What’s your new year’s resolution? For many people, it will be to curb their spending and save more — in 2017, it was the fourth most popular resolution, according to Harper’s Bazaar. Before you head to the comparison sites to switch your bank accounts and energy providers, why not start saving by looking a little closer to home?
Whether it’s your morning coffee during your commute to work or those Friday night drinks, your lifestyle could be costing you a small fortune. Crunching the numbers is paper cups retailer, Inn Supplies; so, just how much is your lifestyle costing you?
Britain’s coffee culture is big business at the moment. The UK’s coffee shop market was worth £3.4 billion in 2016, up 37% from £2.4 billion in 2011. What’s more, in the next five years experts predict that the market will grow by a further 29% to reach a worth of £4.3 billion.
The incredible growth of Britain’s coffee shops is fuelled by our willingness to shell out on hot drinks. Research carried out on behalf of MyVoucherCodes has found that we visit a coffee shop three times a week on average — or 152 times a year.
Using Costa Coffee as a price reference — the chain with the largest number of outlets in the UK — the average price of a medium latte is £2.45. Based on the number of times we’re likely to visit annually, this means our caffeine addiction is costing us £382.20 per year. If you were to pop into your local coffee store five days a week — once for each of your morning commutes — you’d be spending a huge £637!
Let’s compare this with how much you could save if you make your coffee at home. According to Douwe Egberts, a pack of its 250g ground coffee will make approximately 30 cups of coffee. Assuming that a 1kg bag will cost around £15 (according to Amazon prices correct as of December 2017), this would deliver a price per cup of around 13p.
Of course, you’ll also need to factor in milk, sugar and the associated energy and water costs. However, even if this price was to rise to 50p per cup — which is an unlikely high — you could still slash the cost of three coffees per week to £78.
In Britain, 29 million people over the age of 16 drank alcohol in the UK, according to the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey. While the UK clearly has a thirst for alcohol, how we’re drinking it is changing. One YouGov study has found that in 2017, 15% of British adults preferred to drink alcohol at home. The country is clearly split between pub and home drinkers, with the latter growing in popularity as the number of pubs declines.
Beer is the most popular type of alcoholic beverage in the UK (35.6%), followed by wine (32.9%) and spirits (21.6%). 17% of Brits head to the pub 26 times a year (once every fortnight), research by Ritz Crisp & Thin shows — so how much is this habit costing us?
The average price of a pint of lager is £3.58. Assuming three drinks per visit, each trip to the pub will cost £10.74 on drinks alone. Over the course of the year, this would rack up £279.24 — a cost that could be even greater if you were to increase the frequency of visits or the number of pints consumed.
It’s a similar story for wine drinkers — the average price of a small glass of wine as of November 2017 was £3.74, according to the Office for National Statistics. Assuming two glasses of wine per each of the 26 yearly visits, and this will set you back £194.48.
In contrast, enjoying a drink at home could lead to considerable cost savings. June 2017’s industry figures show that a bottle of wine costs £5.56. With roughly just over four 175ml glasses in each bottle, the associated cost per glass of drinking wine at home shrinks to £1.39 — representing a £2.35 saving.
Likewise, consider too that you can pick up a crate of lager for roughly the same price as one visit to the pub, based on our calculations.
Of course, if you’re not ready to ditch your trips to the pub, you can always choose a soft drink while you’re at the bar. These are often considerably cheaper than their alcoholic alternatives. For example, a diluted juice drink can cost under a pound, while a cola or lemonade costs approximately £2.20 — £1.38 less than the average cost of a pint.
Another popular new year’s resolution is kicking the habit and stopping smoking. In the UK, a packet of 20 cigarettes costs £10.40. For a 20-a-day smoker, this gives a weekly cost of £72.80, a monthly cost of £291.20 and a yearly cost of £3,494!
If you are a smoker, the NHS’ Smokefree service features a handy online calculator so you can work out exactly how much you could stand to save should you stop smoking.
There you have it — just how much your lifestyle is costing you. If you’ve resolved to make 2018 the year you start your health kick, it could be wise to think about reducing your alcohol intake or stopping smoking. Not only will your body thank you for it, so will your bank balance!
Of course, you still need to enjoy yourself! However, now you know roughly how much you’re paying out annually on these lifestyle habits, perhaps you’ll be able to make better decisions on everything from your post-work pint to early-morning coffee.