I quid a day for a quick snack doesn’t seem like a lot. Every little expense, however, can turn out to be a big shock to the system when added up over the weeks and months. Take a look at these five examples.
Cigarettes: 1.1billion people smoke in the world. If you smoke, on average, ten cigs per day you’re probably spending £3.50 or more a day. That’s £24.50 a week, nearly £100 a month and £1,200 a year. And that’s only if you smoke ten cheap cigarettes. Not everyone likes the idea of smoking but it really should be considered as the biggest money saver – if you really can’t give up, smoking ‘roll-ups’ could last three days longer. That’s £6-£8 per week, £32 per month and £384 per year on average, a total saving of £861 a year.
Morning Coffee: A Tall (small to me and you) coffee costs £3 in your average coffee shop. This is the same price of buying cigarettes – you can, of course, buy cheaper coffee but the price still mounts up. You yearly take-out coffee could pay a month of credit card bills and household bills – would getting up ten minutes early to make your own coffee really be too much effort to save nearly £1000 a year?
Take-Away: Can’t be bothered cooking? Buying a takeaway? If you buy at least two takeaways for a family per week it could cost as much as £50-£60, depending on your takeaway. Those quick McDonalds Burgers or chips actually cost an average of £550 per year – and that’s only the minimum one burger one chips order. Take the extra effort to make your own food and, even you really want to save, visit the local market where you can get a chicken twice the size of a supermarket bird for £2 and spend an average of £35 per week even for a family.
Travel Expenses: The bus stop I used to get on and off at for work would cost £1.80 per journey (£3.60 per day, £1,210 a year). For some odd reason, the bus stop not even two minutes before mine would cost £1.20 per journey (£2.40 per day, £806 per year). By walking more, even if you own a car or use a train, you could save yourself a surprising amount (and save your health). Be smart about travel – take the bus, not the taxi. Walk to the shop ten minutes away, don’t drive. It all adds up!
Brand Name or Value?: I would personally vote value if money is tight. ‘Value’ products are considerably cheaper than brand names if you shop at supermarkets – some branded toilet paper can cost £2.10 for two rolls, but the value can cost 59p for four rolls. The quality may be better, but you might even find you’re mostly paying for the brand name and packaging, not the product. Take a closer look when shopping for essentials.