The thought of living on a budget or actively saving can be daunting. Sacrificing a couple of non-essentials is off putting and enough reason to put the idea to bed. We’re not suggesting that you shouldn’t be enjoying your hard-earned money, but when you see how far the money saved from simple swaps and stops can go over the course of a year, you might think a little differently about that last minute trip to the pub.
From after work drinks to sharing a bottle of wine in front of the TV, it all adds up. So why wait for Dry January to have a break. According to the Office of National Statistics, the average cost of a pint is £3.67 so it’s no surprise that the average UK household spends at least £17 per week on alcohol. It doesn’t sound like a ground-breaking amount, but when this rolls into £64 for the month, saving it can seem more appealing - particularly when you look at it as:
• Eight months subscription to Netflix • Two tickets to Alton Towers
Caffeine makes the world go round, but it can also run rings around us financially without us really noticing. That ‘essential’ high street coffee that you grab on the way into work may be waking you up, but it’s also eating away at your funds. Coffee giants are charging as much as £3 for a medium latte and assuming a Monday to Friday coffee shop routine, you could end up spending £60 a month on twenty coffees. Your twenty coffees could look like:
• A pair of return national flights • Two tickets to a West End show
Research shows that giving up smoking for 28 days is long enough to break the habit entirely. The health benefits are endless, but what could this mean for your wallet?
The cost of a premium pack of 20 cigarettes averages around £11 and it’s set to rise. If we follow in the footsteps of the Australian Government – they’ve been implementing a steady increase in tobacco costs - that will see cigarettes costing the equivalent of around £20 a pack in 2020!
Based on current prices and a smoking habit of 40 a week, stopping for just a month could end up saving around £100. If the science works and you go forward and stop altogether, you’d be looking at a saving of over £1000 a year. Here’s what £1000 looks like:
• 90 trips to the cinema • Two season tickets for a Premier League club • An all-inclusive holiday to Cancun
As far-fetched as some of these alternatives may seem, the saving possibilities are very real. Put it away for a rainy day or kick start your pot of savings, the smallest of changes really could make a world of difference to your financial situation. It’s worth a try, good luck!