Person holds tomatoes over a metal bowl.

Beyond Veganuary: How a greener diet could lead to a greener wallet

Reaping the financial rewards of a more plant-powered life.

5 min read

As the new year begins, many embrace Veganuary and start a month-long journey of plant-based eating. But what happens when January ends? During the process, many discover much more to this lifestyle than meets the eye, especially where their financial habits are concerned.

No matter if you’ve dipped your toes in vegan living, or are just curious about its potential benefits, here’s how you might be able to adopt some learnings from Veganuary to help make your year more financially sustainable.

Benefit from plant-based savings

Veganuary offers an accessible starting point for a more plant-based lifestyle without fully committing to being animal-product-free. However, with 85% of non-vegans who participate in Veganuary reducing their consumption of animal products well beyond January, it’s clear that many see the wide-ranging benefits of eating less meat. While shifting to what appears to be a more restrictive diet can initially be daunting, many find the challenge to be exhilarating. Discovering new favorite dishes and ingredients can be especially rewarding, and meal planning can be a creative process that saves money and reduces food waste. 

From a financial perspective, by planning meals and cooking them at home, it’s easier to stay in control of what goes onto the plate and how much comes out of the bank account. Additionally, avoiding the lure of takeout and restaurant meals makes saving a tidy sum each month possible. Plus, by some estimates, transitioning from a meat-based to a vegan diet could shave off around €24 from the monthly grocery bill, depending on your approach.

Yet, it's not just about the money saved but also the value derived from every euro spent. While dairy alternatives might nudge your grocery bill a bit higher, the overall savings from a plant-based diet could be substantial. Whole foods, like grains and legumes, are not only cost-effective but also incredibly versatile. Bulk buying these staples can lead to substantial savings. Plus, seasonal produce tastes better and is lighter on the wallet than off-season or imported options.

Earn compound interest on your health

Embracing veganism, even just for a month, can have noticeable effects on physical well-being and energy levels. But, these effects can compound over time, encouraging many to stick to a primarily plant-based diet beyond January. And this isn't just about cutting out meat. By introducing a variety of nutritious, energy-boosting foods like fruits, veggies, and whole grains into a diet, the brain and the body enjoy a richer source of nutrition, helping them to operate optimally.  

Speaking of nutrition, let's talk protein. Plant-based proteins like beans, lentils, and tofu aren't just kinder to the wallet; they're also packed with nutrients. These protein powerhouses offer a cost-effective alternative to meat, providing essential nutrients without the heavy price tag. Plus, they're incredibly versatile - think beyond tofu stir-fries to lentil stews and bean salads.

Plus, a vegan diet could lead to significant healthcare savings down the line. With lower risks of certain diseases associated with meat-heavy diets, you may spend less on medical bills and more on enjoying life. But a plant-based diet doesn’t come without its risks. When eating plant-based, it’s possible to miss out on certain nutrients like iron, calcium, and vitamin B12, typically found in dairy and meat. The solution? Incorporate calcium-rich foods like kale and soy into your diet, and consider B12 and iron supplements to keep your body in tip-top shape.

In full control —
This is how I bank

N26 Insights automatically breaks down your spending into categories and makes it easy to keep a pulse on your finances.
Try N26 Insights
Hands with painted nails next to a phone.

Create an intentional ripple effect

Embarking on a month-long vegan journey can do more than change our diets; it can transform how we view life and money. This foray into veganism can offer a fresh lens to examine our daily choices and their broader impacts. It's not just about what we eat; it's about becoming more conscious of our lifestyle decisions and the ripples they make in our communities and beyond.

Beyond Veganaury, it’s easy to begin reflecting on other aspects of our lives, including how we consume, think about the environment, and manage our finances. This intentional approach to living can easily extend to how we approach spending, saving, and even investing our money. For example, Veganuary could be the first step towards ethical investing. Ethical investing isn't just about avoiding harm but actively seeking to do good. This could mean investing in environmentally sustainable projects, plant-based food companies, or commodity ETFs that align with your principles. 

Additionally, just as we choose to eat foods that align with our ethical beliefs, we might find ourselves making financial decisions that reflect our commitment to a better world. We become more aware of the impact of each euro we spend or invest, ensuring it contributes positively to the planet and society.

Reap the rewards of self-compassion

Veganuary, while a journey towards healthier living and ethical eating, also teaches a valuable lesson in self-compassion. The key to long-term success when making any lifestyle change isn't about being perfect; it's about being kind to ourselves when we don't meet our expectations. Just like in life, an occasional slip-up doesn't mean failure. Even a gradual reduction in non-vegan choices can be a significant step towards our goals.

Translated to the realm of personal finance: Managing your finances, sticking to a budget, or reaching a savings goal can sometimes feel like walking a tightrope. And just like with Veganuary, you might encounter moments where you miss the mark. Maybe we splurge on something impulsively, or we miss a savings target. The key here, as with Veganuary, is to not be too hard on yourself.

It's important to see the bigger picture. One off-track meal doesn't diminish your accomplishments, just as one financial misstep doesn't define your financial journey. The goal is progress, not perfection. By applying the compassion and understanding we learn from Veganuary to our financial lives, we can create a balanced, patient, and forgiving approach to managing our money.

N26 — This is how I bank

How about managing your money the way you want? Whether you’re living on a budget or looking to get a better grasp of your money, we’re here to help you bank with confidence.  With N26, you’ll receive instant push notifications for every transaction, so you can track your money in real time. Plus, keep your budget under control with daily spending and withdrawal limits, right in the N26 app. And for a bird’s eye view of your spending, N26 Insights automatically categorizes your purchases and makes it easy to understand your spending habits. Open a 100% mobile bank account in minutes and discover Insights!

By N26

Love your bank

Related articles

These might also interest you

How modern couples manage joint finances

Whether you’re polyamorous or monogamous, married with kids or parenting pets, money matters in every relationship. But the way partners organize their finances can differ greatly.

Women and financial literacy: Closing the gender gap

Financial literacy is a critical tool for women to build wealth and secure their future. However, many women lack the knowledge they need to get ahead. We explore why that’s the case!

Joint account or N26 Shared Spaces? Comparing the options

Want to take the next step with a partner and manage your finances together? Read on to get a side-by-side-comparison of the options and features, so you can decide what’s best for you.