How to Save More Money: 15 IPON Challenges to Supercharge Your Savings (with Free Printables)

Last Updated on 04/05/2021 by FilipiKnow

We know it is important to save. We also know how hard it is to start saving and turn it into a habit.

To help you out, we’ve prepared 15 different money-saving challenges–also known as IPON challenges–that you can choose from. These challenges will give you the little nudge you need so you can finally take the first step towards achieving financial freedom.

Related: How to Build Emergency Fund in the Philippines

 

1. 52-week Ipon Challenge.

Originally introduced by Life As You Live It blog1, the 52-week Ipon Challenge has been modified and edited in several different ways to adjust to different types of people.

Who is it for?

Above-average income earners who want a money-savings challenge that is tailor-fit for them. A 52-week challenge has many versions, all of which enable you to choose how much to save and when to start saving.

Pros and Cons.

There’s a different 52-week challenge for everyone. 

Do you want to set aside a big amount initially and decrease it as you progress? Start the Backwards 52-week challenge. Do you want to save random amounts? You’d love the Random 52-week challenge. Do you want to leave it up to fate? Then the 52-week Dice challenge is what you’re looking for. 

The downside is it does not take your monthly income into account. As a result, there are certain weeks where the amount you have to save maybe too much for your budget. For instance, setting aside around Php 500 in the first four weeks is okay, but the larger amounts in the last few weeks can be a challenge, especially if you’re a minimum-wage earner. 

But with the flexibility of this challenge, you can easily pick a variation that suits your needs and income level. 

What you will need.

  • A clean empty container to put your money in
  • Printout of the 52-week Ipon Challenge of your choice

How much you can save.

The amount you can potentially save depends on how much your starting amount is and how big the amount you want to add in the incoming weeks. For example, starting from Php 10 and increasing it by Php 10 increment every week allows you to save Php 13,780 by the end of 52 weeks. On the other hand, starting from Php 50 and increasing it by Php 50 every week will help you save Php 68,900.

a. Regular 52-week Ipon Challenge.

This challenge lets you start small and then gradually increase the amount you save with each passing week until you reach the 52nd week. Apparently, it’s easy to start, but the last 10 weeks or so will really test your determination.

For this article, we’ve prepared three variations of this challenge for you.

i. 52-week Ipon Challenge for Singles.

This money-saving challenge is perfect for singles or any adult who wants to save in Php 50 weekly increments to reach a total target amount of Php 68,850.

Download 52-week Ipon Challenge for Singles in Printable PDF

ii. 52-week Ipon Challenge for Couples.

You can’t have a happy marriage if you and your spouse aren’t on the same page when it comes to finances. This money-saving challenge gives you a good head start towards achieving financial freedom as a couple. With a specific amount divided equally between the two of you, you can hold each other accountable to complete and succeed in this challenge.

Download 52-week Ipon Challenge for Couples in Printable PDF

iii. 52-week Ipon Challenge for Kids, Teenagers, Students, and Minimum Wage Earners.

Requiring only Php 20 weekly increments, this challenge is the easiest to start. However, if you can’t still afford the weekly increments, you can lower it down to Php 10. The goal here is for you to develop the discipline required to save money so it doesn’t matter how low you start but how strong you finish.

Download 52-week Ipon Challenge for Kids, Students, and Minimum Wage Earners in Printable PDF

b. Backwards 52-week Ipon Challenge.

As the name suggests, this is the opposite of the regular 52-week challenge. Basically, you will be saving a big amount initially and then gradually decrease it every week until you reach your target amount.

c. Random 52-week Ipon Challenge.

Ideal for those looking for a little bit of flexibility, this ipon challenge allows you to save any of the listed amounts every week. There are 52 amounts to choose from, ranging from Php 0 to Php 8,000. Once you complete the challenge, you’ll be able to save Php 60,000!

52 week ipon challenge 4

Click here to download Random 52-week Ipon Challenge in printable PDF

d. 52-week Dice Challenge.

For this ipon challenge, you will need to roll two dice every week. You can use regular dice or create one from scratch using the printable template we have below.

ipon challenge 5

Click here to download the 2-dice template in printable PDF

After rolling the two dice, get the total and then refer to the table below to determine the amount corresponding to the number. You can use Php 10, Php 50, or Php 100 increments depending on your budget.

Table 1: ₱10 IncrementsTable 2: ₱50 IncrementsTable 3: ₱100 Increments
1 = ₱07 = ₱601 = ₱07 = ₱3001 = ₱07 = ₱600
2 = ₱108 = ₱702 = ₱508 = ₱3502 = ₱1008 = ₱700
3 = ₱209 = ₱803 = ₱1009 = ₱4003 = ₱2009 = ₱800
4 = ₱3010 = ₱904 = ₱15010 = ₱4504 = ₱30010 = ₱900
5 = ₱4011 = ₱1005 = ₱20011 = ₱5005 = ₱40011 = ₱1000
6 = ₱5012 = ₱1106 = ₱25012 = ₱5506 = ₱50012 = ₱1100

For example, let’s say you have decided to use Php 50 increments, and your two dice stopped at numbers 4 and 6 (for a total number of 10), then the amount you’ll save for that particular week is Php 450.

Those following the Php 10 increments can save anywhere from Php 520 to Php 5,720, while those saving in Php 100 increments can save from Php 5,200 to Php 57,200.

 

2. The 12-month Ipon Challenge.

This monthly ipon challenge was created by Alvin Tabañag2 to address the flaws of the 52-week challenge.

The 52-week ipon challenge requires you to commit to saving specific amounts of money regardless of your income. On the other hand, the 12-month ipon challenge puts into consideration your income level and is, therefore, more practical and realistic.

Who is it for?

Salaried employees with a fixed monthly salary. These include people from all income levels, whether minimum-wage earners or employees earning six figures a month. The predictability of your salary is crucial as how much you take home every month determines how much you’ll save. 

This challenge also works regardless of the currency of your monthly income. Therefore, OFWs who are earning in riyal, yen, euro, or dollar will not feel left out.

Pros and Cons.

Since your salary is factored in the savings challenge, the amount you will set aside will be manageable. 

What you will need.

  • A calculator, 
  • Pen and paper.

How much you can save.

The amount you’ll be able to save depends largely on your salary. For example, a person earning Php 10,000 a month can save at least Php 6,900, while a person earning Php 50,000 can save a minimum of Php 39,000. 

How to do this challenge.

To get started with the 12-month Ipon Challenge, you first need to print the free template below.

ipon challenge 6

Click here to download the 12-month Ipon Challenge template in printable PDF

Here’s a simple formula you’re going to use:

Savings for the month = base amount + additional monthly savings (month % x monthly income)

where:

  • Savings for the month is the amount you’ll set aside each month for your savings;
  • Base amount is the minimum amount you commit to saving. The default value is zero but you can definitely set your own amount if you’re earning a lot;
  • Month % is the percentage corresponding to the month number. So, the month % for January is 1%, for February, it is 2%, and finally, for December, it’s 12%;
  • Monthly income, as the name suggests, is the total salary you take home every month.

Example: Let’s say you’re earning Php 30,000 per month and you’ve decided to set the base amount to zero, your monthly and yearly savings would be:

MonthBase amountAdditional monthly savings (month % x monthly income)Total savings for the month
January01% x 30k = ₱300₱300
February02% x 30k = ₱600₱600
March03% x 30k = ₱900₱900
April04% x 30k = ₱1,200₱1,200
May05% x 30k = ₱1,500₱1,500
June06% x 30k = ₱1,800₱1,800
July07% x 30k = ₱2,100₱2,100
August08% x 30k = ₱2,400₱2,400
September09% x 30k = ₱2,700₱2,700
October010% x 30k = ₱3,000₱3,000
November011% x 30k = ₱3,300₱3,300
December012% x 30k = ₱3,600₱3,600
Total amount of savings for the year₱23,400

Using the same example above, let’s say you’ve decided to commit Php 5,000 every month as the base amount, simply add this to the value in the third column to get the total monthly savings. With Php 5,000 as the base amount, your total monthly and yearly savings would be:

MonthBase amountAdditional monthly savings (month % x monthly income)Total savings for the month
January₱50001% x 30k = ₱300₱5,300
February₱50002% x 30k = ₱600₱5,600
March₱50003% x 30k = ₱900₱5,900
April₱50004% x 30k = ₱1,200₱6,200
May₱50005% x 30k = ₱1,500₱6,500
June₱50006% x 30k = ₱1,800₱6,800
July₱50007% x 30k = ₱2,100₱7,100
August₱50008% x 30k = ₱2,400₱7,400
September₱50009% x 30k = ₱2,700₱7,700
October₱500010% x 30k = ₱3,000₱8,000
November₱500011% x 30k = ₱3,300₱8,300
December₱500012% x 30k = ₱3,600₱8,600
Total amount of savings for the year₱83,400
 

3. Bi-monthly Ipon Challenge.

Filipinos who receive their salaries twice a month will find the bi-monthly money challenge less intimidating than the popular weekly ipon challenges. All you need to do is pick a base amount, and increase the savings every two weeks by the said base amount. 

Who is it for?

Regular employees who receive their salaries twice a month. 

Pros and Cons.

You’ll only set aside money at the same time you get your salary, so it’s much easier to save money you would have otherwise used for something else. 

The challenge is also flexible. Base amounts start at Php 50 and go up to Php 500 so you can pick the amount that you can realistically save.

Like the 52-week challenge, the first three months are manageable, but once you reach the last months of the year, the huge amount that you need to save may not be practical anymore.

What you will need.

  • Free printable
  • Piggy bank or savings account

How much you can save.

Increments of Php 50 will let you save Php 15,000 after a year, while the Php 500 increments will let you save Php 150,000.

How to do this challenge.

First, print out the free template below.

ipon challenge 7

Click here to download the Bi-monthly Ipon Challenge template in printable PDF

To help you get started with this money-saving challenge, Dr. Pinky De Leon-Intal of My Finance MD3 has laid out the following rules:

  • Determine your saving goal and how much it cost.
  • Choose only a base amount that you’re comfortable with and one you can stick to until the very end.
  • Print out the ipon challenge. Make sure to highlight each week you have completed so you have an idea about your progress.
  • You can save money in advance. The bonus you get at the end of the year can also be added to your savings. Both of these can cushion you from the more challenging months during the latter part of the challenge.

Example: Let’s say you’ve decided to save Php 500 as a base amount. You can choose anything higher or lower than this amount but make sure it’s something that you can commit to. Remember, you’ll use this amount as a basis to determine how much you’ll save in the next coming weeks.

So, if you start with Php 500, the next amounts will increase in Php 500 increments which means you’ll need to save Php 1,000 in the second saving cycle, Php 1,500 in the third cycle, and so on. By the time you complete the 24 payouts within a year, you’ll be able to save Php 150,000.

To table below visualizes the above example. Again, you can set any base amount but remember that this same base amount will determine the incremental increase in every saving cycle/payout. Hence, only choose an amount you can realistically save.

Base amount: Php 500

Incremental increase per pay-out: Php 500

MonthPay-outSavingsTotal Savings
January1st₱500₱500
2nd₱1,000₱1,500
February1st₱1,500₱3,000
2nd₱2,000₱5,000
March1st₱2,500₱7,500
2nd₱3,000₱10,500
April1st₱3,500₱14,000
2nd₱4,000₱18,000
May1st₱4,500₱22,500
2nd₱5,000₱27,500
June1st₱5,500₱33,000
2nd₱6,000₱39,000
July1st₱6,500₱45,500
2nd₱7,000₱52,500
August1st₱7,500₱60,000
2nd₱8,000₱68,000
September1st₱8,500₱76,500
2nd₱9,000₱85,500
October1st₱9,500₱95,000
2nd₱10,000₱105,000
November1st₱10,500₱115,500
2nd₱11,000₱126,500
December1st₱11,500₱138,000
2nd₱12,000₱150,000
Total savings at the end of the year:₱150,000
 

4. 365-days Money Challenge.

This is one of the simplest ipon challenges. You only need to decide on an amount you will set aside every day. It can be as small as Php 10 a day or anything bigger than that to challenge yourself. 

Who is it for?

People who don’t want to deal with complicated tracking or computations just so they can save. You just pick an amount and save every day.

Pros and Cons.

It is simple and easy to follow. You can also set a daily reminder on your phone to ensure that you do not miss a day.

What you will need.

  • A piggy bank 

How much you can save.

Saving Php 10 a day will give you Php 3,650 after a year, while saving Php 100 will get you Php 36,500.

 

5. Invisible Money Challenge.

For this challenge, you need to decide what money you consider “invisible money”. This money goes straight to your savings as soon as you receive it.

The parameters are limitless. Some people decide on a certain set of numbers (like their birthday) and then keep bills with those numbers in the serial number as invisible money. Others decide to set aside select bills from their spare change.

Who is it for?

Beginners who want to develop the discipline of saving money. 

Pros and Cons:

Since you get the invisible money from the change, you get reminded about saving money after every purchase. As a result, you’ll be more conscious of your spending habits otherwise you’ll be forced to save more invisible money for your savings. 

However, this challenge can be restrictive at times. Supposed you’re down to your last Php 500 and it happens to be in 50-peso bills, you’ll be forced to keep all of it in the name of saving money and leave nothing for yourself. 

The challenge may not also work if you’re making all your payments using e-wallets like GCash and Paymaya. Since the transactions are cashless, you won’t receive tangible small bills as change so saving invisible money is impossible. 

What you will need.

  • A second wallet where you’ll put the invisible money so it will be out of sight. 

How much you can save.

The amount you can save is heavily dependent on what you spend so there is no minimum or maximum amount with this challenge.

 

6. Loose Change Ipon Challenge.

This is very similar to the invisible money challenge, but instead of designating a certain amount or a serial number, you’ll just save all your loose change at the end of the day.

Who is it for?

People who prefer to save smaller amounts that they can put in their coin banks. 

Pros and Cons.

This challenge takes the least effort, but if done consistently, you can still be able to save thousands of pesos.

Since this is the easiest to do, the temptation to use your saved coins for minor daily expenses is also the strongest. 

What you will need.

  • A coin bank.

How much you can save.

There is no ceiling to how much you can save, but it is also possible that you’ll end up saving a lot less with this method compared to the other ipon challenges.

 

7. Envelope Savings Challenge.

To start this challenge, you will need at least 20 envelopes.

Designate a number to each envelope (for our example, you will number them 1 to 20). Shuffle the envelopes and put them in the box. Decide on the denomination that you want to save each week. It can be Php 20, Php 50, Php 100, Php 500, or Php 1,000. Every week, pick an envelope from the box and whatever number is on the envelope, that is how many pieces of your chosen denomination you’ll put in the said envelope.

Once you’ve used up all the envelopes, deposit the accumulated amount in your savings account, and start the process again.

Who is it for?

People who want to experience a sense of accomplishment as soon as possible. Depending on the number of envelopes you decide to use, you can complete the challenge in a matter of weeks.

Pros and Cons.

It is easy, simple, and doesn’t take too long to accomplish. 

However, since the challenge involves random numbers, there’s a fair chance that you might pick a high number that can put a strain on your budget. So only choose this challenge if you have a contingency plan to help you keep saving even if things get tough. 

What you will need.

  • At least 20 envelopes
  • A box
  • A pen

How much you can save.

Should you decide to save Php 20 denomination, you can have Php 4,200 after 20 weeks. Meanwhile, if you’re saving Php 1,000, you’ll have Php 210,000 after 20 weeks.

 

8. Holiday Savings Challenge.

Christmas is the most anticipated day for a lot of Filipinos. But this is also a time when most of us tend to overspend. Therefore, it’s not uncommon that even after receiving their bonuses, people can still end up broke and inundated with debt. 

The Holiday Savings Challenge aims to help you save so that you will have enough money when the holidays roll around.

Who is it for?

People who want to have a budget for their Christmas splurge so they won’t end up broke come new year’s time. 

Pros and Cons.

It works because you have a specific goal in mind, the amount is divided equally, and it can easily be added to the budget. You have to be disciplined to make this work though because missing one payday means you will not reach your target amount in time for the holidays.

What you will need.

  • A piggy bank or a savings account to put your money in.

How much you can save.

Depends on the amount you spend during holidays.

How to do this challenge.

Think how much you normally spend during the holidays, and make sure to factor in everything including food, gifts, and transportation expenses. That will be your goal amount. 

Count how many paydays are left before Christmas and divide the goal amount by the number of paydays. That is the amount you will need to save every payday.

Use the formula below to compute how much you need to save.

Goal Amount ➗ # of Paydays = Amount to set aside every Payday

 

9. Bisyo Savings Challenge.

This challenge will hopefully help you accomplish two things: save and end your bad habit or bisyo. It could be smoking, drinking, cursing, carbonated drinks, chips, etc. Every time you give in to your habit, you will charge yourself with a penalty fee amounting to Php 20, Php 50, or Php 100 and put it in your savings. 

Who is it for?

People who want to stop a bad habit AND save at the same time.

Pros and Cons.

You get to save while also improving yourself. The “downside” is you won’t end up saving much if you do succeed in removing your bad habit. But you still win either way.

What you will need.

  • A piggy bank or box to put your money in
  • A bad habit

How much you can save.

The amount you save would depend on how uncontrollable your habit is for now. 

 

10. Bingo Savings Challenge.

This challenge involves picking a random amount in the “Bingo” card to determine how much you will save for the day/week. Once you’ve crossed out all the circles, you’ll have saved the target amount. 

Who is it for?

Freelancers or anyone with no fixed salary.

Pros and Cons.

It is flexible because you can choose the lower denominations on days you are strapped for cash. Inversely, you can pick the larger denominations when you have a little extra cash.

You will need to balance the amount that you decide to set aside though. If you only pick the small amounts at the beginning, you’ll have a hard time completing the challenge when only the big amounts are the only ones left.

What you will need.

  • Bingo Challenge card/s
  • Piggybank

So you won’t have to create your own Bingo cards from scratch, we’ve designed two printable cards you can download for free:

ipon challenge 8

Click here to download the 1-month Bingo Savings Challenge in printable PDF

ipon challenge 9

Click here to download the 1-year Bingo Savings Challenge in printable PDF

How much you can save.

Depending on the Bingo challenge that you choose, you can save up anywhere between Php 5,000 to Php 60,000.

 

11. Peso Sense Ipon Challenge.

For this ipon challenge, all you need to do is shade or cross out the circle of the denomination that you will be saving.

Who is it for?

People who don’t want to give themselves a deadline or a strict amount they have to set aside. 

Pros and Cons.

The upside to this ipon challenge is that you can know exactly how much you’ve already saved based on the circles that you’ve shaded. There is no strict schedule as to when you’re supposed to complete this challenge. 

Since there is no schedule, there is also no sense of urgency and a greater chance of the participant not completing the challenge.

What you will need.

  • Print out of the Peso Sense Ipon Challenge sheet (see below)
  • A piggy bank
ipon challenge 10

Click here to download the Peso Sense Ipon Challenge sheet in printable PDF

How much you can save.

Php 76,750 if you complete the challenge. 

 

12. Saving Fever Challenge.

This challenge is a step above the others because you will not just save for the sake of saving. You’re setting aside money for a goal that means a lot to you. To top it all off, there’s a cute little graphics to help you better visualize your progress.

Who is it for?

People who like S.M.A.R.T. goals. You know what your target amount is, when you want to get it, and how to track your progress. 

Pros and Cons.

With a goal already set, this challenge will give you more motivation to save. The deadline for each goal and milestones also helps to ensure you’re on track in your savings plan.

There’s no default schedule set so you’ll have to decide for yourself when you’ll need to save and how much you need to set aside for every milestone. To overcome this, you can also put deadlines in the milestone amounts.

What you will need.

  • A goal and a deadline
  • Piggy bank/s or savings account/s
  • Print out of the thermometer chart (see below)
ipon challenge 11

Click here to download the Saving Fever Challenge template in printable PDF

How much you can save.

It depends on what you’re saving up for. 

How to do this challenge.

Print the thermometer chart. Write your goal and the amount you need to save in the designated boxes. Divide your target amount by 10 and shade the thermometer every time you reach each milestone. Each milestone can be further divided into multiple achievable amounts to motivate you into saving consistently. With this challenge, you can even have several “thermometers” with their own goals and deadlines.

 

13. OT/Bonus Ipon Challenge.

This challenge will help push you to save part, if not all, of your OT pay and bonuses. Simply save at least 50% of your OT pay or bonus and that’s it. It is not hard on the budget since you won’t be touching your regular salary.

Who is it for?

Employees who get OT pay and/or quarterly bonuses.

Pros and Cons.

Since you will only aim to save your bonuses and OT pay, there is no major adjustment to your lifestyle. 

As your savings is dependent on the extra money coming in, you’ll have a hard time growing your money if your OT hours are reduced or if the company suddenly removes the bonuses.

What you will need.

  • Piggy bank or a savings account separate from your payroll

How much you can save.

It depends on how much overtime pay and bonuses you receive every payday. 

 

14. Entertainment Tax Challenge.

This is best for those who love splurging on movies, dine-outs, or a certain hobby. Like the Bisyo Challenge, every time you give in, you will have to tax yourself 50% of what you’re going to spend. So if you just spent Php 1,000 for dinner and coffee with friends, you will need to set aside Php 500 as your Entertainment Tax.

Who is it for?

People who love to go out and indulge in certain activities that are sometimes out of their budgets like watching movies, eating out, collecting modelling kits, pens, etc.

Pros and Cons.

The challenge won’t stop you from enjoying your hobbies and leisure activities. Rather, it will make you more conscious of how much you spend. 

Since you’re likely to end up “spending” more to enjoy your usual leisure activities, this challenge will help you restrain yourself so you won’t do these activities frequently. 

What you will need.

  • A piggy bank or savings account to put the “entertainment tax” in

How much you can save.

It depends on how often you go out or buy something related to your hobby.

 

Bonus: No Spend Day Challenge.

This is not exactly an ipon challenge, but it will help in lowering your expenses.

Pick a day in the week where you will NOT spend a single peso for anything. The most convenient day is a weekend because you will not need to travel – and spend – to go to the office. The challenge will prevent unnecessary spending at least once a week. 

To be successful in this, most people would plan the day ahead of time. Make sure that there’s food in the kitchen, activities are lined up, and your wallet tucked away to avoid temptation.

Who is it for?

People who not only want to save but also stop themselves from spending on unnecessary things. It will help you realize what items you impulsively buy, and learn to stop yourself from making the same purchases in the future.

Pros and Cons.

The challenge will make you save by forcing you to temporarily close your purse strings. 

If you’re used to going out and having fun every weekend, it will take some strong willpower to start and succeed in this challenge. But if you have the support of your family or close friends, the no spend days might even be enjoyable.

What you will need.

  • A meal plan for a day
  • Activities to keep you entertained like card games, online games, or maybe just movies or TV series you can binge-watch
  • Your wallet is hidden away from you
 

References.

  1. 52 Week Money Savings Challenge. (2013). Retrieved 22 March 2021, from http://lifeasyouliveit.blogspot.com/2013/12/52-week-money-savings-challenge.html
  2. Tabañag, A. (2015). The 12-month saving challenge. Retrieved 22 March 2021, from https://www.rappler.com/business/twelve-month-saving-challenge
  3. De Leon-Intal, P. (2016). The 24 Pay-outs Money Challenge: Save up to 150,000. Retrieved 23 March 2021, from http://myfinancemd.com/24-pay-outs-money-challenge-save-150000/

Reggie Sison, RFC, REP

Reggie Sison is a Registered Financial Consultant (RFC) and a Registered Estate Planner (REP) from the International Association of Registered Financial Consultants (IARFC). She is a freelance writer and a frustrated relationship guru. To destress, she likes to create flowers from recycled ribbons and paper, and read fantasy and horror novels.

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