If you've ever looked at your bank account a few days before pay day and thought 'where has all my money gone this month?', you're probably guilty of overspending on the little things. Most of us don't think twice about stopping off at Starbucks in the morning to pick up a latte or agreeing to the £5.99 bill for Netflix every month. But these little expenditures will bring you out in a cold sweat when you look at what they amount to in the course of a year.
Ready to face the music? Here are seven everyday items that are pushing your account into the red...
1. Cut back on coffee: Say a standard coffee costs roughly £3, now imagine you have one every morning before work. That's £15 per week, £60 per month and a whopping £720 per year! If you just cut back to three per week that equates to a saving of £288 in a year. Now think how useful that money would be for bills, Christmas presents and, well, handbags.
2. Watch out in Boots: You might just pop in for a stick of deodorant, but if you're anything like us you walk out with a bag full of goodies. Buying one pack of face wipes and a lipstick that you don't really need every month costs roughly £10, that's still £120 per year! Don't be afraid to be frugal by cutting your toothpaste tube in half (to use the deceptively large amount still inside), ditch the face wipes and cut back to cheaper own brands. You'll be surprised how much you save.
3. Stop buying lunches out: The average lunch might cost £5, but if you're doing that everyday that amounts to £1,200 over the course of a year. That's enough for a holiday to Spain! Take control of your spending and take your own packed lunches. They don't have to be boring either - swap sandwiches for feta cheese and olive salads, rice with chicken, a cheese and ham baguette or dinner left overs that you can heat up in the microwave.
4. Let's bring back the big shop: According to the latest stats, the average Brit has given up on the big shop and now ducks and dives into the supermarket when they need something. Fair enough, but this means you're probably not shopping to a list or planning your meals leading to food wastage and money being thrown in the bin. Take some time to plan your meals on a Sunday and only dip into the local shop for fresh produce in the week. The average family spends £77 per week on groceries, but we reckon you could cut this down to £40 with some planning - that's a saving of over £1,000 in a year.
5. Watch bottled water and beverages: Picking up an 80p bottle of water or sipping on orange juices at dinner is a sure-fire way to spend a fortune. Taking your own water to work instead of buying a bottle could save you £192 per year.
6. Cut back on your internet subscriptions: If you're a Netflix fan, £5.99-a-month probably sounds like an incredible deal, and it is, but if you're teetering on the red this amounts to £71.88 per year. If you're really serious about saving, cancel your accounts, pound the pavements instead of going to the gym and stop your subscription to Sky TV. Once your finances are back on track you can pick and choose the subscriptions you want to start again.
7. Watch your apps and books: Amazon's click-to-buy feature is great, but it's also deadly when it comes to spending money. Think about it this way, would you really spent £3.99 twice a week on books if you had to go into the shop? That's £383 per year. Save yourself the cash and pick up some books for 50p from charity shops. The same can be said for apps and games on your phone too - think about it, would you really go and buy Candy Crush off the shelves in a shop if that was the only option?
If you're really strict with yourself, there are enough cut backs here to give you an extra £3,000 in the bank every year. Now doesn't that seem worth more than a latte?
What do you think? Are you committing these bank balance crimes?
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