“Very good, sir. That’ll be $410,000.”
No; not really. At least not at one time.
Now that I have your attention, I want to discuss the importance of curbing your vices. Listen, we all have some guilty pleasure that we spend money on without thinking twice. It could be value meals, soda pop, candy, music, Starbucks coffee, or the like.
The problem is, when we don’t specifically keep track of how much is spent on these items, it can significantly slow down your wealth building journey, possibly even derailing you from achieving your “magic number.”
As part of a turbocharged expense management plan, your first step is to determine whether your vice, whatever it is, is a necessary or unnecessary expense. (I can actually save you some time here. Ninety-five percent of the time, it’s unnecessary).
So, since it’s unnecessary, you might want to think about cutting back. I’m not saying to give it up altogether because a little guilty pleasure is okay every now and then. But if you were to cut back and then take the money you save and invest it, you’ll be much better off. In fact, you’ll probably wish you would’ve quit cold turkey a lot sooner. Let’s take a look:
Say you go out for lunch and buy a value meal four days per week at an average price of $6.25 per meal — that works out to be a little over $100 per month or $1200 per year. But what if you invested that $100 into something that made 5% each year? Over a 30-year period, you will have saved close to $85,000 — not to mention your waistline.
Now imagine if you had earned between 8% and 10% on your investment instead: that equals earnings between $150,000 and $220,000!
For those of you who say you can’t just quit cold turkey, even if you cut down to two value meals a week and brought your lunch the remaining days, you’ll still be more than $43,000 richer than you would have been otherwise.
And I don’t want to just pick on the “super sizers.” Consider the following:
- Getting rid of two daily candy bars: between $60,000 and $130,000 richer
- Eliminating a daily vending machine soda: between $37,000 and $100,000 richer
- Reducing weekly mochas from five to two: between $25,000 and $60,000 richer
So, if you start identifying more things to cut from daily consumption, you might just be putting $500,000 (or more) in your pocket!
What are some other things you might think about cutting back on? Please feel free to share them in the comments below …
About the Author: Brandon Wilkins is a financial coach and co-founder of Financial Freedom Builders LLC. Mr. Wilkins is also the author of the financial classic, Getting Rich is Simple…But It Ain’t Easy! He and his wife Gina are available for coaching, workshops and seminars designed to help you take control of your finances.
Photo Credit: TGI Fridays