No matter how well intentioned, each year thousands of New Year's resolutions fall by the wayside. But there's always another chance, and according to a new survey, quitting your bad habits just for Lent could save you a bundle.
In a study conducted by AXA, researchers found that abstaining from cigarettes, alcohol, chocolate and coffee between Ash Wednesday and Easter every year would leave an extra £18,425 in the bank over the course of the average Brit's working life.
And there's more encouragement from the financial experts, who claim that, if that cash was invested well, your retirement nest egg could have swollen to a sizeable £74,612.
What's more, a virtuous 40-odd days each year could benefit your health. Researchers say that average alcohol consumption during the Lent period alone totals some 4,700 calories, while chocoholics consumed an average of 8,100 in the same amount of time. Give up both and there will be 12,804 fewer calories going onto those tummies and hips at the end of the year.
Andy Zanelli, Head of Retirement Planning at AXA Wealth, told the Daily Mail: "Small sacrifices, even during the relatively brief 46-day period of Lent, can mean major savings - and these savings can be maximised if invested in appropriate ways, such as through an ISA rather than simply storing savings in a current account, especially at a time of low interest rates.
"Putting money to one side - even if it means making some sacrifices along the way - is becoming a necessity and, invested prudently, can reap rewards both now and in the future."
What is more likely to make you give up your bad habits - money saved or health benefits? Leave your comments below...