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Save Money

1p Challenge – save over £660 in 2023

Is your bank account looking a bit sorry for itself? You can become an expert at saving money with the 1p Challenge.

putting a penny in a piggy bank and a bag of money

While we all want to save money, it can sometimes feel easier said than done. However, we know of a way that makes it super easy: the 1p Challenge (or Penny Saving Challenge).

This is a great way to build up your savings without needing to make many (if any) drastic changes to your lifestyle. And, in 2023, you can save almost £670 by doing the challenge.

Our guide includes top tips on how to do the Penny Saving 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 Money Saving Challenge as a New Year's resolution? Check out our other top resolutions to save money.

The 1p Saving Challenge

Brace yourself – we're about to reveal one of the easiest savings tips 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?

You start by saving a penny on the first day of the year. 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.

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 chart 2023

To keep track of your savings while doing the 1p Challenge, you can use our handy printable chart and tick off each day.

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

Free resource »

 

Variations of the 1p Savings Challenge

spilled jar of coins

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

Or, you could start the 1p Challenge at 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 – and our 1p Challenge chart makes it super easy.

Alternatively, you can check out the app-based bank Monzo. Using 'If This Then That', you can automatically transfer the amount to one of your Monzo saving pots. That way, you don't even have to think about the 1p Challenge throughout the year – all the money is put away automatically. Their guide explains how to set it up.

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 from now.

Another simple, easy and effective way to save money is to put away money less often, but in larger amounts. If you join the 52-Week Saving Challenge, you save £1 in week one and increase the amount by a pound every week (£2 in week two, £3 in week three and so on). In the final week of the year, you put away £52, with your yearly savings totalling £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.

That's why 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 – that's £202 in a single month. This might seem a bit much, especially when it's Christmas.

Hoping to change your spending habits and improve your personal finances? Have a look at the best books about money.

How to save more money

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. 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 favourites is Plum, which allows you to set up an automatic 52-Week Saving Challenge within the app. Chip is another saving bot worth checking out.

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 any extra effort.

While interest rates constantly change, you could earn up to 5% on your savings. That's a pretty good reason not to keep your cash under the bed. What's more, you don't need to deposit a fortune to open an account, with some only requiring £1.

Easy ways to save money every day

woman using laptop

Like with the 1p Saving Challenge, these little things can 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, or use our tips to get free coffee from popular coffee shops
  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 homemade sandwiches instead
  6. Find out if the TV Licence 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 the best 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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