Millennials v Generation X: the great FT thrift-off
Who can save the most money in a week, while having the most fun - Generation X or a Millennial? FT Money's Claer Barrett and Kate Beioley go head-to-head in the great FT thrift-off.
Produced by Daniel Garrahan. Filmed by Daniel Garrahan, James Sandy, Kate Beioley and Claer Barrett
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Who's best at saving money, Generation X or Generation Y? There are a lot of pressures on your generation that, frankly, didn't exist for mine. But I have honed my tried and tested methods of sticking to a budget and saving over the course of the last two decades.
I'm good with apps and tech hacks which will allow me to have a lot of fun, but for less money than you.
Let's get thrifty, and may the best woman win.
I cycle to work almost every day. It's great exercise, a quicker commute, you don't have to sit on a crowded tube or train, and it saves me nearly 35 pounds every week.
That's an impressive saving, Claer, but who wants to fight London traffic and arrive at the office all hot and sweaty? I used to spend more than 30 pounds a week on a Travelcard, but now I walk to work. It takes twice as long, but it does keep me fit, and I like it.
That's all very well while the sun's out, Kate, but I don't imagine your 45 minute walking commute is quite as much fun on a rainy day.
Now joining me live here--
I was a guest on Breakfast Radio this week. A 5:30 AM start, but they sent a free cab. Yet another saving. And I just know I'm going to win the coffee challenge with my reusable cup. This cappuccino was 2.45 pounds, 1.95 pounds.
Saving money and saving the planet, Claer, impressive. But my coffee saving is even bigger. I've discovered that lots of coffee shops charge for hot water. So instead of buying an Americano, I get an espresso and save 70 P every time by topping up with hot water myself.
Now, time for lunch. I always pack my own, and here are my top tips.
Make it easy for yourself by only doing one lot of cooking. Now, that could be like my delicious baked tomato that I've got in here, which we also had for our dinner last night. You must invest in a decent lunchbox that doesn't leak, otherwise it's a false economy.
A woman after my own heart. I pack my own lunch, too, but that lunchbox cost you seven pounds. Why not reuse an old jar instead? Our FT colleague and fellow millennial Chloe Cornish introduced me to this. It's great fun, and saves even more money.
My life is a bit sad. I do work in an office. And so, any kind of colour and creativity I can bring to my lunch, I do enjoy.
Oh, Kate, you win that one. But what about dinner? Where are your savings there?
Tonight I'm having dinner from Itsu, where all of the food is half price, half an hour before closing.
And the savings don't stop there. Getting a discount at a restaurant on a Saturday night is where the apps come in.
This one is called CityMunch, and it gives you discounts on local restaurants of between 20% and 50% when they're a bit quieter. So tonight I'm going out for tapas at a place called Brindisa in Shoreditch, and I'm going to get 40% off my bill.
Well, I'm taking part in a supper club. Shopping at my local food market, stretch a 30 pound budget to feed eight people at my house tonight. And next week, one of my friends will return the favour.
Tonight I'm going to this comedy club in Angel, at the Bill Murray. It says it's free, but you pay whatever you want if you think the act is good. And I've heard that it's someone playing at the Edinburgh Festival this summer. So let's go and check it out.
So I just came out. Ended up paying a fiver. I saw four comedians. A couple not so good. couple of them were really brilliant, and I'd definitely pay more than the fiver to see them again. So, overall, really great night.
Summer has arrived, and with that comes the need to get one's legs waxed. I have found an app which promises to give me discounts if I go at an off-peak time.
We've both had fun, and we've both saved money, but I think that you've got the edge over me, because a lot of the things that I was doing, they're things that I do anyway, that I've done for years, in order to save money. Whereas you've found some things that surprised even a veteran moneysaver like me.
Yeah, with a smart phone, you really can unlock a lot of savings. And, actually, I've had a great time. And I'm spending, definitely, a lot less money than I was before.