Things you can give up for Lent (and how it can save you money)

Things you can give up for Lent (and how it can save you money)

author: Adele Kitchen

By Adele Kitchen

There are many things you could give up for Lent. We take a look at little luxuries to avoid that will also boost your wallet.

Traditionally, people give up something for 40 days during Lent to test their willpower. It is also seen by Christians as a mark of respect for Jesus who fasted for 40 days in the desert. 

But you don’t have to be religious to get involved. Setting yourself a challenge to give up one small indulgence for 40 days will not only test your willpower, but it could also save you some cash along the way. 

This year, Lent starts on Wednesday 2nd March (Ash Wednesday) and ends on 14th April. So if you’re looking to get on board, it’s a good time to think about things to kick to the curb.

This is how much you could save by ditching the following cravings and daily treats:

Eight ways to save up to £329 this Lent

Item to give up

Average daily saving by giving it up

Total saving after Lent (40 days)

Meat

£2.06

£82.41

Takeaways and eating out

£1.96

£78.36

Alcohol

£1.25

£50.00

Vaping

£0.90

£36.00

Coffee

£0.83

£33.20

Unused subscriptions

£0.73

£29.20

Cakes and biscuits

£0.29

£11.60

Chocolate and sweets

£0.22

£8.80

TOTAL

£329.60

Overspending

One of the most straightforward ways to save money over Lent is to give up on extra spending. This might mean pressing pause on any shopping sprees you had planned, making your own packed lunches or walking to work instead of taking the car. 

You could even give up spending on your credit card for 40 days. That way you can focus on reducing the balance with the money you have saved. 

Or why not set your self a challenge to quit online shopping for 40 days? Anything you were thinking of buying can go into a virtual shopping basket and you can always come back to it at a later date. In the meantime, you can gain interest on your money in a savings account. And, retailers may even contact you with discount offers to complete your purchase, so you don't need to spend as much when you do go through the checkout! This tactic should prevent any impulse purchases that you don’t actually need. 

Unhealthy food

Chocolate, cake and sweets have to be up there with some of the most common things people give up over Lent. Sacrificing these treats will involve a degree of self-discipline, but it’s also a good way to get healthy and save cash - before the onslaught of Easter eggs starts on 17th April. Plus, our research found that giving up chocolate and sweets could save you an average of 22p per day - a total of £8.80 over the 40 days of Lent.

The saving is similar for those who decide to give up cake and biscuits. Costing on average 29p per day, this is a total saving of £11.60 throughout Lent. If you gave up chocolate, sweets, cake and biscuits, you'd save just shy of £20.

And it’s not just limited to snacks. There are other types of food you could consider giving up too, like meat, takeaways or eating out. Meat is notoriously expensive compared to veggie alternatives. On average, Brits spend £2.06 per day on meat, which equates to a saving of £82.41 if you give it up for Lent.

If you are planning on doing this, make sure think about the health pros and cons of cutting out meat before you go ahead, as there’s no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to food. 

Cutting back on takeaways could also save you money. Fast food has been gaining in popularity over the years, especially with the introduction of food delivery companies like Deliveroo making it more accessible than ever. As a result, the average Brit now spends £715 per year on takeaways and eating out. This breaks down to roughly £1.96 per day, so giving up takeaway treats for 40 days could save you a staggering £78.36! 

Fizzy drinks, alcohol or caffeine

Depending on how much alcohol and fizzy drinks you consume, you could save a bit of cash by ditching them for Lent. If you’re a coffee or tea drinker, you could try and give up caffeine. Or simply make your own drinks instead of buying them from a cafe. 

One survey has found that the average Brit spends around £303 on coffee each year. So, giving up coffee for Lent could save you £33.20. The figures are even more impressive for those who decide to give up alcohol for lent. Costing the average Brit £458 a year on average, ditching the drink for Lent could save you £50!

See how much you could save on your favourite tipple, using this quick cash finder tool. It’s not just limited to drinks either. You can use this calculator to do some number-crunching of your own to find savings in other areas.

Bad habits 

Perhaps you’re a healthy eater but you’ve got a bad habit that you’ve been meaning to break? Lent is your perfect excuse. 

This can include anything from quitting smoking to not leaving the lights on. Let's take vaping, for example. The average person who vapes spends £327 on this habit each year, leaving room for a sizeable saving during rent. If you stopped vaping completely for the 40 days of Lent, you could save £36.

Alternatively, you could try to kerb other habits like procrastinating, using social media, being late or using the snooze button. On the face of it, these things don’t appear to cost you money. But if you dig a bit deeper, you could find they have a knock-on effect on your wallet. 

For example, pressing the snooze button could lead to you missing the bus and having to take an expensive taxi. Or you could see an advert on social media that leads to you making an impulse purchase. So even small changes can make a difference to your pocket in unexpected ways.

Check out ‘100 money-saving hacks you can start today’ for our ultimate savings guide.

Disclaimer: All information and links are correct at the time of publishing.

author: Adele Kitchen

By Adele Kitchen

Things you can give up for Lent (and how it can save you money) Things you can give up for Lent (and how it can save you money)