Dry January: how much money can you save if you quit your vices?
New Year is the time when we turn over a new leaf - or hear our friends banging on about how they're going to ring the changes get fitter and healthier.
But for those of us who are still struggling to get off the sofa after a festive season of indulgence, it may be that the massive expenditure of the past month could force us to draw our horns in.
The experts at moneyguru.com have put together some top tips to help cut your vices and start saving this January.
Bin the booze
How many drinks, on average, would you sink on a weekend? If you like a couple of pints to end the week on a Friday night, and regularly go big on a Saturday, you’d be looking at saving around a whopping £212 a month by ditching the habit – that’s £2544 a year (based on just eight pints, twice a month)! If you’re more of a wine lover, three bottles of wine in a bar will see you £52 down, and a staggering 3056 calories heavier! Use this calculator to work out how much you can save by binning the booze…
Quit the sticks
The typical male smoker will smoke up to 12 cigarettes per day (84 per week), and women up to 11 per day (77 per week). With the average 20 pack of cigarettes costs £10.26 that means the average smoker is literally burning over £40 a week. Going cold turkey for a month post-Christmas could save you £160 and quitting for the year, will see your bank balance almost two grand happier (imagine what you could spend that sort of money on).
Step away from the takeaway
Research shows time-poor Brits are turning to fast food to help with their busy schedules but cutting takeaways from your life in January could save you up to £80! Planning your weekly meal plan in advance should help with the stress of wondering what to cook and ensure you have the ingredients that you need before hand, making cooking dinner easier than ever and giving your body a break at the same time.
Costa-lot of money…
Everyone loves a coffee stop on the way to work, or a caffeine pick me up mid-way through the weekly food shop, but these tasty vices can really rack up the pennies! Britons spend £2,210 a year in coffee shops, which is eight per cent of the average UK salary. By giving up frequent coffee trips in January, you could save yourself over £50 (with four trips a month totalling £13.85 each). Make yourself a coffee at home or at work to enjoy on the go, and watch your purse expand.
Ditch the wheels
Save on petrol money and lose those extra few Christmas pounds you gained by walking/cycling instead of driving. If you walk at least once a week to somewhere where you’d usually drive e.g. walk to the corner shop, or cycle to meet a friend, you’ll save fuel money and help both yourself and the environment. This can be a difficult one to stick to, especially if you have further to travel for certain things, but once you get into the habit it’s an easy way to fit exercise into your routine – and burn those Christmas calories too!