Use our 52-week savings plan to grow almost R14 000 over the year.
Between rising inflation rates, the increasing cost of food, school fees, and other everyday commodities and necessities, it’s hard to imagine putting any money into savings at the end of the month. The key to saving is that you just need to start – no matter how small, that first step is always the hardest one. That’s why we love the 52-week
savings plan, which sees you stashing away small increments on a weekly basis to begin with, working up towards larger amounts as the year progresses, finally accumulating in a wonderful R13 780! If you’re not financially or savings savvy, this is a great way to start the habit.
How it works
Starting with the first week in January 2018, deposit R10 into your savings account or savings pocket, followed by R20 in January’s second week, R30 in the third week, continuing until the end of the year when you’ll deposit R520 in the year’s final week.
Set a weekly reminder on your phone to make the quick deposit from your account and cross off the corresponding week and amount from your savings planner once the deposit has been made. Then sit back and enjoy your nest egg at the end of the year.
Make it suit you
While we love the simplicity of the 52-week planner, it’s not always practical to stick to, as different times of the year carry varying financial obligations. December is usually the most expensive time of the year with festivities and
holidays planned, so stashing away the higher amount during this month might not work for you: Week 49 (R490) + Week 50 (R500) + Week 51 (R510) + Week 52 (R520) = R2 020
If you know you’ll need extra cash at this time of year, then distribute the higher amounts more evenly throughout the year, saving the larger amounts during payday weeks, for example. Just make sure each week that you transfer a manageable amount from one of the 52 options, and then cross it off your list.
What you’ll need:
- A 52-week planner spreadsheet
- A savings account or pocket, preferably linked to your cheque account for easy depositing.
- Online banking and/or your bank’s app on your phone.
After 12 months you’ll have a nest egg of at least R13 780. Speak to your financial advisor about possible investments that will see your savings grow and work for you.
If the idea of needing to put away large amounts like R390 or R250 each week is daunting and not feasible on your budget, you can always start small. Take a zero off each weekly amount, grab a designated savings jar and put away R1, R2, R3 and so on weekly, accumulating in R1 378 by the end of the year. While the figure might seem small, every bit counts and it’ll help boost your savings journey.
Earn interest while you save
Find out whether your bank or another provider offers a savings account with added interest, and that way you can earn interest on your savings throughout the year, leaving you with an even bigger amount at the end. Many of these come with a no-draw period, such as a 32-day savings account, which will make it more difficult for you to dip into your savings. Remember, this will work particularly well if you reverse the whole 52-week plan, beginning with the larger amounts first so that you have a bigger sum in the account accumulating more interest each month.
Savvy saving tips
Need some help finding the funds to start you on your saving journey? While it might seem hard, there are so many easy ways to start. Here are five tips to help:
1. Ditch the debt
Saving doesn’t come naturally to most, and while it’s always a good place to start, no matter the amount and what your age is, there’s no point in trying to stash away a little here and there if you haven’t got your finances and other debt accounts under control. Trying to save is pointless if interest on unpaid accounts is costing more than what you’re able to save. Rather pay off those store cards, credit cards and personal loans that may be hanging over you.
2. Have a ‘no spend week’ every month
This will take some planning and control but you’ll be amazed at how much little impulse buys or unnecessary spends cost you monthly. Take your lunch to work and save instead of nipping out to Woolies or the office canteen. Plan your weekly meals ahead so that you don’t always have to go to the shops, and stock up on items and impulse splurges while in-store. Make extra and take leftovers to the office for lunch. Say no to online shopping. Give your cards a break from online purchases.
3. Sell your clutter
Go through your home and see if there are any items that have been stored away in your cupboards for years without being used. Can you sell it on – either at car boot sales, markets, to charity shops or cash converters – for some extra cash?
4. Shop smart
When going to the supermarket, have a list and stick to the items you need. Shop smart and think about the brands you use. While selecting the cheapest no-brand products might be too extreme, dropping a brand level on everything you purchase can save you a bundle and drop the overall price by around 30%. The difference in price isn’t necessarily in the food anyway, but rather in the packaging.
5. Make your coffee at home
If you need a daily caffeine fix from the office canteen or a stop en route to work, it can make a large dent in your monthly spend. Rather make coffee at home and bring it to the office to see you through the day. With so many fabulous portable mugs and flasks available on the market, this will cost a fraction of the price of paying for one on a daily basis, plus it’s environmentally friendly!
Trying to save is pointless if interest on unpaid accounts is costing more than what you’re able to save.
FEATURE: TARYN DAS NEVES PHOTO: FOTOLIA.COM