I just finished a Venti Latte at Starbucks, my fifth this week. As I enjoyed my coffee and thought about my next “save money grow rich” article, it hit me like a ton of bricks that my coffee could be the subject of my article. I started doing the math on the latte in my hand; Three dollars and forty cents multiplied by five times a week multiplied by fifty two weeks. That’s eight hundred and forty dollars I’m spending a year on fancy coffee! If I saved that money each year and invested with five percent interest, which is pretty easy to get, I could have sixty thousand dollars in thirty years. I’m spending sixty thousand dollars on a cup of coffee. I’m not even accounting for inflation which is going to make that latte cost over eight dollars in the last eight to ten years of that thirty year period. At eight percent interest it would be one hundred and ten thousand dollars. Yikes!
What little things are you spending your money on? You might not drink fancy coffee, but I’ll assure you that there are other things you’re spending your money on that can be cut from your budget. That money can be saved, grown, and used to become rich or at least retire comfortably. How much do you spend on bottled water, cigarettes, beer, and lottery tickets? You don’t have to give up all of your favorite vices…, I mean luxury items. Life is pretty boring if all you do is save every penny, but it is a good idea to take an inventory of what you are spending, what you can give up, and what it is worth to you in future dollars.
Track your daily expenses for a week. Make a list of each of the expenses and separate them into the items that are absolutely necessary, like gas, and the items that are not necessary, like the coffee.
Here are some other areas that you can cut back and save:
– Eating out. Only eat out occasionally and take your lunch to work.
– The mid afternoon candy bar. Hey, it’s good for your health too.
– Pre-packed convenience foods.
– Carry over credit card interest. Pay your credit card bill off monthly.
– Extra cable channels.
You’ll be amazing how fast you can come up with two hundred and fifty dollars a month that can be saved. Using the savings calculator at http://www.rich.fqte.com/savings-estimator.htm you can see that two hundred and fifty dollars saved monthly for thirty years adds up to a lot of money. Time to ditch the latte, save money, and get rich faster.