Four money saving challenges that can help you save as much as £1,100 by Christmas

Already worried about how you’ll afford Christmas this year? Here are four money saving methods that can help you save as much as £1,100.

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the average UK weekly wage in October 2023 was £663, equivalent to around £34,476 per year for full-time employees. This works out at approximately £27,904 after tax.

As the cost-of-living crisis continues, it can be tricky to determine how much money you can potentially save each month. Here, Money Plus reveals the saving challenges that will see you save up to £1,000 by Christmas. 

1) The 50-30-20 challenge

The 50-30-20 challenge presents the opportunity to confront your finances head on, so you know exactly what is going where. Breaking your bank statements down into 3 categories, the 15-30-20 challenge can see you save up to 30% of your salary each month.

To make budgeting simple, there are three categories that your monthly income (after tax) can be broken down into the following.

50% on “essential needs”

Essential needs are your outgoings that you can’t go without. Things that fall under this category include rent/mortgage, household bills (electricity, gas, water, broadband), food, transport to work, mobile phone contracts, minimum repayments for credit cards or loans, and insurance.

30% on “wants”

Wants are outgoings that you don’t necessarily need to get by, but things that you like to spend money on. These are non-essential expenses, so things like shopping for clothes, holidays, eating out or takeaways, subscriptions (Netflix, Spotify, Amazon Prime, for example), memberships, and gifts for celebrations (birthdays, Christmas, weddings, etc).

20% on savings or debt repayments 

The idea behind this technique is that you’ll have 20% left of your income to pay off any debts beyond the minimum repayments to help clear them faster, or to put into your savings. When you have a savings goal in mind, it helps you stay on course.

Based on this average UK salary and using the 50-30-20 rule, you could spend:

  • £1,162.50 on essential needs
  • £697.50 on wants
  • £465 on savings or debt

2) The £1 rise challenge

The £1 rise challenge is a great way to save a substantial amount of money whilst hardly noticing.

In the first week, save just £1. The second week, save £2, the third week £3 and so on. If you begin this challenge mid-July, you will save up to £300 by Christmas. If you feel that you can comfortably save more, then simply multiply these numbers.

3) The monthly saver challenge

By saving different amounts of money each month, gradually increasing the figure as Christmas approaches, you can save up to £1,000 by Christmas. For instance:

  • July: £100
  • August: £150
  • September: £200
  • October: £250
  • November: £300

This will see a total of £1,000 saved by Christmas. Of course, these numbers can be adjusted to your income. 

4) The Christmas countdown savings challenge

Starting the challenge 10 weeks before Christmas, save a decreasing sum each week, starting with £100 in the first week and decreasing by £10 each week. Alternatively, you can reverse the strategy and start with £10 in the first week and increase by £10 each week.

Here’s a weekly breakdown:

  • Week 1: £100
  • Week 2: £90
  • Week 3: £80
  • Week 4: £70
  • Week 5: £60
  • Week 6: £50
  • Week 7: £40
  • Week 8: £30
  • Week 9: £20
  • Week 10: £10

Total Savings: £550

To reach £1,000, you can double the amounts each week:

  • Week 1: £200
  • Week 2: £180
  • Week 3: £160
  • Week 4: £140
  • Week 5: £120
  • Week 6: £100
  • Week 7: £80
  • Week 8: £60
  • Week 9: £40
  • Week 10: £20 

Total Savings: £1,100 (which exceeds £1,000)