Can giving up the little things you spend money on really make a difference to your financial position? According to financial commentator David Bach’s theory, The Latte Factor, those small, seemingly innocuous purchases for things like coffee, magazines, bottled water and fast food really do add up. Below we share examples of small changes to improve your financial position. They might just make the difference between just getting by and steaming forward financially. Pick out one or two that appeal to you, make them a new year’s resolution and enjoy seeing your bank balance grow!
You may think it’s more convenient to buy your lunch each day, but there is nothing faster than cooking a little extra for dinner the night before and putting the leftovers in a takeaway container for tomorrow’s lunch. Your waistline will probably thank you too!
Saving: $12 per serve, 5 days per week = $3,210 per year
Swap the caffeine
A coffee en route to work and another one to keep you going through the afternoon is a ritual for many. But have you ever considered whether you’re actually getting value from your cup or joe, or is it simply a habit? Consider using the office coffee machine or switching to tea.
Saving: $4.50 per cup, 7 days per week = $1,638 per year
Dining out is one of life’s pleasures so we’re not suggesting you stop. However there are many ways you can do it smarter. Go cheap and cheerful, swap dinner for brunch, hunt out deals, or skip the entree or dessert.
Saving: $15 per dessert, once a week = $780 per year
Cancel the take out
There are some evenings when you just don’t want to cook. But if you cook extra portions and pop them in the freezer, you’ll have a quick meal and be less tempted to dial for take out.
Saving: $25 per meal, once a week = $1,300
Alternate your drinks
When you’re out having a few drinks, have a water in between each alcoholic beverage. It will slow your drinking down so you’ll spend less. You’ll feel better the next day too!
Saving: $10 per drink, once a week = $520 per year
Ditch the dry cleaner
Why not iron a week’s worth of shirts while you’re watching your favourite TV programme? It won’t even feel like a chore.
Saving: $20 per week = $1,040 per year
Hit the pavement
If you live near a public transport zone boundary, consider getting off the bus or train one stop earlier and walking. Not only can it save you a little bit of money, but the walk will do you good as well.
Saving: $1.20 each way, 5 days per week = $624 per year
There are so many great products on the market that will give you a professional-looking manicure at home. It will save you time getting to and from the salon too.
Saving: $40 per fortnight = $1,040 per year
Shop the sales
Grabbing the newest arrival at your favourite boutiques is a great way to make sure you’re paying top dollar. Wait for the sales which usually appear around public holidays and recurring events such as Vogue Fashion Night Out.
Saving: $500+ per year
Plan your holidays
Last minute travel is expensive so plan and book your holidays for 2020 now. Consider travelling outside of business hours, on public holidays or in shoulder seasons and you’ll save even more.
Saving: $500+ per year
I’m sure you’ll agree that nothing here is that hard to do. To show you how the little things really do add up, the savings from these small ideas alone amount to $11,152 per year. If you’re a couple, this could amount to $22,304 every single year. If you think about where you spend your money, it’s likely that you’ll be able to find further savings just by being a little smarter. Remember it’s not about going without, it’s about spending mindfully.
For further ideas on how to get on top of your finances this year, check out our article 7 steps to take control of your money in the new year. Or if your new year’s resolutions are more health related, you might enjoy 18 money saving hacks that boost your health at the same time.