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Next week is Shrove Tuesday, also known as Pancake Day. This marks the start of Lent where we traditionally give up something we enjoy for a month. But if you make these little sacrifices a long-term thing, they’re a great way to boost your finances too.

Giving up is good for your wallet

Next week is Shrove Tuesday, also known as Pancake Day. This marks the start of Lent where we traditionally give up something we enjoy for a month.

But if you make these little sacrifices a long-term thing, they’re a great way to boost your finances too.

We went Facebook Live with blog editor Andy Webb to look at some of the ways you can give up and save.

Giving up the bad things

For the first time ever, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) household spending report found spending on booze, fags and narcotics fell below £12 a week.

According to the Tobacco Manufacturers’ Association, the average price of 20 cigarettes in £9.40, or 47p per smoke. So, if you smoke ten a day and give them up for the 40 days of Lent, you could save as much as £188.

Cutting back on the booze also offers good savings. The average cost of a pint in the UK is £3.10, according to the Good Pub Guide 2016. Cut out two pints a week and you’ll save £35. In London, where the average beer costs £3.90, that figure is nearly £45. 

Giving up the non-necessities

Many of us think we would not be able to get through the day without a cup of coffee. But your caffeine habit is a real drain on your wallet.

The cost of a medium cappuccino in one of the major franchises costs roughly £2.50. Lasting 40 days without your morning fix could save you £100.

Buying lunch, rather than taking one in from home is a similar story. Let’s say you spend £5 less a day, you could be saving £200.

Plugging the money leaks

How many online streaming accounts are you paying for right now? Two, three, maybe four.

But how many are you actually using?

A lot of us are guilty of paying for a service when a new show we want to watch comes out, binge-watching it over a weekend, but then never getting around to cancelling the subscription.

Remember, you can always re-subscribe. So if you’re not using a service, cancel the subscription until they’re showing something else you really want to watch.

Cutting back on the treats

One area people are spending more on, according to the ONS report, is in restaurants, with the average family spending £45 a week eating out.

Over the course of a month, that’s close to £200, which is a sizeable chunk of cash.

If you’re a bit of a chocoholic, there are savings to be made too. A 45g bar of milk chocolate costs around 60p. If you have a bar a day, you could save £24 over Lent.

Cutting out meat

Going veggie, even just for a couple of nights a week, cuts pounds off the weighing scales and off the shopping bill.

We spend an average of £12.90 a week on meat, according to the ONS. While this would probably be replaced with something else, like tofu or lentils, there are certainly savings to be made.

So as you can see, there are a lot of quick and easy ways to you can improve your health and also improve the state of your bank account and see more money in your wallet.

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