A recent campaign that has solidified itself into the UK’s calendar is Veganuary. Around 125,000 people in the UK pledged to eat a plant-based diet throughout January. In 2021, a study by Oxford University revealed that in the UK, people could reduce their food bill by up to one-third by embracing a vegan, vegetarian, or flexitarian diet. Many people chose to participate in Veganuary as a break from the cheeseboards and chocolate consumed at Christmas. Others chose to participate by incorporating more environmentally friendly eating habits into their lifestyle.
This year, people may be taking part in the campaign to reduce their shopping bills. The food inflation recently hitting our supermarket shelves has massively affected eggs, dairy, and meat. This cost can be eradicated by adopting the Vegan diet for January. If you cannot fully commit to an entire month of plant-based food, consider decreasing the weekly dinners that contain meat. Miguel Barclay, the author of the cookbook series ‘One Pound Meals’, found that vegetarian meals cost less than meat recipes. This resolution may save you some money in January and may incentivise you to see this resolution out.
Joining the gym and exercising more is a popular New Year’s resolution. January is the biggest month for sales for gyms across the UK. After the Christmas period of indulgent food and more alcohol than usual, many people wish to become more active before the weather warms and swimming costumes are taken out of the loft. A study by PureGym and YouGov found that 14% of the UK’s population is currently a gym member. A further 19% reported their plans to join the gym in 2023. Research conducted by the IHRSA further corroborates this sudden spike in gym memberships. In 2018, the IHRSA found that more than 12% of new members joined the gym in January.
For those who want to introduce more exercise into their lives but cannot afford the cost of a gym membership, the NHS Couch to 5K app is a free alternative. With 6.5 million downloads since the app’s release in 2016, it is an app that motivates its users to run and gives users a maintainable running schedule. As the cost-of-living crisis has cemented into households across the country, many gym members may be forced to consider cancelling their membership. This, in turn, may lead to many new exercise devotees to abandon their resolution. YouGov found that 10% of adults have either cancelled or are considering cancelling their gym membership amidst the rising cost of living. This may reverse the spikes in sales that gyms may usually face after the New Year. Couch to 5K guides people’s resolution for free. It benefits their health without being detrimental to bank accounts.
Quit Bad Habits
Similarly to Veganuary, Dry January is another popular campaign for the month of January. The Christmas period, for many, is a time of drinking more than usual. A bad hangover or two may have forced you to utter the phrase ‘I’m doing Dry January’. Abstaining from alcohol for the month will have many health benefits, such as boosting your sleep quality and helping your mental health. Alcohol Change UK is a leading alcohol charity dedicated to changing attitudes towards alcohol consumption. They found that 86% of the people who participate in Dry January save money. Saving money and budgeting is a necessity for many households. Alongside meat, alcohol is another product that has increased in price with inflation. By cutting alcohol out of your diet for January, you may find yourself with a little more money at the end of the month and feeling better about it.
Another popular bad habit that gets the boot in January is smoking. The New Year can be a driving factor in quitting for many smokers. Evidence suggests that after 28 days without smoking, people are 5 times more like to make the change permanent. By stopping smoking on January 1st, you increase your chances of it being permanent by February. Action on Smoking and Health found that each smoker in the UK spends approximately £2,000 per year on tobacco. This translates to around £166 per month. Quitting smoking not only benefits your own finances but also helps relieve the £2.4 billion cost on our already underfunded NHS.
New Year’s resolutions are a great way to motivate people to make and maintain decisions that will positively affect their minds, bodies, and bank accounts.