We’ve been talking a lot about how to make significant changes to your financial health, but did you know that you could be saving money every day without drastically changing your lifestyle?
When we make purchases without thinking, maybe out of habit or the occasional impulse buy, we may wonder where the heck all of our money goes every month. Like me, you probably don’t splurge on big ticket items like a new television or on recreation, but you still find yourself with little to spare at the end of the month.
It is actually embarrassing to think of how much my latte addiction drains my bank account, but we all fall victim to different vices from time to time and here’s how they can add up:
Your morning coffee routine
Save – Make it at home! Surprise, surprise, it really does pay off to buy a bag of beans and make it at home. Also, it’s way more environmentally responsible when you use your travel mug. A bag runs for about $12-20, depending on what you like, and allows you to make at least two weeks worth of morning coffee. Which ends up costing you $300 – $500 a year for a daily coffee.
Spend – If you buy a McDonald’s coffee or a Tim Horton’s coffee everyday instead, that looks more like $700 – $800 a year for a daily coffee.
Splurge – The big spenders who go for a latte from Starbucks, Second Cup or the like are spending anywhere from $900 – $1800 a year on their morning coffee. Whoa! That is a lot of money that could easily be invested or used for a vacation.
Your lunch break
Save – There seems to be a running theme when it comes to saving money… make it yourself. Especially when chances are you still buy $100 – $200 worth of groceries every week and still spend money on take-out. Our older generations had it right when it came to saving money – you did everything yourself. They wouldn’t dream of spending $20/ a day to have someone make a sandwich for them when they could easily have done it themselves. Plan out your lunch ahead of time and you’ll find that not only are you saving money, but eating out less will help you become healthier too. So consider if you just bought groceries for an entire year it would cost you roughly $5000 – $10,000.
Spend – If you only eat out for lunch once or twice a week and still buy an average amount of groceries every week, that increases the amount you spend on food to $7000 to $12,000 a year.
Splurge – Those who end up eating out every day during the work week and still buy groceries up the ante to $10,000 to $15,000 a year just on food.
Your weekend plans
Save – All saving and no spending makes for a dull life. Let’s say you go for brunch every Sunday and that costs around $60. That adds up to only $3000 over the course of a year. Small potatoes considering how much you’ve been spending on just coffee. Our advice – go for brunch, enjoy the weekly ritual and then find a fun activity to do after that doesn’t cost you anything like walking the dog or hanging out at the park.
Spend – Now some of us, myself included, like to go out on the weekend and then go for hangover brunch. Let’s say we spend $120 at the bar, $30 to get home safely and that $60 to go for brunch the next day. Now we are looking at an extra $10,000 a year.
Splurge – For all of those who go out both Friday and Saturday, you are looking at spending a whopping $20,000 a year just on the weekend. A good rule of thumb to avoid this is the Rule of Two. If you go out on Friday, stay in and cook at home on Saturday, etc.
**These averages are simply based on what it typically costs to do these things in Edmonton and will not apply to every scenario.**
We hope that we’ve made it easy to see how you can save money everyday. All it takes is being conscious of your spending.