purse with pennies

The 1p savings challenge to get £660+ in 12 months

author: Sarah Neate

By Sarah Neate

The idea of saving can seem quite daunting to some. Not only can it feel like a big commitment, but not everyone has enough disposable income to put a large amount away every month. Say hello to 'microsaving'!

This 1p saving challenge takes the fear out of saving. It starts small, with just a 1p contribution to your savings pot to get you going.

What is the 1p savings challenge?

The 1p savings challenge is an easy and affordable way to save a decent amount of money over 12 months, while barely feeling like you're saving at all.

Even if you can’t stick to it for the entire 12 months, it’ll give you a good idea of how much you’re able to save in a short space of time.

How does it work?

The 1p challenge is pretty straightforward. It's probably best to start the challenge at the beginning of the year or the beginning of the month - that way, it's easier to track.

The duration of the challenge is 12 months. On day one, you save 1p. On day two, you save 2p, day three, 3p and so on.

Whatever day it is of the challenge, that's how many pence you should be putting away. If it makes it easier to track, you can add a penny to whatever amount you saved the day before. By the 365th day (the final day of the challenge), you should be putting away £3.65.

If you were to start saving on 1st January, you'd have saved £4.96 by the end of the month. That might not sound like a huge saving, but over the entire year, you’ll have saved £667.95.

Ways to save

You don't have to spend every day transferring money - there are other ways you can save. Here are some examples of how you could save for your 1p challenge:


Get yourself a piggy bank that you can’t break into easily. Perhaps a tin that you can only open with a tin opener on the final day of the challenge.

Transfer money to a savings account

If your bank allows you to transfer small amounts, you could transfer the required amount to your savings account each day.

If this isn't possible or sounds tiresome, you could consider dividing the entire amount over 12 months and transferring a monthly sum instead. The monthly amount you’d need to save would be £55.67. However, this might take away the fun factor.

Alternatively, you could pay the accumulative amount into your account each month:

  • Month 1 – £4.96
  • Month 2 – £12.74
  • Month 3 – £23.25
  • Month 4 – £31.65
  • Month 5 – £42.16
  • Month 6 – £49.95
  • Month 7 – £61.07
  • Month 8 – £70.68
  • Month 9 – £75.55
  • Month 10 – £89.59
  • Month 11 – £95.85
  • Month 12 – £108.50

Use Monzo

If you bank with Monzo, then you're probably already aware that they’re advocates of the 1p challenge and allow users to transfer small amounts of money at a time.

How to adapt to the challenge

Saving is different for everyone. Perhaps there are times of the year when you have less money due to events such as birthdays or Christmas. Or maybe you’re self-employed, and your earnings vary from month to month. If this sounds like you, don't worry - you can adapt the challenge to suit your needs.

If January isn’t a good time for you to start saving because you’re still dealing with the expense of Christmas, then start at another point in the year that suits you better. If you know that you might struggle when Christmas comes around again, consider putting more away in the middle of the year to compensate for it.

Equally, if you're self-employed and you know you've had a good month, put more away that month. This will be a good buffer for any months that are a little tougher. If you've had a tough month financially, then only put away what you can afford.

Even if you don’t fully complete the challenge, you’ll still have some money aside, which will always be useful.

If you want to try another microsavings challenge, have a go at this one to save over £1,450 in a year.

Disclaimer: We make every effort to ensure that content is correct at the time of publication. Please note that information published on this website does not constitute financial advice, and we aren’t responsible for the content of any external sites.

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