Decreasing Deposits)

Note: I am not an Excel whiz so please pardon the lack of luster. :D

Just a tip:

  • Glue the template to your jar and use double-sided tape to keep it clean. You can go old school with scotchtape and use a permanent marker to crash out the weeks that past.
52 week challenge jar with template
  • If you really want to be motivated, decorate your jar with photos of the things you will buy once you get the money. Pictures of the latest gadget you have been eyeing for or views of the city you wish to visit. Heck, if you even go for the Php100/week, at the end of the year that is more than enough to pay for the down payment for a second hand car. Whatever motivates you should be plastered. It's kind of like a vision jar of sorts. The decors also covers the money inside to hide away from prying eyes
52 week challenge decorated jar with goal
  • Hide the container from people and make sure to keep it hidden at all cost. If you get weak at the sight of cash, you can deposit it on a safety deposit box or a trusty friend to keep it in lock and key.
  • I am doing this with a friend and the covers of our container is slathered with super glue, then we wrapped it with crepe paper and have each other sign it with the date we started the challenge. This ensures that you can never open the container at any cost. You can also bet on each other that if someone touches or uses their money and gets caught will be punished in any shape or form. Whatever floats your boat.
52 week challenge with security lock and signature
The challenge here other than the actual accrual of money is your discipline and willingness to continue. This is why the goal should be reflected at any part of your jar to remind you of what is at stake.

Say, you don't know what you are saving for just yet and by the end of the year you have this certain amount of cash to either spend or save. You may want to make this a legit practice and open a bank account. A separate one for your savings, I recommend getting the passbook rather than the ATM card to hinder you from splurging your hard earned cash with just one swipe. Or you can get a dollar bank account and use the money to buy dollars. This is beneficial when you plan to travel overseas and shop or if you are an online shopper that frequent Ebay. Time deposits are flexible these days, you may want to look into that as well. 

I did not say that this would be the only solution for your money problems but this is definitely worth a try. Also, we all know that we are not getting any younger. It's about time we save something for ourselves and have a sense of pride once we have this accomplished. I am utterly excited on how this will turn out. I am looking forward for payday and hopefully I can save a lot to cover more than 2 weeks worth of savings.

The templates provided are at its simplest form and you have all the autonomy to change this to fit your needs. If you are like me and want to travel the world and see sights and dive into other culture, then come join me and say Challenge Accepted!


  1. This I gotta do, too! Thanks for sharing Zhequia.

    1. Not a problem. Always nice to help out and share this to anyone you know. :D

  2. Replies
    1. Fancy seeing you around here. Share it to your friends. :D

  3. nice i saw this from almost most blogs for 2014 posts. iam accepthing this challenge too!


    1. That's great to hear Ina! Will send an update every quarter to see how I am doing with the challenge. So far, I have crashed out 5 weeks off the template! Weeeeeeeeee~


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