NOW that Christmas is over us and costs are still extremely high, many of us might be thinking about creative ways to save money.
Of course, many will be working from paycheck to paycheck as energy bills and the cost of living has soared.
But it might be worth taking on a savings challenge this year – even the smallest amounts are something and every little helps.
If you think you’re able to save a little bit each week or month, then do try – it will all add up.
What you do save can go towards energy bills or the rising cost of living, but you might find you end up having enough for a treat or indulgence too.
1p savings challenge – £668
You start by saving 1p, then increase the amount you save by 1p each day.
So as day one is 1p, day two means you stash away 2p, and the next day it’s 3p and so on.
By day number 365, you’d be adding £3.65 to the account.
If you started on January 1, 2023, and kept it up, you’ll have saved a grand total of £667.95 by December 31, 2023.
52-week challenge – £1,378
The 52-week challenge works by getting participants to put aside £1 for the first week, £2 for the second, £3 for the third and so forth, until the end of the year.
The amounts start small, but towards the end of the year, you might find the weekly savings target grows too big.
For example, you’ll have to put away the largest sums around Christmas with a whopping £202 in total required in the final four weeks of the year.
So before you start, consider whether it could be too much of a stretch at an already expensive time of year.
If you can stick to it though, the payoff is huge as you’ll pocket a whopping £1,378.
You could always flip it and start off with the biggest amount (£202 a week) and then get smaller – it might be worth making a chart so you can keep on top of figures.
365-day challenge – £1,456
If the 52-week challenge seems a little daunting, you might prefer the 365-day challenge.
You’ll set aside £1 on Sunday, £2 on Monday, £3 on Tuesday and so on, all the way up to saving £7 on Saturday – the largest daily amount of the week.
You then restart the process on the next Sunday.
This should give you a weekly total of £28 in savings – adding up to £1,456 over the cost of the year.
The round-up challenge means you round up money you’ve spent and put that extra cash away into savings.
For example, if you’ve bought something that cost £19.30, then you’ll be able to spend £20 and you’ll have 70p in savings.
It might not sound like much but if you’re doing this with every transaction then it adds up.
Some banks will allow you to do this via your online banking app, so check with whoever you bank with.
If not, then you can also do this with apps like Emma and Plum.
Money mistake jar
With a money mistake jar, you can make things more personal.
The idea is that you challenge yourself not to do something, or to not make a “mistake”.
For example, maybe you want to challenge yourself to go running three times a week, or maybe you want to stop buying takeaways.
These can be your “mistakes” and if they’re not fulfilled then you can put money into the jar.
How much is completely up to you.
If you don’t use cash enough, then you could put money in a “pot” with banks like Monzo.
Where to keep your cash
If you prefer things the old fashioned way then by all means, use jars and pots to save your money.
But it might be worth popping it into a savings account so you’ll gain interest.
Your bank may also offer “pots” within your account so that you can keep your savings separate from other money.
If you don’t want to miss out on interest there are some great bank accounts available.
Nationwide’s Triple Access Saver is currently offering 2.5% interest – you can only make three withdrawals each year or your rate drops.
Marcus’ instant saver offers 2.25% and you can withdraw money however many times.
Nationwide’s FlexDirect offers a massive 5% interest, but only on balances up to £1,500 for the first 12 months.
You’ll also need to pay in at least £1,000 per month.
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