10 Changes Can Make Millions

by Krantcents · 33 comments

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10 changes can make millions. Saving for your retirement can be impossible unless you know what to do.  Putting money into a 401K is a no brainer, but where do you find the money?  You can start with a diary of where you spend your money and find expenses to change.  Small changes in your spending can achieve $1-2,000,000 over your lifetime.

10 Small Changes:

  • Save your change – this can be as much as $50 a month. This can be almost painless!  I never carry change, so every time I receive coin in change I put it into a jar.  At the end of the month, I have as much as $50 in change accumulated.
  • Stop buying soda, coffee, and junk food when out – $100 -150 per month.  This can be a hidden expense because you are going to work or shopping and you spend $7 on a latte and a pastry.  If you do this every day, you can spend over $150 per month.
  • Take your lunch to work – $250-350 per month.  Going out to lunch can average over $10 -15 per day.  You can save money, eat better and have some flexibility where you have your lunch.  If you just do this a couple times a week, you saved some money.
  • Cancel your cable TV – $50-150 per month.  There are a lot of alternatives to cable/satellite TV such as Hulu, Netflix or free downloads.
  • Use coupons at the supermarket – $50 or more per month.  Coupons are becoming easier through convenient sites on the Internet.
  • Shop at discount stores for clothes – $50-100 per month.  Why pay retail?  There are many discount stores that sell name brands at steep discounts.
  • Use the Internet to shop significant purchases – savings up to 40-50%.  I routinely check prices on the Internet; it only takes a moment using shopping bots such as Google Shopping or Shopzilla.
  • Increase insurance deductibles – $200 per year.  Too often, insurance deductibles are set and forgotten.  You may never have a claim, in the meantime enjoy some of the savings of a higher deductible and put it in savings.
  • Lower thermostat in winter and raise it in summer – $25-100 per month.  A setback thermostat can save you significant money in utilities.  Set your thermostat higher (78 degrees) during the day when no one is home during the summer and lower (65 degrees) in the winter.
  • Pay bills online/automatic bill pay – $15-20 per month postage.  Using online banking will not only help you organize your financial life, but save you money in postage.

You may look at these suggestions and say, no way can I change or live without lunch with my work buddies or my morning latte!  Your next step is to find something else that yields the same or more savings.  For example, I cannot give up cable, so it is part of my entertainment.  I use group discount movie tickets to achieve similar savings and more selective how often we go to the movies.  Remember the goal is saving $750.00 or more a month, the specifics are up to you.  “My Journey to Success” chronicles my accomplishments using some of these changes.

By conservatively investing the approximately $750 savings monthly in 30 years it could grow to $2,000,000.  What changes are you willing to make?  10 changes can make millions.

Photo by:  ENKTUVSHIN’S 40D


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Robert@The College Investor May 16, 2011 at 5:48 pm

We increased our insurance deductibles a bunch and saved a lot of money.  The only risk is that it costs more if something does happen!

krantcents May 16, 2011 at 7:24 pm

Remember, I am asking you to save the money so you will have it when you may need it. Besides the difference in premium savings will allow you to break even in a short period of time.

Hunter May 16, 2011 at 8:27 pm

These are all good tips to find a little extra that will really add up over the long run. Simply choosing an employer with a great 401(k) plan (read: a strong matching contribution) can make accumulating so much faster. 

krantcents May 16, 2011 at 8:46 pm

I agree, however that was hard to find during the financial crisis! If you have one, hang on to it.

Anonymous May 16, 2011 at 7:09 pm

These are such easy little changes that can really add up…I’m shocked by how much! Some of these are simple lifestyle changes (like bringing your lunch to work and not buying junk food) that can have great health benefits as well. thanks for the post!! 

krantcents May 16, 2011 at 7:23 pm

I believe small changes can provide huge rewards as evidenced by the change jar.

optionsdude May 17, 2011 at 3:01 am

It is amazing how just a little here and a little there can add up so quickly.  Add compounding over a 30-40 year horizon and the results can be phenomenal.

krantcents May 17, 2011 at 3:17 am

In many ways it is like a diet or exercising, small changes can yield huge results. The earlier you get started will yield even more.

retirebyforty May 18, 2011 at 3:06 am

$750/month is quite significant. We are already doing all these steps to some degree. It’s going to be tough to find any more saving. We’ll need to make big changes like moving to save significant money at this point. 

krantcents May 18, 2011 at 3:44 am

Think of it as ideas to start a conversation or make the $750 a goal and work toward it. I do many of these things, but not all of them. i also save more than $750 per month too.

Miss T May 18, 2011 at 5:19 pm

 That is awesome. 750 is a lot of money.You could also add carpooling or walking to work and making your own cleaning products. Those things can add up too. 

krantcents May 19, 2011 at 12:21 am

These were some simple ideas to start a conversation to encourage people to take a look at their expenses. As little as $750 per month can generate a lot of money.

Suba May 18, 2011 at 8:33 pm

Nice list. We already do every single one of it, not just to save money but more because we are used to it for example we don’t even use the AC, we use fans/portable heaters, just because we find that enough. We never watch TV, we don’t have time. All these small changes do add up a lot… 

krantcents May 19, 2011 at 12:22 am

The next step is to invest the money you are saving. The sooner the better.

Maggie@SquarePennies May 19, 2011 at 1:40 am

Saving to get to 1 or 2 million really gets your attention!   As you say, if something won’t work for you, find something else that will save a similar amount.  It’s also good to have the $750 (or whatever amount you’ve decided on) saved automaticly each month to make it work.  We do almost all of these & get extra savings from constantly looking for ways to lower our energy bills.  And we love the change jar!  Keep on keeping on!  

krantcents May 19, 2011 at 3:32 am

My objective was to get your attention to show how small changes yields huge rewards. The change jar is an good example of this!

Sandy Yes, I Am Cheap May 22, 2011 at 8:27 pm

I can honestly say that I have no clue how much a stamp costs these days.  I haven’t mailed out a check in years.  what’s the point when you can pay everyone online or have your bank do the bill payment for you?  Saves money, time, postage, and potential late fees.  

No Debt MBA May 23, 2011 at 5:59 pm

I do all of these except using grocery coupons.  It really does add up and these changes can very easily become habitual.  Like retireby40 we are having a hard time finding more expenses to cut so I guess the next step would be increasing income.

krantcents May 23, 2011 at 11:13 pm

Cutting may not be the answer, however review of the costs may reveal more. I couldn’t turn off enough lights, but instead I exchanged the lights for CFLs. I switched to a cold water wash to save gas for the dryer.

krantcents May 23, 2011 at 11:10 pm

You’re absolutely right! I particularly like how my bank guarantees delivery on a particular date.

Doable Finance May 25, 2011 at 4:51 am

National Grid has bought our local public service. I used to pay less than $15 for connection. Now I pay twice. Once the actual use and second for basic connection. Let’s say the total for the month is 100 units. NG charges us twice for the same 100 units. On its bill, one is called usage and the other “Basic.”

The problem I see is that NG must have bought the local company with debt. In order to compensate, it charges twice for the same 100 units.

No matter how many times I turn off the light, how much money do you think I can save when NG charges us twice? I called it up many times. Its auto system keeps going in circles. So I sent it email. That was 4 days ago. It has not replied yet.

krantcents May 26, 2011 at 12:37 am

The changes I refer to in my article are things you can change because yo have control over them. Concentrate on what you can do and invest the savings.

Frugal Student July 6, 2011 at 1:25 am

Done them all, wow that it kinda scary.  What will I do when I really need to save?

krantcents July 6, 2011 at 4:09 am

Simple! Reduce your expenses and increase your income. Last but not least save, save and save.

Ron Thompson November 12, 2011 at 3:56 pm

The whole canceling the cable bill is a great one in my books.  There don’t seem to be that many ways where you can save 600- 1800 per year and still find a comparable service [ie netflix] that can do the same thing [more or less] for much cheaper.

krantcents November 12, 2011 at 4:20 pm

It is all about choices! I elect to keep my cable, but I reduce other expenses to meet my objective.

Ron Thompson November 12, 2011 at 4:44 pm

Very true! personally I don’t like sports that much, but old sitcoms instead so youtube tends to be sufficient for me :)  

krantcents November 12, 2011 at 4:56 pm

Don’t stop at cancelling the cable! Take a look at all your expenses and think about how you can reduce your expenses. I am starting a daily Tweet on this subject shortly. You may want to read my new articles and follow me on Twitter. Thanks for stopping by.

Ron Thompson November 12, 2011 at 5:24 pm

Hey sounds good I’m going to twitter right now to follow you. 

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