The beef on money-wasting habits to give up for Lent

Written by Rebecca O'Connor on 28th February 2017

“Lent is traditionally described as lasting for forty days, in commemoration of the forty days Jesus spent fasting in the desert, according to the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, before beginning his public ministry, during which he endured temptation by Satan.”

These days, it’s also a brilliant way to cut out bad habits and save a bit of cash.

There are the usual bad habits to target, such as cigarettes and booze.

Pancakes: delicious AND money-saving

But once you’ve eaten your pancakes, why not take a look over some of the below ideas for what to give up for Lent, and see what you can save too?

Want to save money for Lent? Go veggie

Cutting out meat and going veggie for 40 days is the most money-saving thing people can do for Lent, according to the money saving team at Promotionalcodes.org.uk.

Families going veggie could save as much £353 across the six weeks. There are clear sustainability benefits to eating less meat too, particularly the mass produced stuff – so this is a commendable tip indeed.

Veg – healthy and cheaper

Binge food and booze, out

Takeaways and caffeine are other consumption habits to cut out if you want to reap financial benefits from Lent. Foregoing a £2.30 daily Americano will save you £92 over the 40 days, while making your own Friday night dinner instead of buying a takeaway pizza will leave you £72 better off.

Dry January may have already seen you cut your half a bottle of red a night out of your diet, but if you stick with it throughout Lent you could save as much £157.

Did I buy that? Show smartphone shopping the door

Smartphones are resulting in us spending more

Promotionalcodes had some other interesting suggestions: How about giving up shopping on your smartphone?

An estimated 40% of online shopping is now purchased from a smartphone, and by resisting the online Easter sales shopaholic’s can expect to save an average of £63, according to the research. Cutting out some of your smaller purchases looks likely to provide you with some extra cash too.

 

Item Daily/Weekly Saving Total LentSavings
Beer (Pint) £3.92 per day £157
Cheese (550g) £5 per week £30
Chocolate bar 65p per day £26
Cigarettes (20 pack) £9.60 per week £57.60
Coffee (Medium Americano) £2.30 per day £92
Fast Food (Cheeseburger) 1.09 per day £43.60
Fizzy Drinks (1 Can) 68p per day £27.20
Ice Cream Tub £4 per week £24
Meat £59 per week £353
Smartphone Purchases £10.50 per week £63
Sweets £1 per day £40
Takeaway pizza £13 per week £78

Darren Williams from Promotionalcodes.org.uk said “Usually Lent is about sacrificing something that you love, and often people tend to give up products that are unhealthy for them. However, there could also be serious benefits to your wallet as well as your health when it comes to cutting out your cravings for Lent. Britain has a major binge culture, and if people are able to cut out just one of the products that they love to indulge in the savings could be enormous. Although some savings only appear small in comparison, they all add up over time.”

Once you’ve made your savings, ditch these bad money habits with the extra cash you have made – but not just for Lent:

Get out of your overdraft

An overdraft is a bad money habit. If you live in it – make getting out of it your Lent savings goal. You’ll then have more freedom to switch to a better bank or building society, too. Triodos is launching a current account soon. In the meantime, read this overview of the accounts we rate more highly for responsibility.

Stop overpaying for your energy tariff

If you are on a rip-off deal from a Big Six provider, jump off. There are many new providers that add more renewable energy into their mix – some 100% renewable, such as Bulb Energy. It’s competitive too (not the very cheapest out there but at the right end of the scale). Sign up here.

Ditch the low interest savings account

Your money is poor, it is starving, it is desperate to be somewhere more enriching, like a stocks and shares ISA or an IFISA or just anywhere but the 0.5 per cent cash ISA you insist on leaving it in. Read some of our investments posts for inspiration on where to put your grateful cash when you do make it out.