2021 Savings

5 cashless savings challenges guaranteed to make you save

Money Mondays
Money Mondays Series

5 cashless savings challenges guaranteed to make you save

2021 is going to be a tough financial year, for me included! It doesn’t matter what your budget is, it’s great to kickstart the year by introducing new financial habits. What’s better than to begin the year by adopting one of these 5 cashless savings challenges.

Due to the fact that we are living in cashless times due to COVID. I have listed out 5 savings challenges and have adapted them for an online/mobile savings experience. I recommend using a separate savings or easy access instant account for any of these savings challenges so that you can see your money build up over time.


Check them out below and let me know if you will be signing up for any!

1. 1p Savings Challenge

Savings Target: £667.95

Savings Challenge: In this challenge originally started by UK Money Blogger Skint Dad, you save 1p on the first day of the year, and then increase this amount up every day. So you save 2p on Day 2, and then 3p on Day 3, before saving £3.65 on the last day (Day 365). You normally have a savings jar for this challenge, and then use a planner to tick off each day, so you know you have put in the relevant money. Alternatively, you can reverse this savings challenge and save £3.65 from Day 1 and then put in 1p on the last day, which might help with the financial stresses around Christmas time. However, since we are now living in cashless times. Use a separate bank account, and transfer the exact amount into this account each day.

Good for: A great challenge if you are starting off the year broke! You increase the amount you save over the course of the year.

Bad for: Those people who just want to automate any savings. You will also need to remember to save the exact amount each day so will need to be organised.

2. 52 Week Savings Challenge

Savings Target: £1,378

For this challenge, you would need to save each week, rather each day, in incremental amounts. For example, in week 1 you would save £1, in week 2 you would save £2, which then concludes by saving £52 in week 52. Similar to the challenge above, you would need to record how much you need to save each week, but it would be easier to transfer across to a bank account. You can also reverse it so you pay more in now, and less as the year goes on.

Good for: Starting off the year on a budget as you need to save less in January.

Bad for: Those families or people not able to save large sums of money in November-December.

3. £5,000 Savings Challenge

Savings Target: £5,000

I personally love this cashless savings challenge. This works on the basis that if you save £13.70 a day for 365 days, you will save £5,000 by the end of the year. It does mean that you will need to save £400+ a month, so only commit to this challenge if you have this money to spare each month. It’s an aggressive savings challenge, but you will end up with this lump sum at the end of 2021.

Good for: Those who want to visualise a lump sum at the end of the year, especially for something like a deposit for a house or something else that you need. You can also use the Plum Pro app version to set up the 52-Challenge for you.

Bad for: Anyone who doesn’t have this amount of money to spare each month as it’s a big commitment.

4. Save using AI with Plum or Chip

Savings Target: Limitless

I use both the Chip and Plum apps to automate my savings and have written about them both in this blog. I love using apps that will automate your savings for you using AI. You can also set up how aggressively the apps save for you. For example, you can either set the Plum app to ‘Beast Mode’ or less in ‘shy’ mode depending on how much you are able to commit to saving. With Plum, I can also view my account balances at a glance, as well as my savings and investments.

Good for: Wanting to automate your savings. You can set the pace for your savings, and change this whenever you want. With Plum, you can save into pots which you create for yourself, similar to Monzo. You can also invest in a Stocks and Shares ISA, and move your money into portfolios and pots, using the ‘splitter’ option.

Bad for: If you have a modest budget and want to be in control over the exact amount you want to save, then this isn’t the best option for you.

5. Spend Nothing Challenge

Target: Limitless

Now this challenge won’t be easy, even under lockdown! For this challenge, you will need to write down what your essentials are each month and eliminate anything else. Obviously, rent, bills, food are all essentials. You may just want to forgo buying any new clothes this year, and either wear what you have or only buy second-hand. This challenge can be adapted, but if you really want to tackle your debt this year, then this could be the one for you. Kate Kingsley from Living that debt-free life documents her journey and how she managed to save hundreds of pounds using this method.

Good for: anyone who seriously wants to tackle their debts this year. You can still buy essentials, but by not impulse buying, and writing down the amount of the item you want to buy – this gives you the chance to ‘spend’ or ‘save’. Just make sure you transfer that savings amount into a separate bank account at the end of the month.

Bad for: this challenge is not going to be easy, so if you think this one will be too tough for you, then pick another one that would suit you better. Or personalise it. Perhaps you try a month not spending any money and use that to save. I am doing Dry January this month and using the Try Dry app to show how much money I am saving by not buying bottles of Cava (my favourite tipple).

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5 cashless savings challenges guaranteed to make you save

It’s important to pick a savings challenge that you feel would be best suited to you and is realistic. If you are struggling for money right now, then start saving modestly. As long as you are saving a little, then you can increase this over time. It’s good to introduce health finance habits into your life. If you are in the position to save, then focus on setting yourself a target to aim for.

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