2020: The year to turn your pennies into £670 pounds

2020: The year to turn your pennies into £670 pounds

It may sound like a magic trick or the sales pitch for a pyramid scheme but in reality, it is one of the most popular savings methods knocking around. Are you someone that struggles to save pennies or pounds? We feel you. The 1p Savings Challenge does too and counters the whole ‘I’ve got nada to spare’ by just getting you to save small amounts that increase daily.

How does it work?

Simply. Each day you save what you saved the day before, plus a penny more. Starting with 1p, then 2p, then 3p and so on right up until the end of December when you’ll save £3.66 (the leap year means you’ll have one extra day to save).

It starts from January 1st, but no worries if you’ve jumped on board a bit later. Add the missed amount to the pot or start your first day a bit later. Later is better than never.

How can I take part?

There are a few ways to get going on the 1p Savings Challenge, depending on how you like to save:

Old school coins in a jar: The easiest/traditional way is to put your loose change in a piggy bank or sealed jar. The only downfall to this option is as the amount climbs towards the end of the year you’ll need more and more change if you’re keeping an eye on it by increasing numerical order.

New school automatic withdrawal from your bank: There are banks like Monzo that let you automatically transfer increasing amounts of money using the free web service IFTTT (If This Then That). A bit of software that connects apps to trigger pre-programmed functions (like auto-calculating how many pennies you need to save for the challenge). Check out how you can do it through Monzo.

The other school of manual transfers: With online banking, you could log in and transfer the growing daily amount to a savings account. Although this might take quite a bit of commitment to keep going for a whole year…

Worried you’ll forget a day or won’t know how much you’re supposed to be saving? Money Saving Expert has a snazzy little bingo-esque cheat sheet that lets you tick off the correct amount by day as you go.

Make the challenge work for you

Oof. January is a toughie. All those pressies to others (and yourself) can leave the first month of the year looking like a daunting prospect for putting any cash aside. It’s also usually best to pay off any debts before you start saving. If in doubt, check our app to see if we recommend you to repay debts, build your emergency fund, or save. Good to go? Here are some ways you can tweak the challenge:

Start later in the year: As previously mentioned, even starting a little later can build up a healthy pot by December.

Flip it, reverse it: If you’re on solid financial footing at the beginning of the year (we are jealous), start by saving £3.66 in January and work your way back. It’ll give you more breathing room in December when you’ll be saving pennies.

Go weekly or monthly: It is against the spirit of the challenge, but an alternative way to save the same amount is to work out what it would be for a week on week or a monthly sum. Not quite as exciting as the daily challenge but saving is saving...