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Boost your savings by giving up grog

Giving up alcohol and sugar for a month is good for your health. It can reduce your waistline and lower the risk of getting diabetes and heart disease. It can also save you money.

Depending on how much you spend on beer, takeaway food and sugary treats, you could hundreds of dollars.

So why not join Febfast, an initiative that encourages people to give up alcohol, sugar or something of their choice for the month?

Febfast, which has been going for 10 years, supports disadvantaged young people. Febfasters are asked to make a donation, ranging from $36 to $108, when they sign up.

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Febfast says participants report that, by cutting out sugar and alcohol, they save money as well as improve energy levels, sleep and concentration.

Of course, you can also switch to a healthier lifestyle by joining a gym and eating more fruit and vegetables but there will be some big costs, points out MyDiscountDeals.com, which has compiled the Detox Index.

Swapping lifestyles is most financially rewarding in Darwin, where you stand to save $116.78 a month. Albury, by comparison, provides a more modest saving of $27.49.

MyDiscountDeals found that working out in a gym is most expensive in Sydney (with an average monthly membership fee of $72.91), while in Perth it costs $56.83.

Running shoes are most expensive in Cairns ($159.60), compared with $109.89 on the Gold Coast.

MyDiscountDeals says Sydney is the most expensive city for getting healthy. The Gold Coast is the least expensive.

On the other hand, Darwin is the most expensive city for leading an unhealthy lifestyle with lots of beer and fast food, typically costing $336.12 a month. In comparison, it is much cheaper in Newcastle, where it costs $260 a month.

Written by Susan Hely

Susan Hely

Susan has been a finance journalist for more than 30 years, beginning at the Australian Financial Review before moving to the Sydney Morning Herald. She edited a superannuation magazine, Superfunds, for the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia, and writes regularly on superannuation and managed funds. She’s also author of the best-selling book Women and Money.

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