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Navigating 2024: Money Saving Challenges for Secure Future

22nd April 2024

In December 2023, consumer prices in the UK rose by 4%, indicating a continued challenge in the cost of living.

Getting through the cost-of-living squeeze means being savvy with your money and watching your spending. It's key to approach your personal finances with a smart mindset. Now's a great time to check in on your savings goals.

If you are finding it difficult to save, we have some money saving tips to help with your money-saving goals this year.

2024 savings challenges

Financing your goals can be a difficult task. We have compiled a few fun challenges to help achieve your money-savings goals in 2024.

1. Daily Challenge: Save £365

Save just £1 every day, and by December 31st, you'll have £365 (or £366 this year!) in your savings.

This approach is slower than other methods. But you can use it along with other savings strategies to add an extra £365 to your final target.

2. Weekly Challenge: Save £1,378

Another popular saving approach is the incremental savings challenge.

Here's how it works: start by saving £1 in the first week, then save £2 in the second week, £3 in the third week, and so on. This pattern continues until you save £52 in the 52nd week. By the end of the year, you'll have accumulated total savings of £1,378. This method offers a different way to boost your savings compared to the £1-a-day challenge. Choose the one that fits your preferences and financial goals.

3. Monthly Challenge: Save £780

Each month, start by saving £10 for the monthly challenge. Gradually increase the amount you save each month by adding £10 more than the previous month.

For example, in the second month, save £20, in the third month, save £30, and so on. Keep adding an amount equal to the number of months multiplied by £10 each month.

By December, you will have completed this challenge and saved £780.

4. Reverse Monthly Challenge: Save £1,378

For the reverse 52-week saving challenge, you start with a significant amount—£52 in week one—and gradually reduce your savings each week. This unique approach transitions from challenging amounts to more manageable ones. It is ideal for people who want to enjoy spending a bit during the holiday season.

Here's how it progresses: week 1: £52, week 2: £51, week 3: £50, week 4: £49 and finally week 52: £1.

5. Rounding-up

Some financial institutions offer a feature that allows people to round up their spending into savings. They round up the spending to the nearest pound and send the difference to your savings account.

Lifestyle changes

Here are some positive lifestyle changes you can make to save some money.

1. Health and well-being

New Year’s resolutions for many include setting fitness goals. Personal finance writer Amy Knight, however, advises prioritising paying off debts first at the start of the year.

Avoid making purchases until you know you will stick with your exercise regime. You can make use of guest passes and free trials before committing to a monthly membership.

2. Commute

Sarah Shea, an environmental sustainability officer, suggests walking or cycling to commute. It is free and exercise-rich.

For those who travel by train, buying a monthly or weekly pass can often be cheaper. You could also carpool with your friends or colleagues.

Consider using services like Train Split for potential savings by combining different tickets. Although they may charge a fee, it's often a fraction of the savings you'll gain. Remember that, for daily tickets, your train must call at the station where you split.

Additionally, always claim Delay Repay for delays of 15 minutes or more. This applies to your entire journey, not just the specific train. Even if your next train is on time after a cancellation, you're still eligible for a Delay Repay claim. While each refund may seem small, they add up over time, providing additional money you might otherwise miss out on.

You might check out cashback credit cards for extra savings. These are especially beneficial for expensive season tickets.

3. Home and utilities

You can consider buying energy-efficient home appliances. Matching saucepan sizes to your hob is also a good idea as smaller saucepans waste energy.

Batch cooking meals in winter in an energy-efficient oven can save time and money. You can go one step further by stacking food in your fridge to ensure proper airflow. This avoids excess use of energy and helps save money on electricity bills.

Saving tips and goals

We’ve compiled a few financial tips which might help you save money and reduce bills.

  • Have a fixed-rate savings account

Consider depositing your money in a fixed-rate savings account with high interest rates. Bank of England’s base rate is 5.25% and isn’t expected to increase any further. This means you can lock in a higher interest rate for your savings.

High-street banks are often outpaced by smaller competitors who offer better interest rates. It's advisable to sieve through various deals banks have to offer.

  • Add another source of income

Selling items on secondhand marketplaces like Depop, eBay, or Vinted can generate additional income.

  • Boost your pension contributions

If you’re expecting a bonus, use the money to increase your pension contributions. Standard Life suggests One-off contributions of £1,000 every five years can increase your pension pot by £23,000.

If you have multiple accounts, you can consider consolidating them to save on costs. Moving your savings to a cheaper scheme can also significantly increase the value of your pension.

  • Switch to cheaper supermarkets

A study by Which shows buying 75 items a week, for a year, at Tesco Express, would cost £800 more than it would have been at Tesco supermarket. A basket of 47 items would cost £76.77 at Aldi, which is 21% less than what it would cost at Waitrose.

Meanwhile, supermarket loyalty schemes and cashback apps can help save money on grocery shopping. Some products may even qualify for 100% cashback.

Plan your meals in advance and make a shopping list. This will help you avoid buying unnecessary items and cut down on impulse shopping.

  • Claim your tax relief

Tax relief means you can deduct some money from what you earn before paying taxes. This helps to lower the amount of tax you have to pay. If you are self-employed , you can claim business expenses. Expenses include office supplies, costs to run work premises, or facilities for remote working.

If you’re married or in a civil partnership in a lower-income family, then you can claim marriage allowances. To be eligible for this, one partner must be a basic-rate taxpayer and the other must have an income below the personal allowance (£12,570). This means the higher-earner gets £1,260 of the lower-earning partner's personal allowance.

HMRC even offers a free online service for overpaid tax. This might be the case if you've missed out on certain tax relief. Types of tax relief could include pension contributions, fuel costs, or maintenance of work clothes.

  • Apply for a broadband social tariff

Social tariffs are special discounted broadband deals for low-income customers. It starts at approximately £12 per month and is not subject to price increases or exit fees. This can save an average customer £250 per year.

You are eligible for a social tariff if you receive a means-tested state benefit. These benefits could be universal credit, pension credit, or legacy equivalents. The exact requirements depend on the broadband provider.

  • Check state benefit eligibility

It's worth checking whether you're eligible for benefits or if you can get more from the ones you already receive.

You might qualify for certain benefits even if you're employed, have savings, or own property.

You can check if you are eligible or not by using the Entitled to Calculator.


Conclusion

It’s never too late to review your financial objectives and money-saving goals. With the cost-of-living expenses remaining as high as ever, it is necessary to embrace how-to-save-money tips.

Trying out the savings challenges mentioned can help motivate you to reach your savings goals faster. The lifestyle tweaks and tips can help you find a balance between spending and saving. By implementing these strategies, you can find the way to a more secure financial future.

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