A penny might not sound like a lot, but a few pennies can soon add up to some serious cash. The penny challenge could help you save over £600 in just one year - incredible!
Are you looking to save a bit more this year?
Perhaps you've got your eye on a new car, a luxury holiday or maybe even want to start saving early for Christmas. One thing's for sure - you'll never regret putting a bit of cash aside, and we're here to show you how.
If you always seem to have spare changing kicking about yet struggle to save money, we've got a great money-saving challenge for you. The Penny Challenge is so easy that you'll barely even realise you're doing it.
Start putting away just a few pennies in a pot throughout the year and you'll soon have an impressive sum saved up.
Sounds pretty great, doesn't it? Well, grab a jar, and let's get saving.
Editor's Note: This post was originally posted in June 2016 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness in February 2018.
What is the penny challenge?
Want to start saving money with your pennies? Then the penny challenge could definitely be for you.
How does it work? Well, it's a simple matter of putting pennies into a pot.
On day one of the penny challenge, you put 1p in your pot. Every day, this figure increases by a penny - you put in the equivalent amount of pennies to the date of the penny challenge.
This process is repeated for a year (365) until you have saved an impressive £667.95 to spend on whatever you like.
Why should I do the penny challenge?
Loose change is often something we spend willy-nilly. We don't notice paying a few pounds for a coffee, or a takeout sandwich, but once you start to collect them, they can soon start to add up.
The Penny Challenge is a great way to encourage good habits - choosing to pop your pennies into a pot instead of spending them on bits and bobs will serve you much better.
Save pennies for a whole year, and you'll have a nice sum of money to spend on something really great.
Confused? We've laid it all out for you below:
Day 1: Put in £0.01
Day 2: Put in £0.02
Day 3: Put in £0.03
Continue every day until...
Day 100: Put in £1.00
Day 101: Put in £1.01
Day 102: Put in £1.02
No touching! Keep going...
Day 200: Put in £2.00
Day 201: Put in £2.01
Day 202: Put in £2.02
Until you get into the 300th days when you...
Day 300: Put in £3.0
Day 301: Put in £3.01
Day 302: Put in £3.02
Now the best part. On the final day (Day 365), you will put in £3.65 and your jar(s) will have £667.95 in it. How amazing does that sound? Six hundred whole pounds to put towards something you've wanted for ages.
TOP TIP: If you never have cash lying around, you can do this online using your bank accounts. Simply transfer the amount every day into a separate savings account.
It's amazing how far a few pennies can go! We're so excited to start The Penny Challenge and begin saving more than ever. What will you spend yours on?
Thanks for reading! If you have any interesting ways to save money, please feel free to leave a comment...
This is a brilliant idea, so I am going to try it. I have £186 in a Demi john, and that is full to the top and I can't lift it up. Then I started using a large margerine tub had quite a few pennies in there was no silver or anything, where in the Demi John there is a mixture, Anyway the tub seems to have disappeared. |So this is a good way to start again.
I did mean to say when I packed up smoking, all the money took the family on holiday more or less, I kept putting the money away but it was the cost of a pkt of ciggies, and as I say we went on holiday to Greece. That was a good feeling, and soon started to feel healthier.
Wow that's an amazing saving accomplishment Audrey! Congratulations on quitting.
but where do i change all that coins into cash?
You can always change the coins into notes at your local corner shop that way it takes less room to save your money
I put any loose change (under 20p) into a pot, but this would make me save more. Think I might just give this a go.
The issue with this is that in the final weeks you gotta be putting £20+ p/w in the jar. Week 52 (it's a leap year) is £3.60+£3.61+£3.62+£3.63+£3.64+£3.65+ £3.66= £25.41!!!! Week 51= £25.34 etc etc Ridiculous amount to put away a week, it's not pennies it's pounds & too many pounds for minimum wage!
I decided to do this in January this year. I transfer it from spending account to savings account each week. But, I have done it in reverse. I started out with the £ 25.41 and worked backwards. My thinking being, when I was making the larger payments in Jan/Feb, I don't do a lot in any case, so it was easier to save the money. Plus wanting it for Christmas, it will grow quicker with a bit of added interest too, and I can draw it out before it actually finishes, say beginning of December. Then the pennies left for December can carry forward to next year.
Hi Eliza, sounds like a smart idea doing it in reverse. I'm happy to hear it's working out for you! Roll on Christmas :)
? I'm 12, without a job, and I've been doing this for years. It works great. I guess though that it would be a bit hard if you had your own home/apartment that you had to pay for, along with the necessities, but as a kid this is the best savings challenge that I can find, and it really isn't that hard until you get around the 145th day, when I have to try to make a bit more money (after the week of the 145th, you have to pay over $10 a week, which is about what I make a week) but it really isn't that hard. I like it. Eliza's idea is really great though, especially if you purchase gifts for your loved ones around Christmas.
We're glad to hear that it's worked for you, Rylan!
Great idea but when you add it up you will need to save around £100 during the last month.
I have been saving all my 5ps, as I did not like them. Now I love them as I have managed to save £120 in a few months !!!
Great idea and easy to bag up the coins and take to the bank at the end of the year
I love this idea! And it's affordable
Yes if you can afford to save over £100 in the final month!
what a great idea,and easy to do and affordable
Let me know if you give it a go!
I've been saving 20p pieces for years. I have a special container that is made to hold £20 with graduations up the side so you can see how far you've got. When it's full I put the coins into £10 money bags and take them to the bank to deposit. It soon adds up. The trouble is I'm always loath to use any 20p pieces I get in change!
Fantastic Sandy. I have a friend who only saves 50 pence coins. It sounds like a great idea, but yes it has come to the point where she would rather take cash out of the machine than use a 50p!
Can't the bank change the change into coins? Thank yoU!
This sounds great for those earning but if you are on a state pension like me you couldn't possibly afford to save £1 when you get to day 100 and so on..... On that week alone that would be more than £7 and it's only a third of the year in!!. Get real. I'm struggling to get my food on what my pension gives me and added to that I am disabled so cannot earn more. I really don't think that, whoever came up with this lives in the real world!!.
Hi Gillian. It's true, it may not work for everyone. How about only saving 20 pence coins throughout the year? So when you come across one, just pop it into a jar and see how much you can save.
Why wasn't the comment I submitted yesterday published? Was it that you didn't like that fact that I pointed out that in the last month you would have to save over £100?
Hi Helen, sorry about that. We tend to sift through the comments on a weekly basis - usually on Friday - so it should be up now! Thanks for pointing it out, it's true and may not work for everyone but I'm always interested in reading about different ways to save so thought I would share with EHT users. Only saving one denomination is also an interesting way to save, I think I may try saving 20 pence coins throughout the year and see how I get on with that.
Well I "back dated" it from last week in December, I'm planning to use it for our Christmas food shop, the children's and grand children's Christmas presents. I think it's a good idea, and if you can't afford it, then put in what you can. Its only an idea to help save money. And if I get to the point of not being able to see the year through, then I will just open the tin when I planned and I know it will help
I agree Sharon! Every little counts and it's a nice little idea especially if you find yourself with lots of change. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
I have tried this this year. Yes, it is a bit tough when you get to the end of the year. I decided to bank every £25 in a savings account.
Oh wow that's great you tried it! I failed after a few months, but it's better than nothing :)
Think this is a great idea. I take on board what people say about it being a lot towards the end. To counteract this at the end of each week and each month I'm going to try and put £1 in and see how I get on. I'm sure I won't stick to it rigidly but definitely willing to give it a go ?
Sounds like a great idea! I think it's definitely possible to do it this way, definitely worth a try anyway. I use online banking a lot and I found that was an easy way to transfer the amounts to a separate account.
I've started this for the first time this year , 2017....It's January 9th and I've got enough in the jar to take me up to Jan 30th before I have to put anymore in. So I can chill until then, or keep going, that way, by the end of the year, the payments won't have to be so huge...
Good idea Johnny. I have done a similar thing in the past when I have attempted the penny challenge.
I printed off a sheet with the amounts on and have used any spare change at the end of the week to mark off some of the more expensive days that way those weeks won'the be so hard. I like the idea of doing it in reverse as well may try that next year.
That's a great tip, sounds like it makes the challenge more achievable. I've never thought of doing it in reverse before but it makes sense as November and December are expensive months - thanks for sharing!
I've been doing this via online banking .. such a brilliant ( and easy ) way to save. Those ppl that are concerned about " having to save over £100 in the last month" ... even if you were to cut short and not save during the final month there is still a considerable amount already saved... there is no law stating that it must go on for the full 12 months
Hi Sylvia. You raise a good point! In fact, the best way to tackle the penny challenge is to cater it to your own needs slightly. If you can't stretch to the 12 months, it's no big deal! Some savings are better than none, right? Thanks for stopping by :)
I have been doing this for a cpl of years now..and what I do so in the last few weeks it is not so much to save is..write a numbers from 1-365 on a little pieces of paper put them in a jar and pick 1 out everyday ..so on day 1 it could be 365 and day 365 could be 1p...it also makes it more fun and my family also have a pick in the jar...so it's shared saving...x
Hi Liz. What a novel edition to the traditional penny challenge idea. You'll be rich in no time! :)
My daughter was given a money pot that when full of £2 coins would hold over £1,000 . I used to give her any £2 coins I had, annoyingly... anyway she just smashed it after a year and half and got around £1,200. All just taken to the bank.
Hi Sandra. Money pots are a great way of saving without even realising. In fact, I think this has just inspired me to get a new one of my own!
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