You’d think all those money-saving challenges you see online are easier said than done, but wait until you see people who took a crack at them and actually succeeded.
eCompareMo reached out to three Pinoys who mustered enough courage and committed to next-level penny-pinching in 2017, chalking up five digits in total savings toward the end of their struggles.
Here they share their secrets and a few wise words. About time we learned from the masters.
Kevin Oliveros, 26, senior software developer
Method: 52-Week Ipon Challenge
Total savings: P68,900
When I saw someone post the 52-Week Ipon Challenge on Facebook in December 2016, I told myself, “Why not?”
At the time I really wanted to book a ticket to Japan but realized I didn’t have enough pocket money. So I decided to take on this challenge.
The projected yearend savings really enticed me. Looking at the tally of how much you could save each week, I knew it was doable.
The real challenge started in May 2017 because that was when I had to set aside P1,000 a week. The only problem was, I was also putting money in my savings account—the struggle was real!
I kept myself from making unnecessary purchases. I was that bent on traveling to Japan.
I even went on a vacation to Palawan in November, which had me owing P12,000 to my 52-Week Challenge fund. I was able to fill for it using my 13th month pay.
I read stories about people who tried the challenge but failed as early as March last year. They told me it was impossible and that I couldn’t do it. I wanted to prove them wrong.
All in all, I managed to save P68,900 through the challenge. That’s on top of my savings. My friends tell me it’s more than enough to make the most of my stay in Japan. Whatever is left will go to my savings account.
This is going to be a yearly thing from now on. I intend to travel more with the money I’ll save.
To those who want to take on the challenge, I can tell you three things. First, you need to practice self-discipline, especially that we’re talking about spending less.
Second, keep your goal in mind. It should be something that will make you really happy. Spend it on something that would really make you happy. Even if it’s too much of a luxury, you sacrificed for it so you deserve it.
Lastly, dapat single ka. Just kidding. Although it’s really easier to save up when you’re on your own. But don’t get me wrong, being in a relationship shouldn’t be a hindrance to saving money.
A partner can in fact help motivate you. There is, after all, another version of the 52-Week Ipon Challenge for those in a relationship.
Yona Abella, 23, businesswoman
Method: 50-Pesos Challenge
Total savings: P42,300
This isn’t my first time to save money. I’m really independent. I don’t like asking money from my parents.
I found the 50-Pesos Challenge very, well, challenging at first. It’s not easy to keep P50 bills invisible to your eyes. It’s a real test of self-discipline!
I was tempted many times to spend my P50 bills when I couldn’t find smaller amounts. But I was able to overcome that because I had a goal. And when you have a clear goal, you’ll do everything to nail it.
I was able to save a total of P42,300. Half of it, I used to pay my rent, and the other half went to my savings.
I’m taking on the 20-Pesos Challenge this time. Actually, I started late last year. It’s much more challenging because 20s are more common than 50s.
My advice? Just stick to your goal and stay disciplined. There’s no use cheating on yourself. Stay determined!
Trisha Martin, 24, partnerships associate
Method: 50-Pesos Challenge
Total savings: P22,650
This challenge was all over my Facebook feed, and I got inspired seeing how people managed to save a lot. I wanted to test myself if I could do it so that I could buy myself something nice.
I did try to take on money-saving challenges in the past, particularly the 52-week challenge, but I wasn’t able to keep it up. This time, I made sure I was committed.
I thought the 50-Pesos Challenge was more achievable than the others—all I had to do was ignore all my 50-peso bills. I’m used to ignoring people and things, anyway.
There were times I had to buy something but didn’t have any cash in my wallet other than P50 bills. I had no choice but to get money from the ATM first.
I managed to save up P22,650. I used it to pay for my brother’s review center fee, then buy something nice for myself if with the excess.
I’m doing it again this year. I figured it would be useful for my emergency fund.
I’d say commitment really is the key. Start with something small. Saving money doesn’t mean taking away a big chunk of your paycheck.