It’s that time of the year where a lot of us are considering giving up things for Lent, either for religious reasons or just to give our lives a good old spring clean!
Here are seven easy ways to save money over Lent; small things you can give up that could save you a ton of money over the 40 days (and, as promised, we won’t mention chocolate!)
7 Easy Ways to Save Money
1. Give Up … The Morning Brew
First of our easy ways to save money… forego the coffee shop! Many of us pop into Starbucks of a morning for a latte to wake us from our sleepy fog. However, skipping this step by making your own coffee at home could save you hundreds of pounds a year.
If you prefer lattes and cappuccinos to ordinary coffee, then invest in an espresso machine- you can get a decent machine for around £100, meaning each cup you make will cost pennies.
If you really can’t bear to part with your daily latte, try this tip to save money on your bill; order three shots of espresso in a venti cup with lots of ice, then use the milk from the condiment bar to fill the cup up with milk and, hey presto, a venti latte at about half the price!
2. Give Up … Expensive Public Transportation
… and ride a bike to work. We know some of you will be groaning at this one, but hear us out! Riding a bike is not only excellent exercise; it will save you money like you won’t believe.
Popping on the tube for a short ride, getting the bus to work… all this adds up and ends up costing a ton over the course of a year.
Plus, if you are riding a bike to work every day you can cancel your gym membership as you’ll already be as fit as a fiddle, and we all know how expensive gym memberships can be!
3. Give Up… Ordering Takeaways
We all know we shouldn’t order takeaways too often, but many of us do it anyway, and it can do major damage to the wallet.
Cooking at home can seem like the most unappealing thing in the world to do after a long day at work, but if you use a couple of hours at the weekend to do some simple prep, it can be easy to whip up a meal in less time than it would take to order a takeaway.
Plus, then you can take leftovers for lunch the next day, saving even MORE money that would be wasted on lunches out (look out for an upcoming article with plenty of ideas on simple, healthy dinners that you can cook in minutes!)
Give it a try over Lent; it one of the easy ways to save money.
4. Give Up… Shopping on A Whim
We’ve all been there- a quick whiz around Waitrose after work and we end up with far more in our trolley than we came in for.
To save money on food shopping, pick a day of the week to do a big food shop and before you go, make a list! This is so crucial if you are to resist all the lovely tempting treats that crowd the shelves.
If possible, do your shop later in the evening when it is likely that there will be reductions on the items you’re looking for (but avoid buying things not on your list simply because they’re on sale!) and you can beat the shopping rush too.
5. Give Up… Smoking
There is no better time than Lent to give up smoking, and if you can make it for forty days you’ll no doubt have broken the addiction already.
The price of cigarettes is always on the rise, and it’s currently around £8. This means if you give up a 10-a-day habit for 40 days, you’ll be saving yourself £160 just over Lent!
Factor in the health benefits of giving up smoking and this one is a no-brainer, and one to definitely try if you’re a smoker, based on how much you could save, it’s top of our easy ways to save money list!
6. Give Up… Pricy Cinema Tickets
A trip to the cinema can be extremely expensive, especially if you’re ordering popcorn and fizzy drinks on top of the price of the ticket.
Instead, why not stay at home and make your own cinema experience? Services like Netflix and Amazon Instant Video make it easy to find a good film to watch.
Buy a big bag of popcorn or a box of Maltesers, grab a can of Coke (or a glass of wine!), turn the lights out and it’ll be just like being at the Odeon, minus the noises from the people sitting behind you rustling their sweet bags during the quiet bits of the film!
7. Give Up… Credit Cards
Just for 40 days, why not try putting away the credit cards and only spending what you can afford?
This step will help you stick to a budget and live within your means, something we should all be doing anyway. We’ll think you’ll be surprised at the end of the 40 days to see how much you’ve saved!
Check out our handy guide the proven ways to eliminate your credit card debt.
Now It’s Over to You!
Is there something you give up every year for Lent that help you money? Is there anything you gave up for Lent that you ended up giving up permanently? As always, we’d love to hear from you!