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Try Not To Buy New Clothes For 3 Months. How Much Do You Save?

And other challenges to try if you suck at saving.
PHOTO: Asha Fuller

In an episode of The Mindy Project, Mindy didn't want to deal with her finances because she didn't want to face the fact that the money she spent on her morning coffee and pastry could be going somewhere more worthwhile. A lot of people can probably relate to that. We're so afraid to monitor our expenses because we don't want to have to give up our daily comforts. But if you want to get your finances in shape, these money challenges can motivate you get ~*real*~ about your spending habits.

1. The "No New Clothes" Challenge

Hey, girl. We're not pointing fingers. I've actively avoided going to Megamall because all my favorite things are there. Everyone's guilty. For this challenge, try organizing your closet to see what you can work with, and then do just that. Mix and match and get creative. You'll be surprised by how little you truly need. Capsule wardrobes are all the rage right now, so give it a shot.

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2. The "Buy Nothing" Challenge

This one's going to be tough—don't say we didn't warn you. Outside of your basic needs, do you think you could avoid buying something new? Not only will you be able to save more money, you'll also get ahold of your mindless shopping habits. This is especially important for people who can't see that even grabbing a pack of gum by the counter is detrimental to your bank account—that shit adds up. Remember: No matter how small your purchase is, it is *still* money going out.  

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3. The "52-Week" Challenge

Depending on what you can swing, why not try the 52-week money challenge? The idea is that you increase the amount you put aside based on an increment you determine before the challenge. And you do whatever it takes not to miss a week. I actually really like this challenge because, when done correctly, it doesn't feel like you're cutting too much from your paycheck. It becomes a habit and by Week 52, you'll be rewarded with a pretty sizeable amount.

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4. The "Debt-Free" Challenge

Unfortunately, Filipinos have gotten too comfortable with the "utang muna" mentality. Instead of building your finances by saving or investing, we rely on other people to get us out of a tight squeeze—and it's wrong. Making a living and surviving on your own are hard enough; your close friends and family shouldn't have to worry about financially carrying you, too. So, if this applies to you, before you focus on saving up, maybe you should consider making a plan to pay everyone back first. 

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