We’re all turkey-stuffed, the relatives have gone home (at last!) and the New Year’s party poppers have been popped.
So with the fresh new year just beginning, now is the time to think about tightening your financial belt to make 2017 the year you take control of your cash.
Everybody knows that being over ambitious with New Year’s resolutions often leads to royally falling off the wagon and stuffing your face with chocolate and wine by January 2nd.
But having a financial goal can be the spoonful of sugar you need to swallow the bitter reality of budgeting.
Fancy a holiday in the summer but too strapped for cash? Or maybe you want to just pay off that credit card once and for all.
Unless your numbers come up on the lotto (1 in 14 million chance of winning means relying on that strategy may be over optimistic) the best way to reach your goal is to save, save, save.
Now the thing with successful saving is – one of your other expenses usually has to go, which is painful.
But by spending less or giving something up and putting that cash into a savings account (or a saving jar) – you will reap the rewards of your efforts, however small.
Comment to enter our Money Saving Challenge Competition?
If you are serious about saving – why not take our Give up and Save £100 New Year’s Money Saving Challenge? All you need to do is to share your best piece of advice to save £100 in one month.
And here’s the best bit – we have an Ultimate Beauty Giveaway for grabs for our Super Saver with the best money tip.
All you need to do is leave your best money saving tips or plan on how you are going to get to that £100 target in the comments below. Competition ends 31st January 2017.
To help you get started, we have put together a list of things you can give up in January and how much you can save over the month (and the whole year if you keep it going).
You’ll be surprised at how a small money saving challenge can save you a heap of cash. Giving something up also has the knock on effect of improving your health as well as your bank account.
So, grab those vices by the horns and take our Give Up and SAVE £100 New Year’s Money Saving Challenge!
Money Saving Challenge 1 – Sober up and Save
A Macmillan Cancer Support report has found the average British woman spends £678 on alcohol over a year. This might be a conservative estimate, especially if you go to the pub more than twice a week.
This figure also doesn’t take into account the other things we spend on when we’ve had too much to drink, like takeaways or more booze.
A sober month will therefore save you an average £56 per month. However, if you are partial to a bottle of nice wine or two a week, these savings can shoot up to the hundreds…
Join our money saving challenge by putting away £56 each month into a savings jar and you will end up with £678 at the end of the year!
So get stuck into a Dry January, feel healthier and watch your savings grow.
Monthly saving: £56 or more
Yearly saving: £678
Money Saving Challenge 2 – Ditch the Junk
According to VoucherCodes.co.uk Brits fork out £109 on convenience food and takeaways every month. Over a year that adds up to a whopping £1,308!
That’s the same price as a flight to a glamourous European destination… Also – a takeaway chicken tikka, rice and naan contains a massive 1,338 calories and 55g of fat.
By swapping takeaways with homecooked food for a month you will give your savings pot a healthy boost. And you’ll reduce that waistline too.
Monthly saving: £109
Yearly saving: £1,308
Money Saving Challenge 3 – Munch on a Homemade Lunch
If you work full time it’s tempting to buy your lunch from the local M&S or Pret.
A recent survey has found that the typical British worker spends £7.81 per day on shop bought lunches.
So that’s £156 over a working month and £1,872 over a year. And this figure doesn’t include the mid-afternoon cakey snack and cappuccino….
So, how much is a homemade lunch? Prepare to be amazed:
Tin of soup: 60p, homemade ham sandwich: £1.25, mini choc chip muffin (from multipack): 16p, piece of fruit: 20p. Total cost: £2.21 – making a massive daily saving of £5.60 per day.
Monthly saving: £112
Yearly saving: £1,344
Money Saving Challenge 4 – Bin the Gym
We’ve all done it. Signed up at the local gym on 2nd January in the blind belief we’ll go from Waynetta Slob to Jessica Ennis-Hill in a matter of weeks. Then life takes over and we simply don’t go.
The average UK monthly gym membership price is £41. And you are usually locked into a 12-month contract.
Before you renew consider that you can get fit for….free. So why not ignore those glossy leaflets from the gym and do the NHS’s brilliant Couch to 5K. Or you could dance around your living room or simply get fit by walking everywhere (making further savings on fuel).
Monthly saving: £41
Yearly saving: £492
Related: 8 Simple Ways to Keep Fit On a Budget (Gym Membership Not Required!)
Money Saving Challenge 5 – Dump Costly Coffee
A medium latte in Costa costs around £2.45, no wonder Brits spend a staggering £660 per year for their daily takeaway caffeine fix. That’s £55 per month.
A daily cup of home brewed instant or cafetiere coffee costs…..42p. Yes, 42p (less if you go instant).
If you have one cup of homebrewed coffee per day you would spend just £8.40 over the working month.
Monthly saving: £46.60
Yearly saving: £559.20
Money Saving Challenge 6 – Drop the Shop
According to a Marie Claire survey, the average British working woman spends £342 per month on clothes, shoes, bags and beauty products.
So make the mascara last (or ditch it altogether), dig out that little-worn top from the back of the wardrobe, and polish up those shoes you already have for one month only and you will save a huge amount of dosh.
Monthly saving: £342
Yearly saving: £4,104
If you do decide to give something up and save in January, remember the golden rule – put the money you would spend on that wine/handbag/coffee into a savings account or saving jar.
For more brilliant ways to save check out our 25 Ways to Save Money feature.
Over to You
Want to take our £100 saving challenge? Just leave your best money saving tips or savings plan in the comments below and you could win our Super Savers prize giveaway. We look forward to hearing from you. Good luck! Competition ends 31st January 2017.
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