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Stopping bad habits - the key to getting more?

Stopping bad habits can be difficult to do – after all, if it was easy we’d all do it. But how about just trying for a set amount of time? In honour of Stoptober and Go Sober October, we’ve taken a look at your common vices and what you could save by quitting for a month.

This week marked the beginning of Stoptober, an initiative by Public Health England to help smokers quit.

October also marks the beginning of Go Sober October, which encourages participants to give up drinking for the month.

These initiatives aren’t just great for your health, they could make a real difference to your wallet too.

Here are five bad habits and how much you could save by stopping them for October.

1. Smoking = £250

According to Public Health England, on average, most people who quit save around £250 each month.

Even if one packet doesn’t seem that expensive, it all adds up. Are you surprised with this total?

Plus, although we hate to say it, Christmas is on its way. Last year, UK consumers anticipated spending £530 on Christmas. Giving up cigarettes for a month could get you half-way there!

2. Drinking = £59.20

After a long week, a tipple or two may seem quite appealing. But could you put the money you may spend on drinks per week aside for a month towards something bigger?

According to the Office of National Statistics Family Spending report, we spend £7.10 a week on alcohol drinks away from home (so, in a bar or pub) and £7.70 on drinking at home, which adds up to £59.20 in a typical month. What could you do with nearly £60?

3. Clothes shopping = £53.00

Men spend an average of £660 per year on their wardrobes, and women spend £612, according to Thread, a virtual stylist service. If we take an average of these two costs, you’re looking at a monthly spend of £53. Could this money be better put somewhere else for the month?

We all like to keep up with what’s going on in the world around us, but could looking at newspaper websites or re-visiting old favourite books for a month help you put some money aside?

The Office of National Statistics reports the average household spends £14.00 a month on books, magazines and newspapers. You may find you don’t even miss it. Is it worth trying it for a month?

5. Takeaways = £110

According to, the average Brit eats 12 takeaways a month, adding up to a monthly cost of £110.

You can make these items for much cheaper yourself. Our blogger Thrifty Lesley tells you how.

What could you give up to save money for a month?


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  • Viv / 5 December 2015

    We have a monthly treat of a Chinese takeaway. This month it was a feast and cost £45 for four of us. Just over £11 each but the rest of the month we self cater and keep to a weekly food bill. We eat well and have lots of fruit and veg. £45 would provide us with all meals for at least 3/4 days and that's breakfast and a packed lunch too.

  • William Wilgar / 30 November 2015

    Drinking £59.20 a month? This must be on the on the assumption that these people go out drinking one night a month, and go home early for work next day.

  • Rachel Cleary / 29 November 2015

    Costa coffee/ Starbucks at a minimum of £2. Are you thirsty or nipping in out of habit?

  • Dennis Davies / 28 November 2015

    Done all of those but money wise no better of but health wise good

  • Mary Bartlett / 18 October 2015

    When lights
    Replace lights with energy efficient ones. Turn off lights when you leave a room. Unplug phones when fully charged. Unplug phone chargers when not in use as apparently they still use some power. If there are more bedrooms than people change to a water meter (we have gone from paying over £600 over 8 months to paying £15 over 12 months!)

  • Ken Butterfield / 18 October 2015

    Adult humans should be sufficiently able to choose how to spend/save their income.
    Surely they shouldn't have to resort to blaming others/depending on benefits/etc to support their chosen lifestyle. That's what real independence is all about. For example, if you can't afford to smoke, drink, have takeaways, have children....then, simply, don't.

  • Marilyn gilmour / 4 October 2015

    Good I'm cutting down on all these things