BOSTON (CBS) – This is America Saves Week. All week we will be looking at small changes you can make to save big. Nothing dramatic but you will need to have discipline to be consistent over time.
Yesterday we talked about take-out food for a family of four for the week and how expensive it can be. What if there is just the two of you and you like to eat out several times a week. You figure there is just two of you and you are both working so you can afford to splurge and spoil yourselves.
You go to a nice place, maybe not too expensive but the bill with a couple of drinks still comes in at $75. That’s $150 or more if you do it twice a week. Easiest thing to do is cut it back to once a week, immediately saving $75 a week.
And if eating out is your thing, try a lunch date on Saturday or breakfast on Sunday. If it’s lunch, you may not be too tempted to have several drinks.
How about dinner out with friends? We go out with friends more for the company than the food so to save, invite them to your place before dinner and have some drinks and munchies or invite them back for dessert afterwards. If they’re not interested in that, have your drinks at home and be sure to get separate checks at dinner so you are not paying for their drinks.
Splitting checks is one of those things that really bugs me. Wine gives me a headache so I don’t drink at dinner and I really don’t want to pay for someone else’s wine or their expensive flaming dessert.
You can save over $100 a week. That’s an easy number, over $5,000 a year. Stick that in your retirement plan and at a 9% return you could have over a quarter of a $1 million ($260,000) in 20 years. Do that over 40 years and you have $1.7 million.