The 5:2 Savings Challenge
Here at Wagestream HQ we’ve been thinking about what financial challenges or goals we can set ourselves for the new year. Christmas was (as expected) pretty expensive and we’d like to give our credit cards some breathing space, and give our savings accounts a bit more love. That’s why a couple of us have decided to do the 5:2 challenge this January – and you can too!
What is it?
The 5:2 financial challenge takes its inspiration from the 5:2 diet. Simply put, for two days each week you don’t spend any money and that money goes straight into your savings account. The days that you don’t spend can change each week – but whatever day you choose, you can’t spend a penny.
We personally find the idea of constantly watching what you spend pretty daunting, that’s why, with this method, just the two days of financially fasting do feel a lot more manageable.
(If you want to really test yourself, you could always flip it and do 5 no spend days – but we’re not feeling ready for that quite yet…)
How to get started?
We want to make sure we don’t overspend on the other five days to make the most out of it so used the handy 50:30:20 rule to figure out where all our money is going, and how to set our budget for the month. This is also generally quite a handy way of keeping on top of your spending in the different areas.
|50%||Needs||Rent, bills, food, etc|
|30%||Wants||Shopping, eating out, etc|
We took the 30% number and used that to figure out how much we could spend everyday. On our no spend days, that daily amount will obviously go straight into our savings accounts.
Note – this is just a suggestion! You can figure out your spending limit in whatever way works best for you. We are also both child-free which does make this a lot simpler. If you’re a savvy budgeter with children, we’d love to hear how you do it.
How are we going to do the budget?
We’ve opted for slightly different approaches to the budget according to what we think will work best for us.
Anna’s plan: I’ve decided to have my no spend days on the same day every week just so I don’t forget, so I’ve set up a daily direct debit from my main account onto a prepaid card. That way I don’t have to think about it and I’m not tempted!
Emily’s plan: I’ve decided to stick to a weekly budget where I’ve already deducted my 2 fasting days per week and set the savings aside. I’m not very good at planning ahead so want to give myself flexibility for when those days fall. I’ve set up a direct debit to pay myself weekly and will hopefully be able to stick to it!
We’ll be checking back with you guys each week giving you updates on how we are getting along – and we’d love to hear from any of you who have decided to do it with us so join the Stream Team on Facebook to get involved!