Stoptober and Go Sober for October are back for another year. Each year, these national campaigns encourage people to wave goodbye to habitual dependencies such as smoking, alcohol, overeating and more. Taking control of our habits and dependencies has all sorts of advantages, from putting more money in our pocket to massively boosting our self-esteem.
Reading this halfway through October? It’s never too late. The sooner you quit, the sooner you can make the most of all the benefits, like saving cash for bigger and better things!
If you give up smoking…
We all know giving up smoking saves money, but have you ever really looked at the numbers? For someone who smokes ten cigarettes per day, with an average cost of £8.30 per pack of 20, that’s a saving of over £120 in just one month! Have a look at nhs.uk/smokefree/why-quit/cost-calculator to find out how much cash you could be saving.
In addition to the financial perks, ditching the cigarettes helps to improve the condition of our skin, our lung capacity, our fertility and our mood. Plus, of course, those around us benefit from a smoke-free environment too.
If you give up drinking alcohol…
For many of us, alcohol has become an ingrained part of life. The odd bottle of wine or couple of pints in the pub might not seem like a lot, but when we add up the cost it’s often much higher than we expect. Visit diabetes.co.uk/cost-of-drinking-calculator.html to see how much you’re spending.
Cutting out alcohol is also a great way to shed a few pounds! October could be the ideal time to give it a go and see how much you achieve.
If you give up takeaways…
Eating takeaways and other convenience food can offer a temporary boost to our mood, but it often leaves us feeling lethargic and unhappy in the long run. We can benefit from changing our diet physically, mentally and financially. The myth that it costs more to eat healthily is just that: a myth! Skint Dad offers a variety of ‘fakeaway’ recipes that you can make at home. Head to skintdad.co.uk/tag/fakeaway to check out his inexpensive and healthy options. Don’t forget, supermarkets often sell off perishable items like fruit and veg more cheaply towards the end of each day, so go stock up!
Quit with others
Campaigns like Stoptober and Go Sober for October are fantastic for those of us looking to quit because we get to do it alongside other people. This helps keep us accountable and motivated. Imagine you’re trying to eat more healthily and everyone else at the table is eating cake – isn’t it so much harder being the only one trying to resist? Having a supportive group around you can offer encouragement, helpful tips and even a bit of healthy competition in not wanting to be the one that slips back into old habits!
Track your progress
Stay motivated by tracking how much you’ve achieved throughout October. There’s a great free app called Since iQuit which helps track your progress and shows how much money you’ve saved since quitting.
Get expert support in your community
It doesn’t need to cost you a penny to quit. Free support is available from local NHS services and Christians Against Poverty, which offers Fresh Start groups run through churches across the UK. Find out more at capfreshstart.org.
Christians Against Poverty (CAP) is a UK charity with over 600 services across the country delivering debt counselling, money management, job clubs, life skills groups, and support for people breaking habitual dependencies. Visit capuk.org to find out more.