I loved the idea of the 52 week saving challenge when I first read about it over at Pinas for Good. I liked the concept of saving small amounts each week and then using the amount collected at the end of 52 weeks to buy something for yourself. The deal is to spend your stash at something undeniably non-essential and irresponsible, as your reward for being good and practical the whole year long (or at least that's the rule I'm following for myself).
It took me a week or two to kickstart my 52 week challenge because I was looking for the right motivation. And I have finally found my motivation in a personalized necklace from Three Sisters Jewelry.
As suggested in Pinas for Good, I'm tweaking the challenge in that instead of dollar increments every week, I'll go for Php10 top-ups, so that at the end of 52 weeks, I'll have Php13,780 which is more than enough to buy the necklace and a pair of shoes :)
Jennie of Marriage and Beyond has her own version of the challenge where she puts in Php50 increments weekly, giving her a cool Php68,900 at the end of 52 weeks. The thought of Php68,900 after 52 weeks is fantastic but I don't know if I'll be able to keep up with the weekly deposits, since from week 20 onwards the weekly deposit becomes Php1,000 with the deposits reaching a high of Php2,600 on the 52nd week. This is supposed to be a fun and easy way to score some shopping money for myself and I doubt if it will be as entertaining if I have to constantly move our budget around to come up with the weekly cash.
On the other hand, The Frugal Find thinks that the challenge is silly since with the increasing weekly allotment, most people will likely just fall off the wagon. She calls this a mere band-aid solution to the more serious problem of not knowing how to budget.
Personally, I'm treating the challenge as a Me Fund and not as an alternative to budgeting or investing. It's just a way to get my grubby hands on a shiny trinket that I can well afford to buy at the moment but which I wouldn't dream of getting because of such adult concerns like the mortgage, grocery budget etc. etc. etc.
My 52 Week Money Challenge starts now. See you in a year my precious!!