Mum shares ‘penny-a-day’ money hack that saved her more than £650 - and paid for all her Christmas presents

The cost of living crisis means we’re all looking for ways to save cash - this ‘penny-a-day’ hack could pay for all your Christmas shopping next year

A mum has shared a “genius” money hack that saved her more than £650 - and paid for all her Christmas shopping. Kate Richards has used the same saving trick for the last three years.

The 33-year-old starts by saving 1p on January 1, then 2p on January 2, and so on - reaching £3.65 on December 31. This adds up to a total of £667.95 tucked away by the end of the year - enough to buy presents for her whole family.

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Kate, from Huddersfield in West Yorkshire, said: "There’s an app and it automatically moves money into your account for you. By the end of the year you’ve got £667.95 and you don’t notice it coming out everyday.

“I’ve done it since 2019 and used it every year for Christmas shopping. They also do it in reverse and start with £3.65 and go down.

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    “It links up to the bank and you get a notification each day, you don’t have to think about it and it’s great. I already have all my presents wrapped and everything, it’s all done."

    Kate uses the app IFTTT, which automatically saves an increasing amount of money every day, to help control her spending. And the teacher says she’s also used another idea touted by money saving expert Martin Lewis - a secret Santa with her relatives instead of buying each person a gift.

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    Where she was previously spending £20 per person on seven people, totalling £140, the group of them now have a £50 limit in a secret Santa game where they only have one person to buy for – cutting costs by almost a third. She also uses a website called thingstogetme.com to organise Christmas lists for her son.

    The site allows people to enter their Christmas list and links to items, meaning it can be sent around to friends and relatives. And, once a gift has been ‘reserved’ by someone, it shows everyone who looks at the list – meaning no risk of duplicates.

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    Kate said: “I was buying for seven people at £20 each and instead this year we’ve done secret Santa with a £50 limit so you’re only spending £50 rather than £140. It’s more fun as you have to think about one person and what they would really like – with one person you can think a bit more.

    “I use a website called thingstogetme.com - you put your Christmas list in and send it to everyone and they can reserve an item which ticks it off so there are no duplicates. You find the item on Amazon, stick the link in and any extra info like colour or size and people can just tick it off, buy it, and it’s sorted.

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    “You can do a good range of prices – some presents were £4 and some were £40 - and I had loads on the lower end so people could pick and choose what they could afford and reserve it.”