Small changes, big impact: spend swaps




Would you cap your regular spending habits if you could quantify the saving? We’re all guilty of overspending, often out of habit. Regular spend on little indulgences can spiral before you’re aware and blow the budget. Not tracking your small spend could have a big financial impact in the long term. You may even find yourself with debt to consolidate. Here are our spend swaps for 6 regular expenses and what the saving could net you instead.

Cup of coffee

We’re all quick to condemn the morning coffee. Tips like ‘bring your own in a to-go cup!’ litter savings blogs across the internet. But at an average £2.50 a brew, 9-5ers could end up spending £650 a year on the caffeine call. Kick the daily caffeine call into your favourite coffee place and you could bring home 3 Nespresso coffee makers with change to spare.

Eating out

It may seem like you live your life in the aisles of your local supermarket, but an Open Table survey found that Brits spend as much as a quarter of their salary on dining out. The average diner eats out a curious 1.5 times a week and may spend up to £53 per meal – that’s £4,134 a year! That could buy you a 2010 Smart car, plus several tanks of petrol. Neither of which are as delicious as your favourite restaurant but are infinitely more practical.

New clothes

Have you tried the tip of turning your hangerhooks to face out of your wardrobe and replace clothes facing in? At the end of 6 months, those you haven’t turned are those you haven’t worn, so get rid. With all that space to fill, you could be tempted to hit the high street. But fashion is no friend to your finances. Or the environment; used clothing worth an estimated £100 million gets dumped in landfill every year. Even if your fashion fix only runs to £20 a week, you could be £1,040 richer over the course of a year if you save that amount. That would over the cost of a Lenovo YOGA laptop or an Apple MacBook Air instead. Useful for online shopping… given you’ve cleared all that space.

Cinema trips

If you’re a regular movie goer, you’ll probably be familiar with the cost of snacks on top of the extortionate price of the ticket. YouGov estimates that cinema extras run to £7.85 on top of the ticket price. A ticket in London’s Leicester Square will set you back £15 although outside of the capital, you’re more likely to pay nearer to £8.50 a trip to the cinema twice a month could add up to about £550 a year - which could buy you a 4K TV to enjoy the cinema experience in the comfort of your own home.


Getting from A to B can be costly. It's ever easier to open an app and be headed home before you really think about the cost. With a five-mile journey costing £15, even one taxi trip per week will add up to £780 a year. In a rather unrealistic spend swap, that taxi saving could net you a brand new road bike.

Beauty treatments

The beauty industry is booming as looking good feels great and both women, and increasing numbers of men, make weekly trips to salons for maintenance and pampering. The UK’s most popular beauty treatments – manicures, pedicures, self-tanning and waxing – equate to a cost of £16 on average, per visit. That’s £832 per year propping open your beautician’s wallet. Doing your mani-pedi at home and slipping on the tanning mitt could net you the difference between looking great at home or splashing out on a fabulous holiday with that money.


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    CJ Montague, Deputy Editor



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