Buying your lunch every day is costing you so much that you risk not having enough for emergencies and never being able to retire. Go ahead, bite into that pastrami sandwich from the deli. Enjoy.
We’re kidding of course, but only slightly.
Spending on restaurant and take-out food each day versus packing your own lunch at home is an indeed an expensive habit: a new survey from Visa found that Americans spend an average of $2,746 on lunch each year. That’s around $53 a week.
You could probably save at least $1,000 per year just by “brown bagging” it each day.
While that won’t be enough to allow for early retirement to your own Caribbean island, it will add up. With compounding interest (at 5% APY), this savings could be worth more than $50,000 after 25 years.
Think of all the other things you splurge on, like take-out coffee and premium cable, and think of how much you could save by doing without, or making substitutions.
Developing frugal habits can, and will, make a real difference over the years.