“I spent 10K-a-year on partying - now I’m staying in and saving £6k a year”
A reformed party-goer has revealed how she has overhauled her finances after realising she was spending almost £10,000 a year on nights out.
Lynsey White, 25, moved from her family home in Yorkshire to a flatshare in South London in 2019, and hit the town in a bid to network and make the most of life in the capital.
But her spending quickly began to mount up and in August she realised her twice-weekly nights had spiralled out of control. Lynsey, a parliamentary researcher, said: “When I moved to London in 2019 I had got my first job and I was no longer living at home or on a student budget.
“I was in a new city, keen to meet new people and looking back I got carried away with the freedom of it all. It wasn’t until one particularly hungover morning last summer that I suddenly felt the need to check my spending.
Lynsey looked through her bank statement and realised her casual nights out were actually costing up to £800 per month - the equivalent of £10,000 a year.
“I felt sick to my stomach when I realised how much of my salary was going towards partying. All that money and I had literally nothing to show for it,” she added. “I knew it had to stop.”
Lynsey cut back the nights out and swapped them for hosting nights-in with friends at her flat in Clapham. Out went £30 Ubers, £10 club entry fees and £14 cocktails and in came £6 bottles of wine from the supermarket, a spotify playlist and dancing in the kitchen.
Lynsey added: “Although I still love a night out I reserve it for special occasions now. I’ve realised that bringing the party to your home beats queuing for twenty minutes for a drink at a bar or waiting in the cold for a cab.”
Lynsey’s party savings prompted her to look at the rest of her finances in more detail - something she admits she’d never considered before.
According to research by Plusnet, younger people aged 16-29 are the age group that ranked themselves the worst at finding good value, with only 22% saying they can always find a good deal.
“I think people my age can be quite blase about money. We think about the here-and-now and instant fun rather than long-term planning.”
Lynsey started by looking at her household bills and where she could make other cutbacks. Before she was paying £42.99 per month on a broadband and TV bundle deal, spending money towards TV channels she never watched.
After a quick online search, she decided to ditch the bundle deal she was on. By switching to a mobile sim-only plan and broadband with Plusnet, she now pays just £6 for unlimited calls and texts and £22.99 for unlimited fibre broadband, saving her £408 a year in total.
She said: “I don’t need any bells or whistles, and switching to Plusnet took me about fifteen minutes, but will save me nearly a grand a year in the long run.
“I’m from Yorkshire, so naturally I always like finding a good deal. Doing a few minutes of research shows if you’re overpaying on your broadband, insurance or energy supplier.”
Next up were household costs. Living in a flatshare and going out all the time meant Lynsey was living off food delivery apps and meal deals costing £140 a month - nearly £1,700 a year. Lynsey deleted the apps and started cooking from scratch.
“I batch cook big dishes of things like curries and stews at the weekend then freeze them so I always have something tasty to eat when I get in. It’s such a small change but I reckon it will save me around £1,300 a year.”
She also used store-specific vouchers and promo codes for all her Christmas shopping, shaving £180 off the cost of gifts for family and friends.
“It can be as simple as typing the name of the store you’re shopping in and the words ‘promo code’ to see what’s available.
“I think it’s all about changing the way you think about money. Now if I’m out and I see something I fancy, I spend a couple of minutes on my phone to make sure there are any better deals available.
“All of these switches aren’t massive by any means, but they have definitely been life-changing for me, particularly as a young person juggling rising bills as well as student loan payments and rent. I’d urge anyone my age to do the same.”
Joanna Carman, Director at Plusnet, said: “Whether it’s a night out or paying your bills, it may seem like a few pounds extra here and there, but that can quickly add up.
“Lynsey is far from alone, Plusnet’s research shows younger people in particular don’t believe they are any good at getting value for money.
“But by sticking to simple, good value deals and avoiding jargon and complicated language you can save thousands of pounds per year.”
Switching from bundle supplier to Plusnet full fibre broadband
Taking up Plusnet mobile to a sim-only deal at £6 per month.
Cutting out takeaways for home cooking
Reducing nights out and hosting drinks instead
Getting public transport or walking instead of cabs
Using store-specific coupons and promo codes for Christmas shopping