Saving To See The World: The M-Shwari Story of 52-Week Challenge

By Juma / Published October 18, 2019 | 7:04 am





It is never easy to save. It is always easy to think of saving but very hard to start. Saving is a habit. A habit is what one repeatedly does. A habit forms character. Simply put, saving is part of someone. It is something that one should always look forward to and enjoy doing.

Warren Buffet says “do not save what is left after spending but spend what is left after saving,” with Randy Thurman putting it plainly that “a penny saved is worth two pennies earned.” Developing a saving culture is not for the faint-hearted. It is for those who are willing to take the road less taken and follow it to its rightful destination.

Along the highway of saving, there are so many fake destinations that look like real ones. It requires courage, dedication, and purpose to ignore the temptation to fall into fake destinations and the will to hold on to the real destination.

To start saving, you first need to know yourself financially. How much do you get regularly? How much are you willing to put aside as savings? How willing are you to hold on until you fulfill your financial goal?

The journey to start saving follows 5 rules that are known as the 5W and an H in a journalistic language and which I will call 5 Wives and 1 Husband rule.

They are:

  • WHO – who is going to save? Who are you going to save for? Who is going to save with? Are you alone or a group?
  • WHAT – what are you going to save? How much are you going to save? Your answer might be that you are going to save “money” but you must state the exact amount that you intend to save.
  • WHEN – when are you planning to start saving? When do you plan to stop saving? Saving requires clear timelines. You must know when to start and probably when to stop.
  • WHERE – Where are you going to put your savings? In an investment? In a bank? In a mobile account?
  • WHY – Why are you saving? What do you want to achieve? What is your goal? What are you saving for? What do you intend to buy at the end of the whole saving exercise?
  • HOW- How do you want to save?

The misinterpretation of saving

There is this notion that is in the minds of many that one ought to save until it hurts. Never. Saving should not be something that should frustrate and hurt you. It should be something flexible, something you will always love to do. As stated before, saving is a culture that transforms itself into a habit with time.

Many people think that to save, you need to have lots of cash. That you need to save large amounts of money for the exercise to make meaning. This should never be the case. Saving is like an open pitch, with clear set rules only without a cap on how much to save and when to stop.

If saving has been a challenge to you because you have been thinking that you do not have enough to save, then you need to rethink your thinking about saving. You can save any amount at any time. All you need is financial discipline.

The 52-Week Challenge

I did not quite understand the talk on the 52-week challenge until I met a lady by the name Rachel. (She did not want me to use her two names to protect her identity.) I became interested in this amazing lady’s story when I came across it on my Twitter timeline. That day, online enthusiasts were discussing on how to save using the hashtag #52WeekChallenge.

For those who might not be aware of the 52 Week Challenge (like I was), allow me to break it down to you before going back to Rachel’s story. 52 Week Challenge is both a personal and group challenge, where an individual or a group of individuals give themselves the challenge to save at a regular interval for 52 weeks.

52 Week Challenge is basically about an individual or a group of individuals cumulatively building on savings for 52 weeks. All one needs is to set a target and the 52 Week Challenge will give them the amount they need to save starting from the first week to the 52nd week. For instance, if one wants to save 68,900 shillings (like Rachel), the smallest amount to save will be 50 shillings and the largest amount will stand at 2,600 shillings.

Back to the story of Rachel;

Rachel and her friends wanted to travel the world. They wanted to go to Dubai but they did not have what it takes to travel in terms of finances. “We decided to travel to Dubai around September of 2018. We are both members of a Chama and when the idea of a group 52 Week Challenge didn’t quite make the plans for 2019, we decided to take it up,” she said on her Twitter account.

Rachel says she decided to take up the 52 Week Challenge with her target being 68,900 shillings at the end of the 52 weeks. With this target, it meant Rachel and her friends were to save 50 shillings as the starting capital on Week 1, with the amount increasing by 50 shillings on each additional week. For instance, Week 1, they save 50 shillings, Week 2, they save 100 shillings, increased to 150 shillings on Week 3 and 200 shillings on Week 4. With the amount to be saved increasing at this rate (of 50 shillings on each additional week), on the 52nd week Rachel and her friends saved 2,600 shillings, with the total amount standing at 68,900 shillings.

Below is how Rachel and her friends were saving and how the amount was increasing:

“Saving is about discipline. You need to first know yourself. For instance, how do you react every time you are closer to your money? Do you always feel like spending with no mind of putting something aside? Once you discover yourself in terms of your financial habits, saving becomes part of you,” said Rachel.

According to Rachel, due to her financial flow, she did not choose the option of saving weekly but chose to be saving cumulatively at the end of every month. Let us do the math;

Week 1 – 50

Week 2 – 100

Week 3 – 150

Week 4 – 200

What will be the amount of cash in her M-Shwari account at the end of the first month if she was saving weekly? 500 shillings. This means, cumulatively, she save 500 shillings in month one.

“We chose M-Shwari because it is easy, accessible and flexible. M-Shwari has a locking functionality that enables you to lock your savings as you save at a maturity date that you choose. We both individually used the lock functionality on M-Shwari and set the maturity date to only a few weeks before we were scheduled to travel,” she said.




About Juma

Juma is an enthusiastic journalist who believes that journalism has power to change the world either negatively or positively depending on how one uses it.(020) 528 0222 or Email: info@sokodirectory.com

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