Like millions of other people, you’ve probably overspent and over-eaten at Christmas. Fortunately, we are nearing Lent, a traditional fasting period for Christians that lasts for 46 days before Easter. Even if you aren’t religious, cutting back on your indulgences will save you money and also help you live a healthier lifestyle.
This year’s Lent has a romantic start on Valentine’s Day, the 14th of February, and ends on the 29th of March.
Lent starts after Shrove Tuesday, more gluttonously known as Pancake Day. The reason for abstaining on luxuries is to reenact Jesus’ suffering in the desert whilst being tempted by Satan. Obviously, you’re not expected to spend a month and a half fasting in the desert, but we can all use this time to curb our bad spending habits.
Here are four non-essentials you could cut back on to save money:
An average pack of 20 cigarettes will set you back an astronomical £10.70. So if you go through five cigarettes a day you’ll save yourself around £130 by Easter!
If you use this opportunity to give up for good, you’ll save a massive £1000 after just one year, and you’ll be healthier to boot! Visit the NHS website to help you kick the addiction.
Give up the takeaway coffee, get a flask
Getting out the door in the morning can be a mad rush. Quite often there’s no time to make yourself a coffee, so it’s easier just to pop into a café to kick-start your day. Avoid buying your daily Starbucks cappuccino to save yourself around £90 a month.
Buy yourself a stylish flask and get up two minutes earlier to make yourself a coffee to easily increase your savings. You could then use the savings treat yourself to a coffee machine, then there’s no temptation to go back to Starbucks!
Stop Binging on Netflix
It’s lovely to spend an evening with a hearty meal and re-watch Stranger Things for the third time. But limiting your time in front of the TV and spending an hour being productive could save you a huge amount of money.
Use Lent to decrease your monthly outgoings on bills by switching energy suppliers, making a bit of extra money on the internet, changing your phone and broadband contracts or swapping bank accounts. You’ll find you’ll be able to budget much more effectively over time.
If the temptation is too much, cancel your account for the month and you’ll save another £5.99.
Resist getting a takeaway
Cutting out weekly takeaways can help you save hundreds over Lent. If you’re easily persuaded to order a Friday night pizza deal and are buying lunch every day at work, you’ll spend around a whopping £210 per month on takeaways!
Slash the money you spend on food by preparing lunch at home the night before. Try cooking bulk amounts of food to freeze, so you can have it at a later date. Try making these meals that cost less than a pound to make.