words Al Woods
When it comes to payday — it’s time to spend — or that’s the mindset many of us are in. We all make New Year’s resolutions, and they can often be disastrous, with 80% of people failing by February and regretting it instantly — have you managed to stick at yours even though we’re four months in?
One of the most common New Year’s resolutions is to cut down on spending and saving money, and although this sounds achievable, if you don’t have a fully-fledged strategy in place, the likeliness of failure spirals out of control.
Unexpected expenses are more common than we think and we’re the ones left to fix the issue, pulling out extra cash that we sometimes can’t afford. It all adds up. For that reason, we’ve made some assessments on how those extra savings can come in handy if something like that was to occur.
It’s important to make the little changes to your life first, they could have a huge impact on your financial situation. Using a megarider ticket, you will be able to travel as much as you want and can tailor your own needs to the ticket type. Whether you’re in need of a monthly bus pass for your travels, or a week pass — you will find yourself making a huge saving in comparison to buying a ticket every day.
If you roam the roads independently with your own vehicle, did you know that over your lifetime you will probably spend approximately £168,880? With efficiency growing in public transport, there is no reason for you not to consider making the bold move that could help you fulfil your resolution this year and save you a fortune.
But what was the main contributing factor to this gigantic cost? Petrol — on average a motorist spends £1,052.04 per annum. Servicing a vehicle costs can add up to £441 over a twelve-month period — which can change depending on the individual’s situation. MOTs can cost up to £168.46 annually. Cost of parking is on the rise, and with more vehicles on the roads, there seems to be a higher demand. Over the year, a motorist can find themselves paying £145.80 on parking. When it comes to insurance, this can sway dramatically as younger drivers will find themselves paying a higher cost to be on the road — on average, insurance costs an experience driver £436 every year. Tax can equate to £116.35 on a yearly basis. Car supplies can cost a driver £29.61 and if you were to go abroad and wished to drive, holiday rental cars can leave you £180 out of pocket. Speeding tickets equal £25.12 for the average driver here in the UK. This would cost a driver £2,594.38 in total where commuters find themselves paying considerably less for a significant service — imagine the saving you would make with a megarider ticket!
Live life affordably
Crack down on coffee
With over 21,000 coffee shops on our streets — no wonder the average Brit visits three times per week to get their expensive coffee fix. This means that Brits visit coffee shops around 156 times a year with an average spend of £8.52 — with travel expenses, this could go up to £13.85. This creates an annual average spending of £2,600, a majority of which could be saved if you were to opt for taking your own coffee to work.
To put things into perspective, a 250g pack of Douwe Egberts can make up to 30 cups! When looking to see how much a 1kg pack would cost, Amazon has priced the coffee at around £15, meaning that each cup of coffee would cost close to 13p. Try taking a flask to work and even purchasing an on-the-go coffee cup that will see you through your day.
Savings from stopping smoking
If you were to quit smoking 20 cigarettes each day, and with the average packet costing £10.40 — did you know that you could save an incredible £3,796 a year? Not only that, but MoneySupermarket.com has stated that non-smokers pay around £6,309 less for life insurance, which could be something worth investing in for the new year.
More smokers are turning to vaping in a bid to save money and better their health. 10ml bottles of liquid cost around £5 on average — saving those who turn to vaping around £1,900.
Preparing your own lunch
Popping out for lunch is becoming a quicker and easier alternative to preparing your lunch at home. But what if we told you that, on average, forking out for lunch every day could cost you £1,288 according to research carried out by VoucherCloud. Evidently, you could make a huge saving by preparing your lunch at home — whether this is making a quick sandwich or taking in a tin of microwavable soup to heat up. This is one of our favourite frugal living tips. When we looked at the total working days in 2017, there was 252 — if we went by Poundland’s price of tomato soup, which is 50p, you would find yourself paying £126! A massive saving for anyone looking to cut down on costs.
Are unexpected expenses as common as we think?
Out of 2,000 people surveyed — 54% said that they had to fork out money after experiencing the unexpected within the household — from broken boilers to floods. On average, these costs totalled £248.70 — showing that any saving is beneficial for occurrences like these. 47% of these issues happened in the kitchen, a room which is essential to the day-to-day running of any home, and if you don’t have the money to pull out instantly, it could cause an everyday stress. Using the savings you would have made by taking your own lunch and coffee to work, quitting smoking, and travelling smarter — you will be able to make life easier. It was also found that 35% of people had to use a credit card to cover the costs of unexpected expenses. With 18% of them not being able to pay more than £100 on their own, 17% had to borrow from friends and family!