How Small Savings Can Add Up to Big Money
Building up savings seems like an enormous mountain. Instead of saying, “I’ll save a little here and there,” I’ve always waited until I could deposit at least $100 at a time because I felt it would add up faster that way. This method, though, is flawed. The reality is that even the single digit expenses add up—in either direction. If you can determine small luxuries that burn a hole in your pocket, you may find that saving becomes a lot easier.
Check out how these common “small” expenses can actually add up to a pretty penny if you consider the big picture. These don’t account for your market or sales tax, but it’ll give you a general idea of how much you could save.
Your favorite soda:
- A 32 oz QuikTrip soda costs $0.99.
- A case of 24 cans of soda costs $7.68 ($0.32 a soda).
|Soda (QuikTrip)||Soda (can)||Annual Savings|
|Annual Daily Cost||$365.35||$116.80||$248.55|
|Annual Weekly Cost||$51.48||$16.64||$34.84|
Your go-to cup of coffee:
- A grande cafe latte at Starbucks costs $3.65.
- A canister of instant coffee costs $5.29 and makes about 120 cups of coffee, or a nickel a cup.
|Coffee (Starbucks)||Coffee (canister)||Annual Savings|
|Annual Daily Cost||$1,333.53||$18.25||$1,315.28|
|Annual Weekly Cost||$189.90||$2.60||$187.20|
Your weekday lunch:
- The average cost of a lunch out at a restaurant is $11. This will be based on only weekday lunches.
- The average cost of to pack a homemade lunch is $6.30.
|Work Lunch (out)||Work lunch (homemade)||Annual Savings|
|Annual Daily Cost||$2,860||$1,638||$1,222|
Whether you’re ready to shake up your habits or not, you can make any expense work toward your goal with a cashback account like Cashback Free Checking. You can earn 1% cash back on the first $500 you spend every month, so you have the potential to get $60 back in a year—that could pay for a year of weekly sodas!
I’m not suggesting that you never have another fancy coffee, or treat yourself to an afternoon fountain drink when you need a break from a tough work project. Just keep in mind next time your auto pilot reaches for your wallet that you could easily turn that short-term indulgence into a step toward a long-term goal.