No matter what they tell you, your avocado habit isn’t your bank balance’s biggest enemy – your city is…
No matter how hard your current account fights back – the city clubs it down into cowering submission.
Rent, travel, coffee, clothes, grub, exercise: these are the city’s weapons to keep you skint and in check. And that’s before you even get to work.
But don’t fear, friend. We’re here to take your bank balance gently by the armpits and lift it back up from its knees.
Here are six ways you can save money before you’ve even sat down at your desk…
1. Take a cold shower
Annual saving: £86
Fact: the secret to happiness is not an Xbox, or Facebook, or Pilates.
No, it’s an ice-cold shower.
A hot shower a day adds about £86 a year to your energy bill.
But, research also suggests a cold shower can relieve stress, improve skin and hair, stimulate weight loss, boost circulation, immunity and fertility, and help relieve depression.
2. Get paid to get dressed
Annual saving: (£24, plus more for all previous years you’ve worn a uniform)
Do you wear a uniform to work?
Do you have to wash, repair or replace it yourself? Well, there’s a little-used government rule that allows uniformed workers to claim tax back on work clothes.
This can include protective garments and even branded T-shirts. And while £24 a year doesn’t sound like much, you can claim for all the previous years you’ve worn said uniform which could build into hundreds of pounds.
That’s free money, basically.
3. Save on plastic
Annual saving: £237.25*
Just in case point one hadn’t convinced you that water is magical, remember that without it, we die. Obviously.
Water is about the most important thing on Earth.
Trouble is, right now, this is at the cost of our planet. In the four minutes it will take you to read this article, FOUR MILLION plastic bottles will have been bought across the world.
Those bottles are used once then often cast away, usually ending up in our rivers, parks and pretty much everywhere else.
But Brita has an answer. The company’s fill&go water filter bottle has what they call Innovative MicroDisc Technology that filters your tap water for up to four weeks (at only a few pence a litre).
And if you use bottled water at home, switch to a Brita jug to give you great-tasting H2O all day every day.
* 65p for a 1 litre bottle per day
4. Work out for free
Annual saving: £574*
There you are, every morning, in the gym, pumping barbells or plodding on revolving rubber.
And with every bead of sweat drops another penny into some other squillionaire health tycoon’s pocket.
The government-partnered Our Parks initiative is better. It offers free group exercise classes – from circuit training to box fit, tai chi to yoga – led by professional instructors in parks across London.
Dump the gym, hit up the park.
* average cost of gym membership
5. Cheap coffee every day
Annual saving: £100*
Is it us, or is coffee beginning to taste more and more like resentment?
The average cappuccino in Britain now costs £2.45. One of those a day en route to work adds up to £490 a year.
You could obviously cut that out by making coffee at home. But if you’re a flat white warrior, take a reusable cup to a host of big-name cafes for a discount.
The best deal is Pret, which offers 50p off every coffee you don’t take away in a paper cup.
At Starbucks, Costa and Paul, it’s 25p, and at Greggs it’s 20p. Bringing your own cup saves both cash and conscience.
* based on 5 days a week for 40 weeks
6. Literally saving your money
Annual saving: Whatever you can afford
If you’re basically skint by the end of every month, living in near-constant darkness for fear of rising energy bills while eating nothing but cold beans mixed with tuna chunks (both straight from the tin), you’re not the only one.
Chip is an app that connects to your bank account and, using artificial intelligence to scan your spending, makes a call on how much you can afford to save. Then, every few days, it transfers the amount it believes you can spare into a separate savings account.
Hot beans on toast, with real butter, will no more be a luxury.
We’ve got quite the bundle to give away (worth £500), courtesy of our mates at Brita.
We’ve teamed up with them to give away a Water Filter Tap including a year’s supply of filters*, a Water Filter Kettle as well as a Fill&Go bottle so you can enjoy great tasting filtered water on the go as well as at home.
To be in with a chance simply answer the question below, and find out more about the Brita range here.
*based on exchanging every 3 months
Click here to view competition on Shortlist.com
*based on exchanging every 3 months