Invisible spending - here's what you could have had!

by Leeds Building Society

  

Are you guilty of ‘so-called’ invisible spending? It’s those non-budgeted purchases, from your morning coffee or afternoon chocolate fix to unexpected evening drinks. As spending on these items can add up over the year, we’ve taken a look at what you could spend your money on by cutting out these costs.

Shop Bought Coffee

morning coffee

Everyone likes to treat themselves to shop bought coffee every once in a while, but do this too often the cost can start to add up. If your average cup of coffee costs £2.50 and you have 2 cups per week, your total weekly spend would be £5. In the short term this may not sound like a lot of money, but do this every week for a year and you’ll be spending around £260.

For £260 you could:

  • Pay for 2 weeks’ worth of food to feed a family of 41
  • Buy 2 West End theatre tickets2
  • Pay off ¼ of the average energy bill for a medium house3

Afternoon Snacks

afternoon snack

We all know that something sweet in the afternoon can be the perfect pick-me-up, but your waistline won’t be the only thing that suffers if you indulge too often. If you treat yourself once a week to an afternoon snack roughly costing £1.50, you’ll end up spending about £78 a year.  
For £78 you could:

  • Take yourselves and someone else to the cinema 5 times4
  • Have dinner for 2 at a restaurant5
  • Pay for one tenth of an average annual car insurance policy6

Drinks with Friends

drinks with friends

Do you enjoy spending time catching up with friends and family over a few drinks? You’re not alone. But those spontaneous trips to the local pub or bar soon mount up. If a pint of beer costs around £3.60, if you went out twice a month and had 2 drinks you’d spend almost £175 over a year.

For £175 you could:

  • Buy a Winter city break to Dublin7
  • Pay for almost 1 month of a commuters annual rail season ticket8
  • Pay off nearly ½ the average household water and sewerage bill9

Everyone deserves to treat themselves every once in a while but try to keep tabs on your ‘invisible spending’ and cut back where you can. Money spent on coffee, cakes and cocktails could be deposited straight into a savings account where you could earn interest.

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1 https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/524921/Weekly_shop_technical_note.pdf

2 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/theatre/theatre-news/11712022/Ticket-for-a-West-End-show-Thatll-be-200.html

3 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/financial-services/utilities/gas-electricity/knock-400-from-your-bills/

4 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/film/film-news/11391148/Is-the-cinema-too-expensive.html

5 https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/wordofmouth/2013/apr/17/restaurant-prices-rise-eat-well-less

6 https://www.theguardian.com/money/2016/sep/20/average-uk-car-insurance-bill-rose-by-13-over-past-year

7 http://www.travelsupermarket.com/blog/the-cheapest-five-star-city-break-is/

8 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-37166033

9 http://www.water.org.uk/news-water-uk/latest-news/household-water-and-sewerage-bills-2016-17