Ten small 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.
Ten (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. Shop your insurance every year or two.
- 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. I managed to save and invest 35% of my earnings every month. As a bonus, I changed my lights to CFL’s and saved at least 10% in utility costs.I constantly review my expenses to lower my costs. I adapted this habit from years of performing this function in business. “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? Ten small changes can make millions.
Photo by: Flickr
This was originally published as 10 Changes Can Make Millions May 16, 2011 and updated recently.
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Ten small changes can make millions.