We know that saving money is important, but let’s not kid ourselves, money is notoriously difficult to put away for a rainy day or holiday. According to the Money Advice Service, you should have roughly three months of essential outgoings saved in an instant access savings account.
For example, if you spent £1000 a month on essentials like rent, gas and electric, bills and food, you should aim to have at least £3000 saved to deal with any emergency.
You don’t need to save huge chunks of money in one go, but the key is to save little and often. So, let us give you some helpful ideas, that are actually achievable, so you can start your savings journey today (and you never know, it might be fun!)
1. The Coin Jar Challenge/1p Challenge
If you think old jars are just for buttons and jam, then think again! The coin jar challenge, which depending on the size of the jar, will save you hundreds of pounds.
All you need to do is grab an old jar and fill it whenever you find any loose change in your pockets (or down the back of the sofa). You fill the jar to the top and only count the money you’ve saved when it’s full – however, the real challenge here is resistance and committing to not dipping into your jar when you want a little extra cash.
The 1p challenge can help you to save £667.95 over the course of the year. You may have heard of this savings challenge before as it gained some popularity over the last year.
You can do this with either cash, using a coin jar or transferring your money from your current account to a savings account. You start day one with 1p, day two you would save 2p, day three 3p and so on, each day you save what you saved the day before plus one penny for a full year.
The challenge is designed to begin at the start of the year, however, if you’re worried about saving so much around Christmas time, then you could always reverse the challenge. Starting with the maximum £3.65 and ending with 1p.
2. Base Your Savings on the Weather Forecast
This one is pretty straight forward and involves you checked the weather forecast every day and matching the amount you save with the highest temperature expected throughout the day. For example, if it’s 10°C, then you save £10.
Now, the UK isn’t exactly known for being sunny and hot, so if you’re feeling really adventurous why not base your savings around the Fahrenheit temperature scale instead? Which means instead of 20°C, it would be 68°F or £68 straight into your savings pot.
3. The Social Media Savings Challenge
This one might not be for everyone, but for avid social media uses it could save you hundreds. This savings challenge involves saving £1 (or however much you want to) every time you post on any of your social media channels.
For less frequent social media users, you might want to save £5 every time you post, share or like something on social media. There are some automated tools out there that will help manage this for you, but if you have access to online banking, you can transfer the money even before your post has got it’s first like! 👍
4. The Monday to Sunday Challenge
If you’re thinking big with your savings but keep forgetting to save or find it all a little overwhelming, then this one might be for you!
Similar to the 1p savings challenge, the Monday to Sunday challenge involves saving a set amount of money each day of the week. So, on a Monday you would save £1, Tuesday £2, up to £7 on a Sunday then when the week comes to an end and Monday rolls around again, you repeat the process.
This challenge enables you to easily save £28 a week – roughly £121 a month – for a grand total of £1,456 a year.
5. Round up Payments
This one involves doing a little bit of maths if you don’t have an app in place to automatically round your payments up to the nearest pound but it still pretty simple, and you’ll be surprised by how much you can actually save by doing this and will you really miss those few extra pennies?
So, if you spend £9.55 in the shop, you would then round this up to the nearest pound, (so, in this case, £10) and put the change, or 45p, into your savings account. It can take a little bit of time to accumulate, but it’s not as noticeable as transferring £50 a week into your savings.
If you do use an app, third party access to your current account then remember to make sure that the banking app is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
6. The Bad Habit Challenge
This savings challenge is certainly a challenge. It involves acknowledging your bad habits and actively putting an amount of money away every time you catch yourself doing it. Whether it’s smoking or biting your nails or even swearing – a bad habit can be anything.
You could choose however much you want to put away, but it should be the same amount every time you (or someone else) catches you red-handed giving in to your bad habit.
To put it simply, you’re paying a fine but to yourself, and if you manage to kick the habit along the way (or even if you don’t) your future self will be thankful.
Banking for your Future
Whether you want to save for a holiday or give yourself a little more financial security, give one of these savings challenges a go and see where your money is this time next year!