Sometimes we spend money without even thinking about it. In the society we live in today, it’s very easy to just swipe your debit or credit card when making a purchase. No one really carries money around anymore, do they? However, it’s been proven time and time again that if you physically paid with cash each transaction, you would spend less. This has to do with the psychology behind it. You are physically handing your money over and watching it go into the register. However, when we swipe our credit or debit cards, it’s less personal and more transactional. When you apply more thought to your spending and what you are spending it on, you tend to spend less.
As we all continue on our journey towards financial independence, there are some simple and effective ways you can save more money. We are looking at this from the perspective of the everyday 9-5 blue collar employee and basing it off of 253 workdays in the year.
Let’s discuss three simple tips that you can use to save a significant amount of money each year.
Related: 7 Steps to Financial Freedom
1. BUYING LUNCH AT WORK
Heresy, I know… But seriously… people do not realize just how much they spend when they go out to eat. I happen to personally know a HUGE offender of this… Yeah, it’s me… Let’s go over some numbers, shall we?
The average cost of eating out for lunch can range between $9-$12 a day (even more here in Hawaii ). If you are eating out for lunch when you go to work, you are spending $2,277-$3,036 a year.
Consider making your own lunch. Maybe meal prep or make a little extra dinner to bring in the left overs. I am with you all on this one. I need to get better at this!
2. DO NOT BUY COFFEE EVERYDAY
Now, I am not saying to give up coffee… because if we all did that, the world itself may cease to function. I happen to love coffee. I absolutely refuse to buy coffee out in town unless I have to or I am meeting up with people for coffee. However, I personally know people who get their daily fix of Starbucks. They say that they cannot live without… Well, then they are living without $620-$1,860 a year. This is based off of regular drip coffee sizes “Tall” costing $1.85 per cup, “Grande” $2.10 per cup, and “Venti” $2.45 per cup. Let’s not even talk about the $5+specialty drinks and lattes… They are costing you $1265 per year! Even going to 7-11 or WaWa and getting their $1 coffee is costing you $253-$759 per year. These amounts may not seem like much, but think about this… A whole pot of coffee costs approximately 70 cents to make… That’s 8 cups of coffee for 70 cents. That’s some easy savings right there.
Food for thought – 1/3 of American’s spend more money on coffee than they put into savings according to Acorns.
3. EATING OUT FOR DINNER
This is the big one! I get it, making dinner every day can be tedious. However, if you looked at the numbers on going out to eat, it may sway your way of thinking. Let’s say you and significant other like to go out and have a nice date night once a week. The average cost of dinner for two is around $50. If you do this every week, you are spending $2,600 a year. Double this to $5,200 for a family of four! If a family of four ate out once a month instead of once a week, you can save $4,000. Even if you didn’t want to invest the money, there’s your next family vacation.
These 3 simple tips can go a long way. Putting all of these together, we can save a little over $10,000. If you saved $10,000 and invested it into index funds averaging just 7% each year (Around $833.33 per month), in 10 years, you would have $157,835.44. In 20 years, it would be $488, 650.13
We really hope that some of you can benefit from making these small changes in your spending habits. More great options can be found in our article about 7 Steps to Financial Freedom.