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According to NHS and the Office for National Statistics, the average person in the UK spends £787 a year on alcohol and, for those that smoke, £2,555 on cigarettes.
Added together, that's £3342 a year. That seems like a lot to be spending on beer and cigs. If we added takeout coffee to the list, then it would be much, much bigger for me. That's how I roll.
Estate agency eMoov has pointed out that if you give both vices up, you could pay off your mortgage much faster. 10 years faster, in fact.
Hmmm worth thinking about.
Since the average house price in the UK is £217,000, apart from in London where it's closer to £450,000 for a shoe box, if you calculate a 10 percent deposit you're looking at a mortgage of about £195,000. That means monthly payments of around £875 on a 30-year repayment plan.
If you cut out the cigs and the booze, you could put an extra £278 a month towards your mortgage and have it paid off in 19 years and six months, instead of 30 years.
Who cares about the extra 10 years, you ask? Well, you could save about £46,214 in interest payments.
Suddenly I'm very interested. I could do with almost £50,000 but could I do without beer?
On the one hand, you've got a house or flat fully paid off, so no more mortgage or rent payments and more money to go on holidays, but on the other, you can't go to the pub. It's a tough choice!
Only about 19 percent of people smoke in the UK, so it would mean bigger savings for smokers. 46 grand is a pretty big incentive to give up the nicotine once and for all.
We'll drink to that! Actually, make it a tap water instead.
Words by Laura Hamilton
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