£5 – What does 5 pounds really get you?

£5 – What does 5 pounds really get you?

It’s not a huge amount of money really, is it. It’s just £5. And so one of my teenagers asked me for £5, no big deal, but I said “no! I gave you £5 yesterday!” and they replied with “but it’s only £5…..” and that’s how I got to thinking…..what does £5 really get you these days?

£5 pounds

In some respects, it’s not much all. It’s far less than the legal minimum wage for adults in the UK, but certainly enough to cook a carefully planned out decent family dinner. It won’t buy you a pint in most pubs in London, but you might get a meal deal in the supermarket, depending on your preference!

So you see, like most things, it’s what you do with it that counts!

Spending £5 pounds

So how could you go about spending £5 pounds a day? What might you spend £5 pounds on?

  • Food – A quick ‘on the go’ lunch or a more planned out dinner?
  • Travel – How far can you really go on £5 pounds?
  • Treats & luxuries – Does £5 pounds still get you anything luxurious?
  • Saving – Would £5 make a difference? (clue…YES!)

Spending £5 pounds on food

76% of us Brits buy lunch nearly every single day, at an average of £5 a pop (source). This numbers been increasing every year for the last 5 years. Why? An increase in healthier options and more choice have been offered as reasons, but most Brits, when asked, simply say they’re too tired to put lunch together for the following day.

I guess most of us can relate that that, but it’s not a great way to spend £5 pounds. Over the course of a year, that’s £1200, assuming you have 4 weeks holiday. So that’s a lot of money down the drain.

If you’re spending it on a dinner, it’s money better spent, after all, we have to eat. There’s a whole load of recipes and articles written about feeding a family for a fiver. And they’re great. We use lots if those type of recipes. They’re healthy and filling and keep our food bill down.

So £5 pounds on food? It might provide a decent family dinner :)

Spending £5 pounds on travel

You’re not going to get very far travelling on £5 pounds! Getting a cab? They start at nearly £5 pounds these days where I live.

Train? You’ll want to be travelling off peak and only one or two stops. Slightly further if you happen to still be under 16 or a student!

Is driving yourself much better? Well, yes. You’d get 40-60 miles in a fuel efficient car. Hard to be exact with this one but generally, you’ll get further than you will on public transport, unless you take a coach….in which case there are a lot of £5 pound fares. So for the best £5 pound value? Take a coach!

Treats and luxuries for £5 pound

There are small luxuries and treats to be had for £5 pounds. Maybe a nice shampoo or conditioner…but you won’t be able to go all out luxury for £5 pound so is it really worth it? For me…no. I still think £5 pound is quite expensive for a shampoo or something like that so I avoid them. Unless they’re on offer, and then I’ll reconsider.

There’s probably lots of little treats you could get for £5 pounds, and once in a while, why not. But buying these all the time? There’s a better way to spend your fiverr!

Saving £5 pounds – is it worth it?

Now this is where your £5 pound really comes into it’s own. That same £5 pound you might buy your lunch with (on top of your usual food spend) or the nice shampoo really seems like a waste of money when you look at what your £5 pound can do if you save it.

Think it’s only £5 pound? Think again!

To keep it fair, lets say you’re spending your £5 pound every lunchtime for 48 weeks of the year. Not weekends. That’s £100 a month over the year.

Would it be worth saving this lunch money and if you did, where would you save it to get the most out of it?

Would it surprise you to know that if you put this £5 pound to one side, you could potentially turn it in a whopping £41,000??

Turning your £5 pounds into many thousands…

I’ve written before about the power of compounding money and it’s something that I love! The concept that you can turn very little into so much is still pretty magical for me. Someone earning the minimum wage really can save a nice nest egg. Just look at the figures…

The £1200 a year you see? That’s your lunch money. The £41,792.43 in the bottom right hand corner? That’s how much you’ll have if you put your lunch money into an index fund instead of spending it in Pret.

As always with investments, you need to know that any projections (like this table) are just that, projections. However, they’re based off past performance but that is not an indicator of future performance.

Need a way to find £5 everyday? Here are some related posts you might like that’ll help you increase your earnings


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