The latte effect: How to better manage your day-to-day spending
Another morning, another delicious cup of coffee. Only £3 and a great way to start your day. Perhaps a white chocolate mocha and a muffin tomorrow? It’s a little bit more, but hey, it’s a Friday.
You probably don’t think about it, but it really adds up.
Our everyday coffee shop stops have become the poster boy of Britain’s frivolous spending. Back in summer 2017, the Daily Mail suggested the average Brit was spending over £2,000 in coffee shops, equating to roughly 7.5% of today’s average yearly income spent in the likes of Starbucks, Costa and Café Nero.
A staggering statistic, which begs the question: how well are you staying on top of your day-to-day finances? For those looking to cut back on their daily spends, here are four quick tips to help you.
Run the numbers
When it comes to your daily buys, a fiver spent here or a few quid there doesn’t set alarm bells ringing. What should, however, is calculating the numbers behind this behaviour over the course of a year.
If you’re spending an average of £10 on your lunch with a £3 morning coffee, take that £13 and multiply it by the 253 working days this year. That’s £3289 gone on lunches for work.
Figures like that should be enough to encourage you to cut back.
A DIY approach
Now you’re shocked at what you’re spending per day, you need a way to cut back. Making your own lunches and bringing a home-brewed coffee to work in a travel cup are an obvious starting part.
Of course, you’ll need to devote a little time to your meal prep and maybe get up a little earlier in the morning, but the savings could reach four figures for the year.
Get your books in order
Lunch money aside, it’s a good idea to take a fresh look at your regular outgoings, to check whether you can cut back on any unnecessary spending.
Have a look at your direct debits: are there any you’re not using? The Independent suggested you could save up to £40 a month by trimming the fat on your subscriptions.
Also, get to grips with things like your utility payments. By either setting up a direct debit or knowing when big bills will arrive, you can establish better daily budgeting around periods of higher outgoings.
Show some resolve
Finally, the simplest but most difficult one: Exercise some discipline and say no to temptation.
It’s way too easy to buy whatever you want these days. Online retailers offer one-click buys with same day delivery, while a quick flash of your card will buy anything you want in store in an instant.
If you’re browsing the web or stood in a shop and something catches your eye, take a moment to think about whether you should buy it. The chances are you can do without it.
So, calculate your costs, make your own treats, sort out your personal admin and use some zen to stay away from spending. Remember your training, and the new you could save thousands each and every year.