MUM-of-two Nicola Richardson aims to save £1,700 for a dream holiday for the kids next year thanks to money-saving challenges.
She's juggling three cash saving methods, and has already saved nearly £200 in a matter of months.
She's hoping to take her two children, Alfie, seven, and Charlie, four, to Disneyland with the money saved, with enough leftover to pay for birthdays and Christmas next year.
Nicola, 35, a teacher from Darlington, is determined to boost her savings after finding she has little to no money leftover each month.
She uses the cash stuffing method to manage her finances, and while it's helped her keep to a budget, she's struggling to put aside money for her savings.
Each week, Nicola takes out £130 in cash and distributes this across a number of envelopes which are: food, petrol, miscellaneous expenses, children, and eating out.
She finds there's hardly any cash leftover in these envelopes by the end of the week.
So she's taken on three money savings challenges: the £5 note challenge, the £2 coin challenge, and the 52-week challenge.
"If I manage to do the challenges, I don’t have to worry about Christmas next year – it will take the pressure off me having to find the money," she said.
"I’m also saving up to take my two boys to Disneyland – it would be just lovely to give them a holiday."
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If Nicola sticks to the challenges, she'll save £1,378 from the 52-week challenge, and she's estimating she'll save around £400 from the two other challenges.
She's documenting her savings journey on her YouTube channel, The Frugal Cottage.
Here's how the three money-saving challenges work – and how much Nicola will save if she sticks to it.
£5 note challenge
Nicola started the £5 note challenge earlier this year, and has so far saved £85.
Every time she gets a £5 note in her change, she'll put it away in a special envelope she won't touch.
"I have £85 in £5 notes so far," she said.
"I am strict with it, although sometimes it can be tough if money is tight."
£2 coin challenge
The £2 coin challenge works the same as the £5 note challenge.
When Nicola gets a £2 coin in her spare change, she puts it in an envelope to add to a growing collection.
So far, she's saved £52.
"It's not the biggest number in the world, but it all helps," she said.
The 52-week challenge works by you putting aside £1 for the first week, £2 for the second, £3 for the third and so forth, until the end of the year.
The amounts start small, but towards the end of the year, it's much bigger.
For example, you'll have to put away the largest sums around Christmas with a whopping £202 in total required in the final four weeks of the year.
That's why Nicola started the challenge in September, instead of at the start of the year – so she wouldn't have to stash away lots during the most expensive time of year.
"At the minute it’s easy because I’m at the lower end of the number, I’m planning on saving until October next year, and I'll save £1,378 in total if I manage it," Nicola said.
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