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How much could your bad money habits be costing you?

Published 27 June 2015 by

Do you get a Chinese takeaway every week or forget to switch the lights off when you leave a room? Are you always booking your train tickets last minute – well, these bad habits could be costing you.

Recent research revealed that we could be throwing away nearly £470 a year on our bad habits, simply because we don’t have the time or are too preoccupied to change our ways. The majority of people – up to 40 per cent of Brits – blame a busy schedule for their money wasting habits.

What it’s costing you

Let’s face it, we all live pretty hectic lifestyles – what with balancing our work life, with our family life. But that doesn’t mean you can’t readjust the way you do things to make a few cut backs.

According to the survey, by simply cutting out takeaways from your budget, you could save up to £324 a year. Stopping an unused gym membership could save you £787 a year and pre-booking your train ticket in advance could work out an average of £147 cheaper each year (they say train tickets are at their cheapest 12 weeks before you travel)!

Now we’re not saying to cut out small luxuries altogether (as who doesn’t love a good takeaway) but being more aware of what you’re spending your money on should help you make tougher decisions when it comes to your budget!

Simple ways to save

You don’t have to completely change your lifestyle to reform your money-wasting ways, all you have to do is get a little smarter with how you spend.

Shop around

By now, we should all be pretty familiar with price comparison sites. But you shouldn’t only use these when buying financial products like insurance. These sites can also be used when looking to make larger purchases such as TVs or fridges. According to the stats, a third of people believe they could have saved up to £552 a year by doing this.

Even down to spending the time to check that the DVD you’re buying isn’t cheaper elsewhere could help you out in the long run. Even if you all you save is £4, it’s better in your pocket than anyone else’s, right?

Utilise your freezer

Your freezer can be a life-saver in times of need – so make sure that you use it to its full ability. Lots of supermarkets reduce their produce later on in the evenings, so you could go along at these times and stock your freezer up with what you find. If the worst part of your day is getting enough energy to cook your tea, you could also bulk cook in preparation for the week and pop these in the freezer too, so that they don’t go off.

Regularly review your budget

Every few months or so, have a double check of the Direct Debits coming out of your account. This will help you monitor what you’re paying for and whether it’s still relevant. Doing this could help you decide to finally stop paying that gym membership that you never use, or downgrade your TV package to only the channels that you do watch!