Following Shrove Tuesday comes Lent, a 40-day period that leads up to Easter, an important festival on the Christian calendar. Lent starts on Ash Wednesday. From a religious perspective, Christians observe Lent as a mark of respect for Jesus who fasted for 40 days in the desert.
Nowadays people give up something for Lent for 40 days to test their willpower. It can also be a way to ‘spring clean’ yourself. It’s also a way to get started on the goals that you had set yourself at the start of the year which you didn’t get around to. Also, giving something up can also help people save money. You don’t have to be religious to get involved.
Here are some things/habits to give up for lent and save you money.
1. Give up… ready-made coffee/tea
A quick win (if you have the willpower to do so) is giving up shop-bought coffee/tea/hot chocolate from a coffee shop.
Making your own tea or coffee at home could save you hundreds of pounds a year. Research shows that you could save £86 by just giving it up for just 40 days. (Source)
If you really have the urge to get a special coffee such as a latte or cappuccino, you can either invest in an espresso machine where each cup will be pennies. You could also get ready-made sachets where you just need to pour hot water and enjoy (less than £5 for a pack of 10).
Not only will you be saving money by skipping the coffee shop, but your body will also feel healthier if you give up high calory coffees.
2. Give up… streaming media
For 40 days, give up your subscription such as Netflix. You will save money plus have lots of time to do other things that you wouldn’t get to do if you were just watching movies or binge-watching your favourite series.
3. Give up… drinking alcohol
Yes, we know that you have ‘Dry January’ to do that. However, why not give it up for Lent as well? For 40 days, stay away from alcohol and it will save you at least £95 during this time, or even more if you usually have two pints a day.
4. Give up… smoking
By giving up smoking during Lent will help you save at least £73, presuming you smoke four a day and buy a 20-cigarette pack worth £9.10.
5. Give up… takeaways
From delicious pizzas to chicken tikkas, you could save ££s just by skipping takeaways. Look for alternatives such as making pizzas at home. Also, if you make a weekly plan of meals and meal prep, you will always have something to eat at home after a busy day.
6. Give up… taking expensive public transport
If you aren’t travelling far to get to your destination, why not take advantage of riding a bike or walking? By giving up the tube, a bus or taxi, you can save money and also get fitter at the same time. Can’t afford a bike? We have you covered – with our transport loan, you can take out up to £5,000 payable over five years.
7. Give up… impulse buying
Yes, this is a habit that can be given up for Lent and can help you save money. By having a shopping list that you can stick to, you will avoid impulse buying and the guilt that follows.
8. Give up… pricy days/nights out
Recreate experiences at home, for free or look for cheaper alternatives.
For example, a trip to the cinema can be expensive. You will end up buying popcorn, drinks in addition to the price of the ticket. Instead, you can recreate this experience at home by watching a movie at home. You can make or buy a bag of popcorn, get drinks, turn the lights out and enjoy the film.
These are just some of the things that you can give up and start saving money during Lent.
In fact, give yourself a bigger challenge and try giving up the habit for a year. You will be pleasantly surprised by how much you would have saved by the end of the year.