For many of us, the new year often begins with good intentions and a handful of new year resolutions, which may or may not begin right on 1 January. You might be working toward the day you return to work, or sometime over the next few weeks.
Whatever your start date, if you’re like many Australians, your plans for the year ahead revolve around health and money, with data showing that popular pledges for 2018 include things like quitting smoking, cutting down on takeaway, drinking out less, and paying off debt1.
The good news is, findings from comparison site Mozo reveal that those who persist in these areas could potentially save more than $20,000 a year2. We check out some of the figures.
Ways to boost vitality and save
1. Chuck the ciggies
If your parents, partner, friends or kids haven’t given you enough grief about this one already, the potential savings to be made could be the motivation you need. Apart from the obvious health benefits, a pack-a-day smoker (assuming a pack is around $35) can burn over $12,000 a year3.
2. Cut the boozy nights out
When you add up the drinks, bar snacks and Maccas or kebab run on the way home, these nights out can end up costing quite a bit. On a good note, cutting out just two nights of drinking a week could save you around $4,000 over a 12-month period4.
3. Ditch the takeout for something home cooked
Have you ever added up what you spend a week on takeaway food? Figures reveal you could save around $3,000 annually by swapping three takeaway dinners for home-cooked meals—plus, a further $2,400 by taking the leftovers to work, rather than buying a $10 lunch at the café down the road5.
4. Write your grocery list and stick to it
Over a 12-month period, Aussies will waste more than four million tonnes of food, enough to bridge the gap between here and New Zealand three times6. Having a grocery list based on what you need and plan to cook means you can avoid buying too much, as well as food that’s not that good for you.
5. Opt for water over the takeaway coffee
Your intake of coffee might not be a bad thing, but giving up even one takeaway coffee Monday to Friday could save you around $1,000 a year7. Plus, substituting this with more water might be a good idea, as water has numerous benefits when it comes to your health and body8.
6. Combine exercise with your social life
Rather than meet up with friends for a beer, wine, greasy burger, hot chips or all of the above (as good as it sounds), swap that for a scenic walk or swim at the beach with friends. If you’re pet-less and have a mate with a cute dog that can come along with you, that might help too.
Meanwhile, if you’re able to stick to this plan and haven’t been using your gym membership that much, opting for a DIY-fitness plan, and cancelling any unused memberships could save you around $800 a year9.
7. Skip public transport and walk to work
You might not be able to walk all the way, depending on where your job is located, but you may be able to shave off some of what you pay on public transport by walking or riding your bike part of the way, while getting some exercise at the same time.
These ideas might not be anything new, but when you see the figures and realise the potential savings you could make, you might be more inclined to stick with healthier habits, particularly if it means the end reward is enough money for a European holiday or another goal you’ve been working toward.
If you’d like assistance keeping track of your money (and hopefully your new stash of savings), AMP’s Bett3r account helps you automatically pay bills, save, and know what's left to spend.
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