A financial detox for winter

Teena Lyons

Don’t wait until spring for a thorough clean-up of your finances - start right now. After all, now the long, dark nights are here, there is plenty of time to consider breaking some bad habits and to chuck out things that are a drain on the wallet with our ten tips on getting started with a winter financial detox

Ban the bulk

Bulk buys from supermarkets are a great way to save cash, but only if you actually use the stuff. Take a good look in your cupboards and if you see a mountain of unused kitchen rolls or toothpaste, they were not a bargain. This goes doubly for fresh food that will never get used.

Bin the air fresheners

If your house stinks, clean it. There should be absolutely no need to cover the place with expensive small plastic boxes filled with chemicals.

Ditch the gym

OK, you started off with good intentions, but how often do you really get down to the gym? If you are not sure, keep a diary for a month and then check against your annual membership to see how much each visit is costing you. You won’t be able to cancel your subscription fast enough.

Give home exercise equipment the heave-ho

That doesn’t mean you should shell out on large items of home exercise equipment instead. As most people who have taken this path will tell you, it will end up unused, monopolising a spare room. There are far cheaper places to dry your wet socks.

Hydrate smartly

Invest in a good quality, sturdy, water flask and keep it with you at all times. That way you will take a good amount of water on board and save a fortune by not shelling out for plastic bottles of water whenever you get thirsty.

Eat no junk

Quite apart from the fact that home cooked fresh food is just better for you, it also works out cheaper than junk food. If you can’t give it up altogether, resolve to cut your intake by half. Every week.

Jilt the jeans

According to research, we own, on average, eight pairs of jeans. So, even if you see a pair in a sale at 75% off, do not buy them. In fact, that goes for any item of clothing. Think before you buy because you probably don’t need them.

Prohibit pointless potions

Give anything a miss that promises to detoxify your body, whether it is tea or colonic irrigation. Your liver and kidneys should do the job just fine.

Support your local market

Eat healthily for less, and support your local economy by shopping at market stalls in your area. They have lower overheads than the big supermarkets so their produce can be significantly cheaper.

Practice saying ‘no’

How often does a ‘swift half’ with a mate turn into a £30 drinking session? Or a quick trip to the shops with a grandchild turn into a trolley full of toys and treats? Learning to say ‘no’ even now and again will do wonders for your finances.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.