January has always been a challenging month for savers.
The start of the new year is the aftermath of increased spending, thanks to the Christmas festivities, and it also tends to be a big month of sales and tempting discounts.
Plus, on top of all that - you start to see people jetting off on holiday to avoid the cold, wet winter in the UK.
If you are currently dreaming of a holiday abroad, then there is an opportunity to make this a reality next year. All you need is a bit of planning and a resolution to take on a savings challenge.
Savings challenges are popular because it helps people to budget effectively for a particular savings goal - like a holiday.
The challenges can also be adapted to suit your spending habits and it can be started today, tomorrow or even next month.
Here, we’ve compiled some savings challenges that will hopefully help to boost your savings pot, so you can book that dream holiday from January 1, 2025.
If you plan to increase your savings this year, always remember to compare savings accounts. This will make sure you’re earning as much interest on your cash as possible.
It’s currently 48 weeks until January 1, 2025, so you have plenty of time to start saving, but this challenge works best if you start it today. The double-it challenge is all about growing your savings pot throughout each week, so you have a substantial amount by the end of the year.
For example, on Monday you save £1, then Tuesday you save £2 and you keep doubling the amount until you reach £32 on Saturday. Sunday is a savings rest day, so you can relax before the savings begin again on Monday.
If you stick to this pattern, you’ll save £63 a week, roughly £250 a month, until you reach more than £3,000 by the end of the year. Imagine where you could travel to with that amount of money!
Holiday savings pot - £3,024
No-spend challenges have risen in popularity thanks to social media, as people have documented their journey of not spending on particular days in the year. If you would like to give this a go, this challenge works well for people that are regularly spending their paycheck but unsure where the money has gone.
To commit to some no-spend days, decide how much money you ideally would like to save each month. For example, if you would like to save £200, work out roughly how much you spend at the weekend. If it’s around £100, then try two weekends every month where you avoid spending. If you can stick to this goal, you’ll end up with £2,400 in your savings pot.
Holiday savings pot - £2,400
If your budget is tight, it might be time to review spending habits to see if there is an opportunity to save. For those working in the office a few times a week, it might be tempting to buy lunch every day - when actually, bringing in a packed lunch is more cost-effective.
Try saving at least £10 for three days every week and pop the £30 into a saving account. If you stick to this habit, you’ll save around £120 every month and £1,440 by the end of the year. When you are enjoying the sunshine on holiday next January, this challenge will feel even sweeter.
Holiday savings pot - £1,440
This savings challenge is similar to the ‘double-it’ but it has smaller values each day, so it could be more accessible. For example, on Monday you save £1, Tuesday you save £2, Wednesday you save £3 and so on until you reach Sunday and save £7.
This regular saving means your savings pot will increase by £28 each week, giving you a total of £1,344 by the start of 2025.
Holiday savings pot - £1,344
Another popular challenge is when you increase the amount you save each month by £10. For example, in January you would save £10, then in February you save £20, March would be £30 and so on, until you reach December and save £120. This means you’ll have £780 by the end of the year. But, it can be tricky to save more than £100 in December, as this is when outgoings normally increase. Instead, flip the challenge so you start with £120 and then reduce it by £10 each month.
Holiday savings pot - £780
By following one of the above challenges, you’ll then be ready to grab the best holiday deals in January 2025 and jet off into the sunset…
As a trained journalist, Lucinda has spent the past 10 years writing and editing content for regional and national titles, including The Mirror, WalesOnline and Manchester Evening News. She is now a personal finance editor and specialises in savings, helping people to make confident financial decisions so they can save for what matters most.