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Save Money

Save £670 with the 1p Saving Challenge 2020

If your bank account is looking a bit sorry for itself, this fun money-saving hack might be just what you need.

easiest way to save money 1p challenge

While we all want to save money, it can sometimes feel easier said than done. However, we know of one particular way that's super easy to do: the 1p challenge.

This is a great way to build up your savings in a way that doesn't require many (if any) drastic changes to your lifestyle. As 2020 is a leap year, you can save over £670 by doing the challenge this year.

Our guide includes top tips on how to do the challenge, free resources to help you keep track of your saving and some extra advice to help you save as much as possible this year.

Are you doing the 1p challenge as a New Year's resolution? Check out our other top resolutions to save money.

The 1p saving challenge

save hundreds easily

Brace yourself, as we're about to reveal one of the easiest savings tips we think we’ve ever come across.

It's called the 1p saving challenge. That's right – a savings challenge that only involves pennies. It really does exist. But how does it work?

Well, on the first day of the year, you put 1p away. On the second day you put in 2p, on the third, 3p, and so on.

Do this for the entire year, and by the 365th day (31st December, if you start on 1st January), you'll still only be putting £3.65 away.

And what's the best part of this? By the end of the year, you'll have saved almost £700. In a normal year, your total will be £667.95, but in a leap year, it's even more – £671.61, to be precise.

1p challenge downloadable resource

To keep track of your savings while doing the 1p challenge, you can use our handy table and tick off each day you've done.

Feel free to either print out the resource to stick up on your wall/noticeboard/wherever you fancy, or download it on Excel and use it digitally.

Free resource »

Variations of the 1p savings challenge

man with money

Credit: Linda Bestwick (background), Cookie Studio (foreground) – Shutterstock

Part of what makes this challenge so simple is how flexible it is. If you don't want to be putting so much money away in the run-up to Christmas, you could reverse things by putting £3.65 away on day 1, then decreasing the amount by a penny each day.

Or, you could start the 1p challenge a different time of the year, rather than 1st January. Whenever in the year you're reading this, you can do it for 365 days from today.

It's simply a case of finding what works for you – but we're fairly confident that, however you choose to do it, you'll feel pretty happy when you're basking in your effortlessly gained savings one year on.

Another simple, easy and effective way to save money, is to put away money less often, but in bigger amounts. In week one, why not save £1 and increase the amount by a pound every week (£2 in week 2, £3 in week 3 and so on)? In the final week of the year, you'd put away £52, and overall save a whopping £1,378.

Over a year, it'll save you over twice as much money as the 1p challenge, but of course, that means sacrificing more money along the way too.

For that reason, it's worth looking at how the costs break down before committing. The first few weeks should be fine, but by December you'll need to save £49, £50, £51, and £52, totalling £202. This might seem a bit much, especially when it's Christmas.

How to save more money

Robot toys

Credit: Rog01 - Flickr

While doing the 1p savings challenge, you can save even more money within the year by also using automatic savings bots.

These apps work by monitoring your incomings and outgoings, and then every week or so they work out an affordable amount to save on your behalf (which you can cancel if you can't spare the money).

One of our personal favourites of these bots is Plum. When you follow the link, you'll get £5 added to your account after saving with them for 30 days.

Among the other automatic savings bots we recommend are Cleo and Chip, but if you prefer to go old-school with your finances, you could go for the more traditional route of savings accounts. High-interest savings accounts enable you to earn extra cash without putting in any extra effort.

While interest rates aren't exactly brilliant right now, there is a possibility of earning up to 5% on your savings – a pretty good reason not to keep your cash under the bed! What's more, you don't even need to deposit a fortune to open an account, with some only requiring £1.

Easy ways to save money every day

woman at laptop

Like with the 1p saving challenge, there are plenty of little things you can do each day that will help you save money as a student.

Best ways to save money daily

  1. Don't buy coffee when you're out – make coffee at home for a fraction of the price and use a reusable coffee cup
  2. Start meal prepping – check out our affordable meal plan if you're stuck for ideas
  3. Use cashback sites whenever possible
  4.  Cut out gym costs and try cheaper ways to exercise
  5. Avoid expensive lunches and try these homemade sandwiches instead
  6. Find out if the TV licensing loophole applies to you – you may be able to legally watch iPlayer without paying for a licence
  7. Try the supermarket downshift
  8. Haggle to get the best prices
  9. Stock up on freebies
  10. Keep up to date with the latest deals.

So next time a well-meaning adult suggests you're spending too much money, you can prove them wrong by showing them how much you're saving. 😉

Check out our list of the best student bank accounts to give yourself the best chance of financial success.

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