What to give up for Lent

With Lent approaching, we take a look at a few things you might give up to improve your health, finances and general wellbeing.

The content of this article was relevant at the time of publishing. Circumstances change continuously and caution should therefore be exercised when relying upon any content contained within this article.

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Giving something up for Lent is an old tradition that many people observe, whether they’re religious or not. Although everyone is free to choose what to give up, most people tend to choose something that will add some benefit to their life in the long run.

In the current climate of the coronavirus pandemic that’s filled with so many economic uncertainties, there are a few things that if given up for Lent could actually end up saving you a fair amount of cash.

1. Streaming services

Giving up your favourite streaming service for 40 days means not only saving money in form of subscription fees but also saving time.

Imagine what you could do or accomplish with all the time that you might typically spend binge-watching an entire series.

2. Mindless snacking

Most of us have a habit of mindlessly snacking on unhealthy treats such as sweets, cake or chocolate during the course of the day. It’s a habit that’s both unhealthy and surprisingly costly.

If you consider giving up snacking for Lent, your wallet and your waistline will thank you.

3. Takeaways

When you are in no mood to cook, it’s quite easy to give in to the temptation of ordering in. But it’s a habit that can prove to be expensive in the long run.

If you give up fast food deliveries for Lent and instead prepare your own meals, you’re certain to save yourself a few quid.

4. Alcohol

Maybe you are used to having a glass of wine with dinner or a beer or two every night after work.

It might be tough to imagine going a whole 40 days without even a sip of your favourite alcoholic beverage, but the benefits will be worth it.

Avoiding alcohol can improve your mood, your sleep and even your productivity. Plus, of course, you’ll also save some money.

5. Fizzy drinks

 We all know fizzy drinks are unhealthy but somehow, many of us just can’t keep away from them.

By going on a fizzy drink detox this Lent, you can kill two birds with one stone. You can cut out an unhealthy habit and, at the same time, save yourself some cash.

If you are still craving something sweet, try out a healthier option like a smoothie.

6. Smoking

Maybe you’ve always wanted to quit smoking but never got around to doing it. Well, Lent provides a perfect opportunity to take the plunge.

You’ll not only be giving something up that is hugely harmful to your health, but the savings you could make are substantial.

7. Meat

Can you go a whole six weeks without meat? Why not test your willpower this Lent by cutting meat from your diet?

After all, meat is notoriously expensive. Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows that the typical UK household spends around £2.24 every day on meat and fish products.

So if you were to give these up for 40 days during Lent, you could save close to £90.00.

Before you give up meat for Lent, make sure you weigh up the pros and cons, as going vegetarian may not be appropriate for everyone from a health perspective.

Final word

By cutting out a few things and forgoing a couple of habits during Lent, you could emerge on the other side not just more healthy but also with more money.

That’s money you could use to create an emergency fund, pay debts, boost your savings or perhaps buy yourself something nice that you’ve always wanted.

Should you invest, the value of your investment may rise or fall and your capital is at risk. Before investing, your individual circumstances should be considered so you should consider taking independent financial advice.

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