The latest research from leading online estate agent eMoov.co.uk highlights that if the average person in the UK abstained from alcohol and cigarettes in 2017, they could pay their mortgage off ten years early.

A fresh year often brings fresh intentions to cut out the booze and cigarettes after overindulgence during the festive period. But it’s not just our health that could benefit from cutting these bad habits out, the costs that could be saved from alcohol and cigarettes could instead contribute to climbing the property ladder.

According to ONS and NHS data, the average person in the UK spends £787 a year on alcohol and £2,555 on cigarettes. The cost of these vices combined is £3,342 over a year but accumulates to £33,420 in a decade.

The average house price in the UK is £216,674, and with a 10% equity deduction (mortgage deposit) the price becomes £194,890. With this price, a typical monthly mortgage cost would be £875. However, by eliminating alcohol and cigarette consumption, an additional £278 can be added to the mortgage each month, making a monthly payment £1,152. As a result, you could pay your mortgage down in 19 years and six months instead of 30 years, saving £46,214 in interest payments in the process.

As many people benefit from a Dry January, it would be wise to consider the savings during the month and just how much a continued abstinence from excessive drinking and smoking could benefit you across the board.

The property market will always be a safer investment than splashing your cash on booze and fags, especially as prices in the UK continue to rise.

Kicking these addicting habits is difficult and it’s no shock that cutting out cigarettes and alcohol can save you money as well as being good for your health.

However, this research really puts it into perspective the amount we waste on these vices and where it could be better spent. The cost of homeownership is slowly spiralling out of control but drinking yourself into a stupor won’t change that. By making a positive change in your lifestyle you can inadvertently knock over a decade off your mortgage payments, that’s got to be worth quitting for surely?

Russell Quirk

Founder & CEO, eMoov.co.uk

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