Overspending? Here’s how you can keep your costs down

Often, we will find ourselves overspending on items we can go without. Making New Year’s resolutions can frequently be disastrous, with 80% of people failing by February and regretting it instantly — have you managed to stick with yours? One of the most common New Year’s resolutions is to cut down on spending, and although this sounds achievable, if you don’t have a fully-fledged strategy in place, the likeliness of failure spirals out of control.

However, we will often encounter expenses that are just unavoidable — where we do have to fork out the cash. 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.

The cost of travel

Making big changes can be frightful to some people, especially when it comes to travel as their entire commuting routine will change — but this will result in big savings. Using a megarider ticket by Stagecoach, who also offer cheap bus fares, 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 weekly bus pass for your travels, or a monthly one — you will find yourself making a huge saving in comparison to buying a ticket every day.

According to research, those who drive their own vehicle will spend a total of £168,880 over the course of their lifetime. 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.

We discovered that the most expensive thing about running your own vehicle is the cost of petrol, which comes in at £1,052.04 annually. 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 for 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 experienced 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!

The cost of your lifestyle

Buying Coffee

With over 21,000 coffee shops around the UK, the average Brit visits three times per week according to MyVoucherCode. 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.

If you only drink branded coffee, you could make 30 cups if you purchased 250g of Douwe Egberts ground coffee. 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.

Smoking

With a recent rise in cigarette prices, if you were to smoke 20 per day you could save a total of £2,796 yearly. 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.

Vaping has become a common alternative for those wanting to give up their bad habit. 10ml bottles of liquid cost around £5 on average — saving those who turn to vaping around £1,900.

Buying lunch

A lot of working people see buying lunch on-the-go as an easier alternative. 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. 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.

Avoiding expenses

From asking 2,000 people, 54% said that they experienced an unexpected occurrence in the home — which they had to pull out cash for. 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!

How will you make changes to save money?

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Photo Credit: Jessy Smith Mike Kenneally STIL

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