I attended a workshop last week where the trainer said something about, "when you feel a little down, try to help someone, usually you'll immediately feel good and your mood will start to change."
I never knew that before but I always have this instinct to help if I can. I must have gotten it from my mom.
So today, I'm not feeling down, on the contrary, I am actually very very happy because I am back to my cooking and baking self. I feel like I'm getting back to my castle of contentment. I am sharing because I believe it might help someone else reach their goal(s) and that would be such a grand thing!
I got my kids to join in which is really exciting. Alex is not hard to convince. I explained the mechanics, explained "delayed gratification", explained the reward, he asked questions, I answered and that's it. He got his envelope, wrote on it and put in his first 3 weeks savings from his extra money and moved on.
Jason? That's a different story.
Jason is the skeptic. He has to see what's in it for him, like really I had to make a hard sell! There are so many obstacles and series of questions that I need to answer before he got convinced. In the end he told me, "but mommy, I only have Dh 1, because I spent the rest on food. He had to wait for the next day to have enough money for the envelope. What a labour intensive thing!
So the challenge has been called different names and it's been going on for years but some are still unaware of it.
Basically, we have 52 weeks in a year. Every week, you make a contribution to which week you are in. Right now we are towards the beginning of week 4, so the savings in the envelope should be the value of $10:
Week 1 - deposit $1
Week 2 - deposit $2
Week 3 - deposit $3
Week 4 - deposit $4
Total as of week 4 = $10
Then on week 5, you should add 5 in the envelope and so it continues until you reach 52.
It's up to you what currency you feel like. Jason and Alex are on Dirhams since that's as much as they can afford with their school money. I am doing it on US Dollars. Maybe another year, I'll do it in Euro or British Pounds to make it more challenging!!!
I sent the same thing to my colleagues and suggested, if they want to, they can also save for a love one and come 52nd week, they can gift it (or keep it too, you greedy you!). So many variations you can do! You can even have an envelope for each member of your family!
Again, do it if you want to. I told the same thing to my nanny and she just shrugged her shoulders. Obviously she is not into it.
For me, it is one of the highlights of my week. Opening the envelop and putting in a little amount, it makes me smile.
Now that I'm a lot older, I like to save. This is how I managed to afford a big Europe tour for a family of 4 in 2014. It wasn't a budget travel, it was a well thought, obsessed kind of organised trip. My whole family didn't know what's happening until I said "we are applying for visa". Even then they knew squat. I'll write all about it soon (i hope). It was an amazing experience, the sparkle in their eyes were priceless.
It was a fully-paid and fully organised trip that the only thing we need to do is pack our clothes and go. From the air tickets, the accommodation, the tours, the exquisite dinner by Alain Ducasse atop Eiffel tower, the only thing we paid for were tips, snacks here and there and daily grocery. Imagine going for a big trip with all big chunky expenses out of the way? It was blissful.
The same amount of determination was applied last year when I found out towards the end of 2014 that we are pregnant! I had some extra stash, I didn't want to spend them all on bags so I decided to kick start investing on properties. Got us our first proper house, furnished and a vacant lot in a prime location perfect for future vacation house. Again, it was all a wonderful surprise, another story to tell, another time.
What I'm saying is, this 52 week challenge is just to tickle your saving buds. If you can do this, you can do more. IF I CAN DO IT, YOU CAN DO BETTER.
1,300 in whatever currency is a good amount of money. You certainly cannot pick it up from the street.
This savings challenge does not replace serious savings, like kids education, retirement or emergency fund. Don't abandon those, please! This is a fun savings that should make your week bright and make you giddy with delight. Do this on the side as a reward for you to splurge or do what the heck you want to at the end of the year... for your self.
So what do you say?