We live in a world where we scrimp and save our wage at the end of every month. We pay out on monthly bills, car insurance, taxes and more but we also find it incredibly important to save a little for ourselves. We don’t often throw money at things; unless it’s that three-course meal you planned to take your partner out for, or the incredible summer holiday deal you’d been dreaming of since Christmas. So, what are the ways in which we enjoy spending?
It seems that we are incredibly keen to keep fit and healthy in today’s day and age. We are often encouraged to work out, eat well and eat in moderation but all these things come at a cost. On average, one in seven people have a gym membership, but this may not mean that we all actually use them. It’s believed that Brits waste over £5.5m a year in unused memberships, meaning we are truly throwing our money down the drain. We also have a habit of spending quite a bit on energy drinks and health drinks post-workout, with many brands selling drinks to restore electrolytes and boost your energy following a workout
Dating Apps & Websites
We’re all looking for love, and luckily one of our many modern conveniences include dating sites and services to help us cut out a lot of awkwardness involved. It’s no easy task, so it’s very convenient to have apps and websites to do the hard work for us. We sign up, sometimes pay a subscription fee and await the hundreds of matches to come pop into our inbox. We aren’t cynical or foolish about finding love, but we can be about spending money. With that in mind, there are many free apps, Badoo for an example, where you can connect with people and make the move in your own time depending upon your place of residence from big cities such as London and Edinburgh to small villages in rural areas.
The old-fashioned way of dating is not always guaranteed, and when the internet can open up the whole world at your fingertips then it’s no surprise that we’re investing in it. Signing up to local events and mixers to help us find love, such as speed dating or local singles clubs that may charge an admission fee, have become more popular. It can soon add up but in the name of love, it is surely worth it.
It isn’t just women who enjoy subscribing to monthly boxes; there are a plethora of different options that cater to everyone. From monthly subscription boxes for make-up or monthly food boxes that come with all the ingredients you need to make an amazing meal, there’s plenty to choose from. The subscription box market is set to inflate massively by 2020, with the industry reaching £1 billion. It is most popular with under 35s, but many brands are hoping to also reach out to new markets. It isn’t just subscription boxes that are costing our nation a pretty penny either; many people are still subscribed to printed magazines, which is where the market truly started.
The first subscription boxes in the UK were beauty based, such as Glossybox who had really held the torch high for new brands. Now the beauty box industry alone takes millions of pounds each year and we still can’t get enough. Perhaps it is the thrill of receiving a new box at the end of every month like Christmas, or perhaps we just love feeling that we’re getting a bargain. Often these boxes have brand-new items to share or are well under the price of what they’d be in store.
Phones & Gadgets
We live in a modern world run heavily by technology. We enjoy having the latest phone model or perhaps we really enjoy playing with the latest toy on the market. Drones really stole the show last year, becoming one of the world’s most popular gadgets, and it seems that a further 628,000 jobs will be created in the next couple of years. They’re fun, they’re slick and they can allow you to see the world and your travels from a different perspective.
We also spend a lot on our phone contracts. It is necessary today to have a good, reliable phone contract but it’s often argued that we spend too much on our contracts, without enjoying the full benefits of them. Sometimes we pay for contracts that don’t always suit our needs and at the end of each month realise that we haven’t used even half of our allocated mobile data. Getting on top of what we spend and switching to more cost-effective contracts is the best way to stay ahead of the game.
The average human needs 8 hours sleep or so we are told, and if we don’t get that we are probably reaching for the caffeine more often than usual. Coffee is a multi-billion pound industry and we probably don’t realise just how much money we may spend in a week or a month on jarred coffee, coffee capsules and take-out coffees. We can add it up and break down exactly why and how we are spending our well-earned money on coffee.
The average British man drinks thirteen cups of coffee a week and that can easily add up. Coffee shops on the go are often also a little pricier than shops in the centre of town. There is an increase by around 30p more if you stop off at the train station on the way to work for example. Do we really need so much coffee? Is there a way to keep awake and healthy without spending all that money? The answer is yes! We can use our reusable water bottles and fill up on water from the tap at home, but the truth is that we are a coffee-addicted nation and we will gladly throw our money at it.
Transport & Taxis
There is no denying that we would probably prefer to take the car to the shops instead of a bicycle or walking. We spend millions each year on Uber taxis and similar companies to help get us around the city. The cost of these charges differs from city to city – London being particularly high. Do we really need to spend so much or are we just too lazy and throwing money away for no reason at all?
Uber and similar companies have made life so much easier; at the tap of a finger, you can have a car pull up in front of you within two minutes. Your journey can be tracked by family, meaning it’s safe and your family knows where you are and you don’t even have to have cash on you due to the app, so there’s no need to stop to pull out your bank cards to pay like in regular taxis or public transport. We spend over £10m a year on Uber’s alone when sometimes it may be easier to just walk. I guess you could say we are a nation who enjoys being chauffeured as often as possible.
The cost of taxis increases significantly on weekends and evenings when we have enjoyed a night out, but it is often a necessity to ensure everyone gets home safe. Train fares and bus fares are also increasing, meaning that people are more likely to take the slightly more expensive option and pay for a private car such as a taxi to get them from A to B. The next time you reach to tap open your app to order a taxi, have a little think first, would it be better to walk?
So, there are plenty of ways that our nation enjoys spending money, but they do too enjoy saving. Striking the perfect balance will ensure your bank balance is happy but we have to weigh up the pros and cons. Are the pleasures worth it? Is our money spending justified or can we afford to be a little thriftier with our wage and put it to other uses? Probably a little of both!