Looking at your bank balance should carry a health warning these days. But while many of us are struggling to pay for the basics such as food, fuel, housing and transport, there are an awful lot of expenses that are aren't essential but chip away at our bank balance regardless. Here are 6 good reasons you're broke.
All the gear and no idea
The very latest footwear, base layers, the latest and greatest top, "technical" socks, dry-wick shorts, your professional-standard racquet/bat/clubs/bike. None of this will make you better at your sport.
Collector’s among us
Collector's editions of books, games, CDs, DVDs have almost exactly the same content as second-hand basic editions. Their only purpose is to make you spend more money on the same thing.
Join The Gym
We do this every January. You decide to get in shape, so you sign up to a gym. Five months later and you've been once since a fitness flurry during the first fortnight. There is no point paying a monthly subscription in the hope you change your ways. If you really need to start working out, go for a run or spend £15 on some free weights you can use at home.
A night out on the town is great fun, but if you're not careful your head won't be the only thing suffering in the morning. Drinks, club entry, the inevitable taxi home, possibly a stop off for your takeaway of choice on the way back, painkillers and isotonic drinks in the morning: £80, easily. Do that once a week and we're talking thousands over the year. Is it really worth it?
Not having to cook or wash up, table service, a sense of occasion … there are dozens of reasons that dining out is great. And almost every one of them equally applies to dinner parties. Think about it: is £40 a head a better use of your money than a £10 bottle of wine for the host?
Give Up Smoking
If you haven't got the health message yet, try this: a 20-a-day habit will cost you about £2,200 a year. Still okay with that? Well, more than £1,800 of that money is tax. You just paid all that to the Treasury for no good reason. Oh, and you're less likely to die of lung cancer if you give up.
Greengates Builders Merchants says “these are good ideas to save money but we couldn’t give all of them up for good, but could definitely cut down.”