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Christmas presents can be the highlight and lowlight of the festive season as most of us love giving and receiving them. But buying them? Now, there’s the sticking point.
We run out of time, forget the name of that obscure piece of gym equipment our sibling said he wanted, or forget about an important relative altogether.
But often a lack of cold, hard cash is the biggest stressor.
You want to buy the hardback signed copy, but have to settle for the standard paperback to stick to that tight Christmas budget.
Well, Money Saving Expert founder Martin Lewis thinks it need not be that way.
In fact, Martin knows a strategy that, put into practice, could save you well over a whopping £600 before next Christmas... And it all starts with a penny.
On a recent episode of ITV’s Martin Lewis Money Show, the personal finance expert said: “There’s a big savings community out there who do this, it’s called the 1p Challenge.”
He said the premise of the challenge is to save one penny on the first day of the year, two on the second, three on the third, and so on until the end of the year.
“By the last day of December you’re saving £3.65, so that would give you £667. 95 in total.”
The strategy only works if you focus on building a habit of saving a small amount each day.
Focussing on the end result can help, and so can recognising you’re only sacrificing a tiny percentage of your daily budget to achieve the target.
To take part in the challenge, you only need to commit to saving a single penny come 1 January.
You then build the sum by a going up a penny each day as the year progresses.
If you start on New Year’s Day, you should be saving £3.65 on the final day of December, when you’ll have £667.95 in your savings pot.
However, try to overcome discouragement in the first few months when you’ll only have saved a small amount.
By day 11, for example, you’ll only have saved 66p.
But if you have faith in the process, this sum will grow with time.
By day 200, you’ll be looking at a pot worth hundreds of pounds.
Martin shares countless other awesome money saving tips on his website, including a list of ways to keep the cost of Christmas presents down. So, if you fancy trying it out... good luck!
Words by: Charlie Metcalfe
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