Hands up who feels like we’re on the 72nd day of January? You’re not alone! After all the excitement and buzz of Christmas, January likes to drag itself out as long as possible. It’s a difficult month for many different reasons, but a common worry for a lot of people is money.
This is partly due to Christmas and the 1,000 presents we have to buy, not to mention the cost that comes with hosting! January is also a time where people like to plan their year ahead, book holidays etc, which obviously comes with a price. Also, being paid early before Christmas seemed like the biggest life saver at the time…but fast forward a few weeks and the payday light at the end of the tunnel just feels further and further away!
The best way to avoid this next year is to have a pot of savings set aside that you can use for Christmas and to see you easily through January too. If you’re anything like me, you would have mentally started to switch off as soon as you read the word ‘savings’. I’ve never been the best saver and in my late teens/early twenties I was the worst with money. My first job during college was at Burton, and the very first day I got paid I walked out of the shop after my shift, walked straight into Topshop and spent every last penny. I’m not kidding you, I made sure I spent every penny. Then I realised I had absolutely no money left. Yep, that pretty much sums up my money management skills. It was only until I was around 23 that I decided to sort myself out and start saving.
Don’t worry, I’m not going to bore you with a lesson in money management, but I wanted to share some really easy money saving tips I discovered recently. The first one is my favourite, because you’ll hardly notice putting it aside and by the end of the year you’ll have a lovely pot built up!
1. The 365 day money challenge
As we’re a few weeks into January this isn’t technically the 365 challenge, but we’re not far off! Anyway, the challenge involves saving £1 on a Sunday (or whichever day you prefer), £2 on a Monday (or whichever the next day is), £3 on a Tuesday, and so on, until you get to Saturday where you put aside £7. After that, you start back at £1 and follow the same process each week.
The thought process behind this challenge is that because you start with such a small amount, you shouldn’t miss it too much and stick to the challenge. Even with the highest amount of £7, if you think about it, that’s a coffee and a cake at Starbucks!
If you continue this throughout the year, you will have saved up almost £1,500 by the end of the year.
2. The 52 week challenge
This challenge is similar to the one above, but involves putting aside £1 on the first week, and then adding £1 on for every subsequent week. So, £2 in the second week, £3 on the third, and so on.
If you stick to this challenge, you will have saved up £1,378 by the end of the year.
3. The Penny Challenge
This money saving challenge simply involves saving an extra penny for every day of the year. This means putting away one penny on the first day of the year, and adding an extra penny to that every day throughout the year.
This will help you save £700 by the end of 2019!
These money saving challenges make saving that tiny bit more fun, and you’ll end up with a little bonus pot in December! Even if you spend it all on a little treat for yourself, why not! You deserve it! Which is ironically what I remember telling myself that time in Topshop…!