Give up for Lent and save £75k

The Momentum UK Team 06 March 2014

Abstaining from cigarettes, alcohol and excess calories during Lent could add up to a saving of £74,612.55, according to a new study.

A study into the health benefits of Lent by AXA has found that exercising a period of restraint from the three so-called “vices” - cigarettes, alcohol and excess calories from the likes of takeaway coffees and chocolate - can have significant benefits for an individual’s wealth and health.

By giving up these three “vices”, the study estimates that you could stand to save £376.02 in just one 46-day Lenten period. Those who give up cigarettes could save £220.80, and alcohol abstinence could lead to a saving of £78.12. Those who usually enjoy chocolate could save £20.11, and anyone who enjoys regular coffee shop coffee could save £56.99 in the same period.

If repeated each year during a working adult lifetime from 18 to 67, the average UK citizen could save £18,424.98. If the estimated yearly saving of £376.02 was saved in a Stocks and Shares ISA, AXA predict that it could grow to be worth almost £75,000 by the end of a working life.

As well as the financial gains, there may be significant health benefits from Lenten abstinence: average alcohol consumption during Lent could add 4,704 calories, which would take roughly 673 minutes of running to burn off. Chocolate consumption during Lent is also estimated to add 8,100 calories to a diet.

Andy Zanelli, Head of Retirement Planning, AXA Wealth, commented on the findings:

“Small sacrifices, even during the relatively brief 46 day period of Lent, can mean major savings – and these savings can be maximised if invested in appropriate ways, such as through an ISA rather than simply storing savings in a current account, especially at a time of low interest rates. Putting money to one side – even if it means making some sacrifices along the way – is becoming a necessity and, invested prudently, can reap rewards both now and in the future.”