'I'm doing the Monzo 1p Savings Challenge - here's what I've earnt so far after 3 months' (2024)

Ellen Jenne

·5-min read

Finances and money, as well as the neverending flow of direct debits leaving your bank account is enough to make anyone weep, scream or completely tear their hair out. Each month I see my monetary obligations stream away to line the pockets of some other entity, before increasing year after year thanks to inflation, cost of living, and RPI.

Honestly, the idea of money is overwhelming, and even though I’d like to consider myself financially adept, getting on top of budgets and savings has always appeared like a daunting feat. So when a random tweet appeared on my X ( Twitter ) feed at the beginning of the year explaining how much you could save participating in Monzo’s 1p Saving Challenge, it seemed like a shallow pool I could dip my toe into.

Essentially, the 1p Saving Challenge involves saving a little money every day, starting with 1p. The next day you save 2p, the day after 3p. After a year, you’ll be setting aside £3.65 on the final day and have a total of £667.95. Of course this year I’ll save a minimum of £671.61 thanks to the leap year.

Setting up a Monzo pot is easy enough, but remembering to deposit those pennies in the pot everyday posed a hurdle. So I set up a daily reminder at 8pm to put in the funds, and although there’s been some days where I’ve deposited money twice in one day if I’ve forgotten, it’s probably the most dedication I’ve shown since binge watching all 16 seasons of Criminal Minds for the fourth time.

Three months have now passed, nigh on the 100th day of the challenge, and although the current total may not reflect a billionaire’s bank account - £47.87 - it’s a daily reminder of this little achievement ever increasing. Instead of keeping my savings in a regular Monzo pot, I swapped it for one of the neobank’s Instant Access Savings Pot, which has an AER (annual equivalent rate) of 4.10%. Since opening the pot in January I’ve earned 13p, which may seem small, but a little boost to the final total.

'I'm doing the Monzo 1p Savings Challenge - here's what I've earnt so far after 3 months' (2)

Elsewhere in the app I’ve set up three other pots - Travel Pot, Car Fund, and a Coin Jar - whose deposits aren’t as regimented. Being able to visualise where my money is, is incredibly helpful for a visual learner, like myself. And if you’re ever tempted to dip in, there’s a handy lock you can turn on that means you can’t withdraw the funds.

Monzo’s 1p Saving Challenge starts little and often, making the idea of saving a significant amount far less nerve-wracking, and keeps you focused on achieving that end goal. With TikTok rife with money hacks, hints, tricks and tips, there are plenty of ideas being sold to us.

You don’t need to buy all of those envelopes or a new finance planner, but if that suits your style of saving, then find what works for you. Bank apps are often free to download, as is opening up a debit or credit card, or an ISA is free to open up, so all the power is at your fingertips. The Monzo 1p Saving Challenge suits me because my work requires me to be alert and chronically on my phone, and three months in, I actually see worth in putting those pennies away.

To help build the illusion that I’m a ‘functioning adult’, I’ve also set up an Excel Spreadsheet for my own annual personal budget (from a template, of course). This means I’m now perpetually noting down transactions if I forget to get a receipt, hoarding when I do get receipts, and obsessively looking at the ‘Cash short/extra’ total at the bottom of each month’s column. Last month, just by keeping my finances in check, I managed to save £277.79.

The ever-increasing cost of living is palpable no matter where you look, and with former cabinet minister George Freeman admitting he quit his role last year because he couldn’t afford his mortgage on a ministerial salary of £120,000, what hope is there for the rest of us? Owning a house or being able to buy anything with a considerably large price tag seems to be getting more unattainable as the months roll on for young people. As the wealth gap increases from generation to generation, money, bills and savings can become a source of well-justified stress and alarm.

I’m not saying the Monzo Savings Challenge will magically add a few zeros to my bank account - although it would be nice - but I know where that money is headed and what it’s intended for. After three months of dedication I may only have £50 saved, but now I’m getting into the big ol’ pounds, so hopefully the metaphorical coins will start piling up.

If you’re panicking about the lack of saving or feel a sense of crippling dread, read Monzo’s blog about the 1p Saving Challenge.

'I'm doing the Monzo 1p Savings Challenge - here's what I've earnt so far after 3 months' (2024)


What is the 1p saving trick? ›

The 1p saving challenge is a popular money saving challenge where you make a minimal daily deposit to grow your savings over time. This challenge requires you to save 1 penny on the first day, gradually increasing the amount by adding 1 penny each day, and maintaining the daily incremental increase for 365 days.

How much should I have in my penny challenge? ›

1p saving challenge for kids

One way this challenge can work for young children is to save a penny a day. Every day they'll put aside 1p, saving £3.65 by the end of the challenge. Looking for bigger saving goals? Consider increasing the amount to 10p a day to reach a total of £36.50 in savings.

What is the 1p to 1 challenge? ›

WHAT IS THE PENNY SAVING CHALLENGE? The idea is straightforward – save 1p on January 1st, 2p on the 2nd, 3p on the next day and so on. You simply add a penny on every day. By the end of December, you'll have saved £667.95 (or £671.61 in a leap year)!

Is there an app for the 1p challenge? ›

How to do the 1p Savings Challenge with Monzo. Before you start, you'll need a Monzo account and an app called IFTTT. It stands for 'If This, Then That', and lets you link your Monzo account to other apps and set up rules to move your money around automatically.

What is the 365 penny challenge? ›

The premise of the Penny Challenge is simple: You start by saving one penny on day one, two pennies on day two, three pennies on day three, and so on. Each day, you increase the number of pennies you save by one until day 365, where you will save $3.65. By the end of the year, you'll have saved a total of $667.95!

How much is 1 penny a day for a year? ›

It's easy to save a penny, right? Save $0.01 on day one and $0.02 on day two, continuing to add another penny to your savings goal each day. The penny challenge can save you over $600 in just a year!

What is the penny challenge for 2024? ›

The idea is that you save 1p on your first day, and then add a penny to the amount you save each day. On the first day of the challenge, you save one penny. This rises to two pennies on the second day, three pennies on the third and so on. On the last day of the year, which is the 365th day, you'll save £3.65.

How does save the pennies work? ›

How does it work? Save the Pennies is a tool that automatically saves a little bit each time you spend. So, for example, if you buy something on your debit card that cost £4.60 – we'll round that payment up to £5.00 and put 40p into your savings.

How does Martin Lewis 1p challenge work? ›

Under the challenge you save 1p on January 1 then increase the amount by 1p a day - so you save 2p on January 2, 3p on January 3 - then continue until you are saving 365p on December 31 (or 366p in a leap year).

How do you do the 1 to 52 week savings challenge? ›

With this challenge, you save weekly rather than daily. And this amount goes up incrementally. Essentially, you save £1 for each week you are on in the year. So week one = £1 and week 52 = £52.

What happens if you save a penny every day? ›

This money-saving challenge helps you put aside $667.95 in a year — or $671.61 in a leap year. To participate in the challenge, follow these steps: Start by saving one penny on the first day. Each day that follows, add one cent to the amount you saved the day before.


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