The topic of this week’s saving tip is probably one of the oldest ones out there and its also one of the ones that I find people generally ignore. I know that bringing my lunch to work and before that to school was something I generally tried to avoid. I always enjoyed the social aspect of going out for lunch and then the luxury aspect of having someone bring me my food freshly cooked. This one item is also a part of how I managed to get into debt early on and once you look at the numbers it becomes clear why brining your lunch is such a great saving tip.
I think this saving tip is best illustrated with an example: Say you’re like a lot of people out there any you eat out for lunch during the work week. Now being a money conscious individual you try to eat in the food court or fast food joint close to the office. Well for arguments sake lets say you’re only spending about $10 on your food (with any drink and tax that was included). I’m sure some people will argue that $10 on lunch is a lot and that they don’t ever spend it and I’m sure this is true but I’ve been finding keeping lunch under $10 is doable but it somehow always gets pretty close to it.
Before digressing to a tangent about the cost of fast food lets get back to our example; that $10/day on food over the course of the week translates to $50. Now the average worker in North America works about 50 weeks out of the year, which brings our daily lunch cost up to $2500! And this is with a $10 a day lunch, imagine if you sat down at a restaurant every day and had a $25 lunch which is what I did in my youth; the cost of those lunches over the course of the year were over $6000!!
I’m guessing at this point I’ve either got your attention or you’re about to argue that bringing in your lunch from home still costs money and you’d be completely right about that. Feeding yourself is going to cost money no matter what. But if you bring your lunch from home and its leftovers from the night before the cost of the extra food is probably only a couple dollars if that. You’re still saving thousands per year.
Unfortunately brown bagging it isn’t very glamorous and often means you’re tied to your desk. But the cost savings are huge and the spending on food very quickly adds up. When you get into a pattern of buying lunch and you’re out of cash what to most people turn to? Yup their credit cards. This is where the trouble with something as simple as lunch can start and I know this is what happened to me. I still like to eat out for lunch but I don’t do it every day.
[tags]saving tip, spending, bringing lunch[/tags]