coffee Waves

Giving up your morning coffee might be a good way to save money, but it's not much fun Image by Omar_MK via Flickr

I’m terrible looking after my day to day finances, I know this but I get a real sense of pleasure from frittering money on a Sunday newspaper or the odd meal out.

However, I often feel guilty knowing that I could save hundreds of pounds every year if I could only resist these small treats.

I constantly see articles that beg you to make a few small changes in order to see great gains in the long run. I read lots of women’s magazines (another unnecessary purchase!) and they often contain articles encouraging you to save money by highlighting how many designer handbags you could get if you only followed a few easy steps.

Often these steps involve giving up your daily coffee, sandwich or your weekly take-away. I don’t have any designer handbags nor do I particularly want any, but I love my weekly take-away and sometimes you don’t want to take a packed lunch to work.

The problem with these money saving tips is that you have to change your lifestyle in many small ways to make these promised savings. Instead of this earnest advice that makes you aware of scrimping everyday, how about knowing that you can have that Chinese on a Thursday night because you’ve just saved yourself a few hundred pounds?

It may not be very responsible, it may not be something that you can smugly tell your friends about, but it tastes better than a Marc Jacobs satchel!

So with this treat yourself attitude in mind, I started looking at how many small ways you could treat yourself if you just make one change to your personal finances.

By switching your energy supplier you could save an average of £254 and that could get you:

  • 120 take away coffees
  • 68 fast food meal deals
  • 63 bottles of nail varnish
  • 31 take-away dinners
  • 79 pints of beer
  • 127 weekend papers

By taking 5 minutes to make this one change, over a year, you could find you have the extra cash to fund 10 Friday nights down the pub, drinking 3 pints and having a take away on the way home. A coffee and the weekend paper the following morning and still have enough money left over for a couple of trips to the cinema.

If, like me, you are a bit rubbish with money making this one change can take away some of the guilt the next time you find yourself walking to work with a coffee in your hand and a pain au raisin in your mouth.