Woman saves £500 in one month with simple £1 challenge

A financial expert managed to put away £500 in one month by following a daily savings plan involving incremental increases.

Questioning the credibility of the many online savings “challenges” Money.co.uk’s Lucinda O’Brien decided to take matters into her own hands and test one out – and was “thrilled” with the results.

Ms O’Brien said: “The cost of living crisis has impacted us all and an emergency savings pot has never been more important.”

The average person in the UK has £17,365 in their savings and the average savings per month is £450 per UK household according to statistics. This inspired Ms O’Brien to attempt to match it.

She said: “In the current climate, I feel really lucky to have some disposable income each month, but putting away £500 is a big stretch.

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“My plan was to save £1 on October 1, then £2 on October 2 and so on, until I reached October 31 and saved £31. If I stuck to this daily plan, my savings pot would reach £496.”

Ms O’Brien holds a current account with Chase, which she also has a linked savings account offering 4.1 percent.

She said: “I planned to send the money from my current account into the savings account each day via a quick transfer on the Chase banking app.

“On October 1, I felt apprehensive about the coming days and quickly sent the £1 to my savings – it felt like a mountain to climb.

“Chase also has a round-up pot which helps you to save any spare change, so I made sure this was up and running prior to the challenge.”

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By day six, Ms O’Brien said she was “getting into the groove” of saving each day. She said: “At the end of the first week, I was feeling a lot more positive as I had £27 in my savings, and it hadn’t felt too much of a strain on my finances.

“The turning point was when I started to save more than £10 each day.

“I had to make small changes. For example, I opted to walk instead of taking the bus or even remembered to take a recyclable bag to the supermarket – every little bit helps!”

By day 20, Ms O’Brien said the purse strings were tightened, and she found herself spending a lot more time at home.

She added: “It also forced me to reflect on my spending and I took the time to review my previous bank statements to see where I could save money.

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“I looked at my regular outgoings and removed any miscellaneous direct debits that I didn’t need anymore. I was also keen to implement some no-spend days as this would help to keep my budget on track. By day 31, I managed six days without spending a penny.

“By the end of the month – I was thrilled to see my savings goal hit. I had successfully saved £496, and I topped up the remaining £4 using the round-up savings, meaning I had saved £500, and now had the money to treat my family during the festive period.”

This challenge requires a lot of determination to stick to a tight budget, but Ms O’Brien said: “If you’re looking for a quick way to grow your savings pot in the month before Christmas – this could be the answer.”

However, she noted: “Savings challenges aren’t for everyone. Before attempting any challenge, be realistic with your budget and only save within your means.”

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