Kick-start your wedding savings account by giving up these little things – you won't even notice, and in many cases your health will benefit too for a win-win situation!
1. Bottled water
Do you automatically pick up a bottle of water every lunch hour in the same swoop as your sandwich? Invest in a refillable water bottle – some of them even have filter caps if you're worried about your office's tap water – and save yourself some very easy money.
2. Takeaway coffee
Starting your day with a morning latte may feel as necessary as remembering to breathe, but there is another way. We're not saying you have to give up coffee, but just consume your caffeine the smarter way, and buy some good-quality home brew grinds.
We're sure we don't need to tell you that smoking is both expensive and terrible for your health. Use lent as a kick-start to quit, for good.
4. Not knowing what's in your wardrobe
Whether it's at the bottom of your washing basket or under a pile of handbags, it's all too easy to disregard the clothes already in our wardrobes and buy something new instead. Take a rainy Sunday to get everything out, assess, wash, and hang it back up again in a new order – your wardrobe will get a new lease of life without you so much as raising your plastic.
5. Saying yes to everything
That glass of wine with the bitchy girl from school you don't like, or the office collection for someone's birthday who you've never spoken to? Don't do them. It's your hard-earned money, so don't feel like you can't have a say in what it goes towards.
6. The gym membership you don't use
If you're an avid gym goer who uses their membership, it can stay. If not, it's time to say adios to the subscription that pushy sales rep badgered you in to. Instead,take up running outdoors for cardio, and invest in a kettlebell and dumbell set to use at home for resistance training.
7. Impulse buys
Considering buying something big like a new TV or car? Use the 40 days of lent as your own cooling-off period, and think about whether you really need them, or whether you could make do with a cheaper alternative.
8. Food shopping when hungry
Head to your local supermarket or corner shop with a rumbling stomach, and you're far more likely to pick up a few extra treats that won't do your bank balance (or your waistline) any favours. Go on the weekends post-breakfast, or late at night after dinner and take advantage of deserted aisles.
9. Wearing a dress once
We're all guilty of buying a dress once, wearing that dress on one night out, and consigning that same dress to the back of the wardrobe forevermore. Instead, why not satisfy your designer cravings and save money by hiring a dress? Sites like girlmeetsdress.com are a God-send: just hire that show-stopping dress for a fraction of its retail price, return, and repeat come the next event.
10. Your credit card
Heading out into town? Leave your credit card at home. Even better, put it in a plastic mug of water in the freezer – use the time it takes for it to defrost to help you decide whether you really need to make that purchase.
11. Not planning meals
When it comes to meal planning, the age-old saying applies: fail to prepare; prepare to fail. Cook in bulk on the weekend and divide meals into portions, or just make more than you need for dinner, so your lunch for the next day is ready-made.
Giving up meat for lent is a big one, but it'll make a big difference to your wedding savings account, too. Replace meat with quorn, tofu, or pulses, nuts and chickpeas. It doesn't even have to be all or nothing: keep meat eating to three evening meals a week, and you'll still notice a difference.
13. Skipping breakfast
Scrimping on breakfast or skipping it altogether may seem like a kick start to weight loss, but missing the first meal of the day often leads to snacking later on: harmful to both your health and the change in your purse. Load up with a healthy, slow-release energy breakfast like porridge, wholemeal toast or eggs and salmon, and keep the 5 o'clock hunger pangs at bay.
14. Wasting energy
Give up that extra one or two degrees on your thermostat for lent, and save money on your heating bill. Simple.
15. Girls nights out
This lent, invite the girls round to yours for a night in rather than heading out on the tiles. You're there to see each other, not the expensive wine list, so you won't be compromising on any of the fun.
16. Expensive snacks
When it's home time and you're hungry, it's all too easy to grab some form of over-priced sustenance from the nearest shop to hand. Carry around filling yet healthy snacks like nuts and dried fruit at all times to cancel out these unnecessary splurges.
17. Drinking alcohol
There's no denying that giving up alcohol for lent is hard. But, abstain from the hard stuff for 40 days and 40 nights, and you'll be rewarded in the form of glowing skin, a slimmer bod and a well-stocked bank account.
18. Eating out
Give up eating in a restaurant for lent, and hone in your home chef skills instead. Even better, cook together with your h2b rather than heading out for a date night.