|Our current "Saving plan" :P|
1/8th of $60,000 is $7500. Assuming this was an annual salary, that is $625 a month. For some, this is barely anything. For me, well, it's more than I make right now, so it seems like a fortune. In any event, let's say you hid $625 in your mattress every month for 18 years. You would have $135,000 ignoring inflation, and interest. Certainly, there are few that can bat an eye at that number. For $135,000 you can put 2 kids through a 4-year university degree, including living expenses (based on the University of Manitoba's estimated cost for a full-time first year student). You can take something tangible, and turn it into something intangible - the future potential of two people.
But $625 is still a lot of money. So I started thinking a lot smaller. I don't buy a lot of coffee - maybe 3 cups a month. As a result, I tend to splurge on a Tall Decaf White Chocolate Mocha from Starbucks, coming in a $4.54. However, since our "Sunday Morning Coffee Runs," when we had a large gift certificate from Tim Hortons (conveniently located across the street from us), I've been drinking a lot of French Vanilla. I can get a medium French Vanilla for less than $1.50. Sure, it tastes a little different, but it is the same calories and the same sugar, and we all know that its sugar that I'm after when I'm buying one of these drinks.At 3 drinks a month, over a course of a year, going for Timmies is over $100 cheaper than Starbucks. Not being a coffee aficionado, coffee out of a paper cup tastes the same, so why not save $100 a year?
If it takes virtually no effort to make one change and save $100 a year, imagine how many other small changes can save that much as well!
Some more easy money saving ideas*:
- Make your own wine (a good kit runs $90, and makes almost 30 bottles. My favourite wine retails for $10 a bottle, so that's a savings of $210)
- Hang your laundry to dry (We end up paying $1.50 a load, as the super cheap machine doesn't get it done in one cycle. At, say, 2 loads a week for clothing, that's a savings of $156 a year)
- Bring your lunch to work (A Subway sub is $3.50, whereas a sandwich comes in at less than $2.00 when made at home. That's a savings of $390 a year)
- Ride the bus rather than paying for parking (In Winnipeg, an adult bus pass is $77 a month, whereas parking can cost $145 a month, saving you $816 a year, not to mention gas, wear and tear on vehicle, and cab rides when your block heater dies in the middle of winter)
- Sign up for Netflix rather than cable ($8/mth vs. $34.90/mth saves you $320 a year)
All together, small changes can save you almost $2000 a year - almost enough for a week long, all-inclusive trip for two to Cancun! (Scott says for the men in the crowd, $2000 a year is almost 7 XBOXes)
What small changes have you made / would you like to make to stretch your money further? What would you spend your savings on?
*all ideas are based on prices available in Winnipeg, and are more for interest than financial advice.